None of the teams in the Southwest Division took a significant step backward this summer, and the Rockets and Pelicans could be among the league's most improved teams in 2013/14. The division already boasts the defending Western Conference champion Spurs, as well as the Grizzlies, who totaled a franchise-record 56 wins last year. Here's the latest from the division that could well be the NBA's best:
- Devin Ebanks turned down a $650K offer from a team in China to sign with the Mavericks today, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com, who confirms that Dallas is giving the former Laker only a non-guaranteed minimum-salary deal for training camp.
- Ebanks would be willing to play for the D-League's Texas Legends, the Mavs' affiliate, if he doesn't make the opening night roster for the big club, Charania adds.
- The Dwight Howard signing turned the Rockets into contenders and shifted their attention from young players to veterans like Ronnie Brewer, who tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld that the on-court role he can play for the team is what persuaded him to sign. Brewer only has a partial guarantee on his deal, and Mark Deeks of ShamSports reveals tonight that it's for $100K (Twitter link).