Southwest Rumors: Azubuike, Carlisle, Diaw

The defending Southwest Division champs met the defending NBA champs tonight, with the first-place Spurs coming away with a 104-87 win, padding their lead as they seek a second straight division title. Here's more on two of the Southwest's top teams:

  • Mavs owner Mark Cuban thinks his team's signing of Kelenna Azubuike will be a steal if his knee holds up, according to writer Earl K. Sneed. Cuban isn't sure if Azubuike will help the team this year, but has his eyes on the future, calling the team option for the second year "pretty much a lock" to be exercised (All Twitter links).
  • Mavs coach Rick Carlisle didn't respond to questions about his future when asked about his contract, which expires at the end of the year, on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Galloway and Company. While Mavs GM Donnie Nelson indicated that the team intends to retain the coach, Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas cites rumors linking Carlisle to the Blazers and suggests the Knicks and Clippers as possible destinations. 
  • The recent moves the Spurs have made aren't surprising to Carlisle, who's particularly intrigued by the acquisition of Patrick Mills and Boris Diaw, Tim Griffin of the Express-News writes.
  • Diaw had to wait a week to sign with the Spurs because of visa issues, but he's been waiting much longer to fulfill his childhood dream of playing with fellow frenchman Tony Parker, according to Griffin. Diaw is Parker's best friend in the NBA, but the point guard didn't push the team to sign his buddy.
  • ESPN's Marc Stein spoke with new Spur Stephen Jackson, who shared some revelations about his time with the Bucks and says he "never should have left" San Antonio after 2003.

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