Southwest Notes: Mavs, Williams, Calathes

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spoke Tuesday with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and “it started off more than a little frigid,” as Cuban recounted via Cyber Dust, his social media app, and as the Dallas Morning News relays. That’s not surprising, given the DeAndre Jordan saga, but Cuban said he and Ballmer cleared the air.

“I told him exactly what I told other owners, I didn’t have a problem with his hail Mary approach to keeping a player,” Cuban wrote. “I understood why they did it. And even how they did it. They got their player back. End of story.”

Cuban said he doesn’t have a problem with the July Moratorium, which seemingly helped facilitate Jordan’s reversal, but even if he did, the moratorium doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Deron Williams‘ two-year deal with the Mavs is worth $10MM and includes a player option, according to Marc Stein of (Twitter link).
  • The clock appears to be ticking on an NBA future for Grizzlies restricted free agent Nick Calathes. The point guard denied to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal that he has signed with Panathinaikos of Greece, but he’ll commit to that team if he doesn’t find an NBA deal today, according to David Pick of (Twitter link). Calathes is drawing NBA interest, but he’s hesitant to continue as a backup, Pick hears. The Mavericks have reportedly contacted him, though that was two weeks ago. Memphis has the power to match all competing bids from NBA teams, but not from overseas clubs.
  • Panathinaikos is close to a deal with center Nikola Milutinov, this year’s 26th overall pick, Sportando’s Enea Trapani writes. Regardless, Milutinov won’t soon be joining the Spurs, the team that drafted him, as San Antonio has informed the NBA that it won’t sign him or 2013 No. 28 pick Livio Jean-Charles during 2015/16, allowing San Antonio to remove their cap hits, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links).
  • The Rockets reportedly had hopes of signing draft-and-stash prospect Marko Todorovic this summer, but that won’t be happening, as the big man has signed a three-year deal with Khimki Moscow, the Russian club announced (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia).
  • Spurs GM R.C. Buford said he and the front office didn’t think that they would have been able to snag Ray McCallum if he’d have been a free agent on the open market, so they were pleased to pull off the trade with the Kings that brought him in, as Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News chronicles. McCallum, who’s excited about the deal, earned a $200K partial guarantee on his salary when the Spurs didn’t waive him Sunday.
  • A $390,089 sliver of Houston’s Jeremy Lin trade exception expired Monday, though it was essentially too small to use. The Rockets had already used the majority of the exception, once worth $8,374,646, to trade for Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved in December.
  • Brewer’s new three-year deal with the Rockets is worth precisely $23,420,913, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders shows.
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