Western Notes: Mavericks, Pelicans, Wolves, Okobo

After trading for Luka Doncic, the Mavericks plan to address their need at center through free agency, tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “July 1 is right around the corner, bro,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’ll address it. There will be options.” 

Chief among those options is expected to be DeMarcus Cousins of the Pelicans, who is still recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered in January. The Mavericks could also make a play for the RocketsClint Capela, who will be a restricted free agent, or the ClippersDeAndre Jordan if he decides to opt out of his current deal. Another possibility is Dwight Howard, who is expected to reach a buyout agreement with the Nets once a trade from the Hornets is complete. Dallas has expressed interest in Howard before, and he is likely to be more affordable than ever.

There’s more tonight from the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans might be worth watching in the pursuit of Howard, according to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Like the Mavericks, they have tried to acquire him before and he could be a low-cost replacement if they can’t re-sign Cousins.
  • The Timberwolves continue to pursue draft-night deals, but first-round pick Josh Okogie isn’t likely to be included, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • French point guard Elie Okobo, taken by the Suns with the first pick in the second round, is expected to come to the NBA next season, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7.
  • The Mavericks, Nuggets and Spurs were all among the winners in tonight’s draft, according to Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN. Dallas was able to trade up to get Doncic, Denver saw Michael Porter Jr. fall to No. 14 and San Antonio picked up Lonnie Walker at 18. Other teams that had a good night, according to the authors, were the Pacers, Sixers and Celtics.
  • There were voices in the Lakers‘ organization that wanted to trade up to get Mitchell Robinson, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. Robinson went 36th to the Knicks.
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