Southwest Notes: Nowitzki, Smith, Lawson

Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t made up his mind about when he’ll retire from the game, but he isn’t shutting the door on the possibility that he may play beyond 2016/17, which is the final year on his current deal, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. “I always said that when the body is hurting every day, and when you’ve got to do all this extra stuff to just play, I think that’s when it’s time to go,” said Nowitzki. “But I feel good. I feel good right now and I felt good this summer. I mean, we had a five-games-in-six-days for the [Eurobasket], and I got through that just fine. … I felt good. I don’t need to pop a thousand pills to play or practice. So as long as that’s still good, and it’s still fun to go. I’m going to definitely ride this contract out [this season and next]. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens after that.

Here’s more from out of the Southwest Division:

  • Ish Smith, who was claimed off waivers from the Wizards back in October, has been forced to play major minutes because of injuries to Norris Cole and Tyreke Evans, and he has impressed the Pelicans‘ coaching staff with how quickly he has acclimated to the team’s system, writes John Reid of The Times Picayune. ”It’s really tough, especially just coming in,” coach Alvin Gentry said. ”It would have been different if he had been in training camp and had gone through the whole situation. But you just pick a guy up and then throw him out there, I thought he responded great. I just think it’s a situation and [GM] Dell [Demps] and I talked about it and we just got to keep our head above water. We just got to keep playing hard and competing.
  • Ty Lawson made his return to Denver Friday night, which was his first game back in the city after being dealt to the Rockets during the offseason. While his tenure with the Nuggets didn’t necessarily end well, the point guard had nothing negative to say about his former team, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. “It was pretty great,” said Lawson of his time with the Nuggets. “I had a good couple of years here. This team gave me my first opportunity and chance. So I have nothing bad to say.” When asked if he wished things had turned out differently for him in Denver, Lawson responded, “Things happen for a reason. God has a plan, so I’m going to follow it.”
  • Mavericks point guard Raymond Felton has signed with agent Jim Tanner of Tandem Sports and Entertainment, reports Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (Twitter link). Felton was previously represented by Wasserman Media Group.
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