Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson expressed confidence that Dallas would soon bolster its bench with the addition of either Jermaine O’Neal or Josh Smith, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com reports. “I feel pretty good that we’ll be able to come to terms with one,” Nelson said. “Certainly to come up with both would be just hitting a grand slam home run. Look, there’s a long line for suitors on both fronts. I think the fact that Jermaine has chosen Dallas to be his home in the long term certainly has its place and resonates with time with family and such. And here’s a guy who has a long history not only with our coach but with our point guard/quarterback. That certainly has a place.”
As for Smith’s potential role with the team, Nelson said, “If he did fit and if he joined us, it would be a sixth man situation, but we’d see him as a starting-caliber type guy. He’s got a very rare combination of strength and versatility. He’d be a great addition for whatever team is lucky enough to get his services, but he understands and is fully aware that we have a power forward that we’re very comfortable with and Tyson [Chandler] has got the center position locked down, so he would be a heck of a piece at any one of our three frontline positions.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- Nuggets coach Brian Shaw has repeatedly told his players that they must improve their play soon or the team is at risk for changes, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post reports (Twitter links). “You see teams are making moves and making changes. I’m sure we’d be one of those teams, too,” Shaw said.
- The Rockets sent the Wolves $1MM as part of the Corey Brewer trade, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
- Gal Mekel‘s agent, Maurizio Balducci, is exploring a return overseas to Maccabi Tel Aviv for his client, who was recently waived by the Pelicans, David Pick of Eurobasket reports (Twitter links). Maccabi is offering Mekel a long-term agreement with multiple NBA outs, Pick adds. New Orleans coach Monty Williams had also previously indicated that the Pelicans were considering offering a new deal to Mekel.