Southwest Notes: Gentile, Pondexter, Jordan, Mavs

Last week, we noted that an entry in the NBA’s transactions log indicated that the Rockets had waived draft-and-stash prospect Alessandro Gentile. The move came as a surprise, considering we heard last month that he wasn’t attending camp with Houston, and the team never announced his signing.

Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle provides some clarity on the situation, tweeting that Gentile signed his required non-guaranteed tender offer with the Rockets, who immediately (and quietly) waived him. Gentile isn’t in the club’s plans, Feigen adds. Based on the pair of transactions, the Italian swingman, who was the 53rd overall pick in the 2014 draft, is free to sign with any NBA team in the future, though he’ll likely continue to play overseas for now.

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • After battling a life-threatening infection following a series of knee surgeries, Quincy Pondexter isn’t stressing his precarious hold on a Spurs roster spot, recognizing that it’s not exactly a life-and-death situation. Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News has the story, along with the quotes from Pondexter. The veteran is the only player on San Antonio’s 15-man roster without a guaranteed contract, so he may be the odd man out if the club decides to add point guard depth.
  • The Mavericks haven’t had a reliable and productive starting center since Tyson Chandler manned the middle for the 2011 championship squad, so the club is understandable excited about seeing DeAndre Jordan in action this season, writes Dwain Price of Mavs.com. Still, there’s no guarantee that Jordan will remain in Dallas for longer than one year. A handful of Dallas Morning News scribes, including Eddie Sefko and Brad Townsend, provide their thoughts on Jordan’s potential future with the Mavs.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. is just 20 years old and is entering his second NBA season, but he has already showed leadership qualities, as Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle details. “When he talks, people listen,” Carlisle said of Smith, per Sefko. “He’s not a guy that’s going to give you a lot of unnecessary constant chatter. But he understands when to step forward and be strong as a leader verbally.”

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