Southwest Rumors: Mayo, Nowitzki, Leonard

Southwest Division teams haven't been shy about making cuts the past few days. The Spurs let go of Sherron Collins on Friday, and Sunday the Grizzlies waived D.J. Kennedy and Jarrid Famous. The Hornets will reportedly shorten their preseason bench as well, as they're set to waive Dominique Morrison. While the competition for space on the fringes of the roster gets more intense, more established players can plan far beyond October.

  • O.J. Mayo deemed his time with the Grizzlies "a little bit of a failure," according to Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Sulia link). "I felt like I could have done better (in Memphis)," Mayo said. "Starting and then moving to bench would be tough on everybody. I had started all my life, so that was something I had to adjust to. It's a new opportunity in Dallas, so I have to play hard and hold my ground."

Earlier updates:

  • Dirk Nowitzki, in Spain on the Mavs' European tour, said he was recruited by Spanish club FC Barcelona before he came over to play in the NBA, and didn't completely rule out playing in Europe after he completes the final two years of his contract with Dallas. He told reporters, including Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, that he might favor the the shorter European schedule if his body no longer feels up to an 82-game season, but cautioned, "All that is a possibility, but as of now, I don’t actually see a chance.’’ 
  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has spoken about his desire for Kawhi Leonard to spend his entire career with the team , and though the second-year player is a long way off from free agency, Leonard says he's open to remaining with the Spurs long-term, and cites Tim Duncan as his example to follow, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.
  • Rockets coach Kevin McHale, on KBME radio Houston with Matt Thomas, said all five starting spots are up for grabs (transcription via Eric Schmoldt of Sports Radio Interviews). 

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