And-Ones: Realignment, Jones, D-League, Draft

Mavs owner Mark Cuban has come up with a proposal to level the playing field between the NBA’s two conferences that involves realignment, Tim MacMahon of reports. In Cuban’s plan, the Spurs, Rockets, Pelicans and Mavs would shift to the Eastern Conference, and the Bulls, Pacers, Pistons, and Bucks would relocate to the west. Cuban acknowledged that Dallas could benefit from the shift, but added, “It’s not like it’d be the first time we’ve ever realigned. It’s happened many times before, so there’s precedent and I just think it shakes things up and makes things interesting. It’s not like you’re reducing competition. You keep Cleveland, Washington and other good teams in the East. It kind of shakes things up in terms of not just interest but also in terms of how people rebuild.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Fort Wayne Mad Ants have acquired the rights to Dahntay Jones through the D-League’s waiver process, the team announced today. Jones last appeared in the NBA during the 2012/13 season when he appeared in 50 games for the Mavericks, and he spent the preseason last month with the Jazz. His career NBA averages are 5.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per game.
  • With the Lakers receiving a disabled player exception for the season-ending injury to Steve Nash, Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times ran down the long list of players who are mathematically attainable via a trade using the $4.851MM exception the league granted the franchise.
  • With an increase in higher-profile players entering the D-League’s player pool, it is lowering the incentive for fringe players to remain in the league, writes Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. A D-League team source told Pilato, “If you’re in there right now [player pool] and were either undrafted or cut in camp and not picked up yet, there’s no reason to stay. And with an abundance of guys either coming back early from Europe or deciding that the D-League is the best option, there are just too many new faces coming in to really consider the guys that other teams have already decided don’t have what it takes to play in this league.
  • draft guru Chad Ford (Insider subscription required) runs down eight college prospects who have raised their draft stock with excellent early-season play, including Kevon Looney (UCLA); Justise Winslow (Duke); Buddy Hield (Oklahoma); and Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina).
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