Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Doncic, Ball, Wood

Thursday is the first day the Pelicans can sign another player to fill their 15th roster spot and avoid the luxury tax, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic.  Hollinger crunched the numbers after the Pelicans signed Didi Louzada, whose $123,056 salary as a draft rookie counts $98,940 less than a veteran signed to the same spot. On Thursday, New Orleans could sign a veteran to a rest-of-the-season deal for $122,097 and stay under the tax by $8,651.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks star point man Luka Doncic is in danger of being assessed a mandatory one-game league suspension, Tim MacMahon of ESPN writes. Doncic has 14 technical fouls this season after getting ejected from Dallas’ 111-99 loss to the Kings on Sunday. If he gets another technical, he’ll reach the league’s threshold of 15 technicals, which triggers a suspension. Doncic promises to avoid that scenario. “I won’t get another one,” he said.
  • Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball will head into free agency this summer and wherever he lands next season, he plans to prove he’s one of the top point guards in the league, as he told Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). “Being an All-Star is definitely my next goal on the list and I think that should be coming up pretty soon,” he said. The Pelicans must extend a $14.36MM qualifying offer to make Ball a restricted free agent.
  • The status of Rockets big man Christian Wood this week and the remainder of the season is in doubt. Wood said he’ll likely to need to sit out at least a couple of games, Mark Berman of FOX26 tweets“Right now with my ankle and my quad, I’m not sure about (playing) the next couple games,” he said.
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