The Mavericks may have a long-term need at center, but they don’t plan to pursue Jahlil Okafor, tweets Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Okafor wants to be bought out or traded after the Sixers declined to pick up his option for 2018/19. The Mavs “are not particularly interested in kicking the tires” on Okafor, according to Sefko.
Dallas brought in one former Philadelphia center when it traded for Nerlens Noel in February. Noel wasn’t able to work out a long-term deal with the team as a restricted free agent this summer. He opted to take a one-year qualifying offer and will be unrestricted in July of 2018.
There’s more basketball news out of Texas:
- Mavericks guard J.J. Barea says the “crazy minutes” he played early last season contributed to a left calf muscle tear that bothered him throughout the season, Sefko relays in a full story. Barea is coming off his first summer since 2011 without international basketball and is playing just 23.3 minutes per game. His average was about 10 minutes higher during the first nine games of last season because of injuries in the Dallas backcourt.
- Rockets forward Ryan Anderson was in New York tonight after a summer filled with trade rumors involving the Knicks, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Anderson was a key figure in Houston’s quest to acquire Carmelo Anthony, but he says he never believed a deal was close. “I don’t think that was too much of a realistic thought to a lot of people because it was so much of what you believe,” Anderson said. “There were so many different news articles. Maybe in preseason there was a little bit of a thought because it was so fresh, but not at all now, I’m ready to move forward this year. We have a battle tonight. We have to focus on that. That’s 100 percent where my mind is now.”
- Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni expects Chris Paul to return in about two weeks, Feigen tweets. Paul has been sidelined since opening night with pain in his knees.
- The Spurs are still waiting for their investment in Patty Mills to pay off, according to Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News. The veteran point guard, who received a four-year, $50MM deal to re-sign with the team over the summer, is averaging 6.1 points and 2.9 assists in a reserve role this season and is shooting just 32% from the field.