Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News believes the Mavs will go "hard" after Chris Paul, and perhaps Dwight Howard, in free agency next summer. That would be no surprise, given the team's effort to position itself to pursue another marquee name next summer after its push to sign Deron Williams fell through. It's hard to envision either turning down a five-year deal in L.A. for a four-year contract in Dallas, especially considering Paul's involvement in the Clippers' offseason moves and Howard's enthusiasm about being with the Lakers, but plenty can happen between now and July. In the meantime, here's a late night look around the Association:
- Before signing with the Kings this summer, Aaron Brooks was expecting to return to the Suns, who held the right to match offers for him until they pulled their qualifying offer to him in July, as Paul Coro and Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic report.
- P.J. Tucker, whose contract with the Suns is partially guaranteed for $150K, has emerged as the team's best perimeter defender, coach Alvin Gentry said, according to Coro and Buchanan.
- Camp invitee Alando Tucker is "nearly certain" to be let go by the Bucks, who have 15 other players on fully guaranteed deals, and is considering playing in Europe this season, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes.
- Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal argues that incoming Grizzlies owner Robert Pera should keep GM Chris Wallace around.
- After the Spurs ran counter to coach Gregg Popovich's previous indication and cut both Eddy Curry and Derrick Brown today, Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News does his best to size up the remaining competitors for the end of the Spurs bench.
- HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy identifies 15 players who have surprised with their performances in the preseason.
- Alexey Shved will see significant minutes backing up Brandon Roy at shooting guard for the Wolves, but life in the NBA has been an adjustment on and off the court for the offseason signee from Russia, as Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune details.
- The Clippers' signing of Matt Barnes looks shrewd now that Grant Hill is out with a bone bruise in his right knee, Ben Golliver of SI.com believes.