Western Notes: Lee, Davis, Stepheson, Nuggets

The Mavericks will need more than just David Lee to start moving in the right direction, contends Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas is considered a heavy favorite to sign Lee once he clears waivers at 3 pm Central Time on Sunday, and Sefko says the Mavericks are believed to have a deal ready to present to him. Lee, who was waived Friday by the Celtics after falling out of their rotation, hasn’t played since January 10th. Sefko warns that Lee has lost some of the skills that made him a two-time All-Star and says other players will have to step up their games to keep the Mavericks from falling out of the playoff picture.

There’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Jeremy Evans and Justin Anderson have been sent to the Mavericks‘ D-League affiliate, the team announced today. Evans has played in 29 games for Dallas, averaging 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds, while Anderson has been in 34 games, averaging 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds.
  • Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry laughed at a report that the organization had trade talks with the Celtics about Anthony Davis, writes John Reid of The Times-Picayune. New Orleans gave Davis an extension last summer that will amount to the richest contract in league history, five years at $145MM.
  • Alex Stepheson, who signed a 10-day contract with the Clippers earlier today, can’t wait to play in his first NBA game, according to Robert Morales of The Long Beach Press-Telegram. The 28-year-old was the D-League’s leading rebounder with the Iowa Energy, the affiliate of the Grizzlies. “I’m excited,” Stepheson said. “I’m a little bit nervous. I think basketball-wise, I kind of know what I can do and can’t do, so I don’t think I’m going to be too nervous on the basketball court. Just being out there playing for the Clippers and stuff like that, man, it’s pretty big.”
  • The Nuggets created a tiny trade exception worth $135K from Thursday’s trade, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It’s of such diminutive value that it’s virtually unusable, but nonetheless, it comes via the difference between Randy Foye‘s $3.135MM salary and D.J. Augustin‘s $3MM pay. Denver took Steve Novak‘s $3,750,001 salary into its disabled player exception for Wilson Chandler, as I noted here and as Pincus confirms (on Twitter). The disabled player exception is thus extinguished, Pincus adds.
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