Southwest Notes: Wood, Mavs, Vogel, Spurs, McCollum

After Jason Kidd told reporters on Monday that the plan is for Christian Wood to come off the bench in his first season for the Mavericks, the big man said in his own media session that he was hearing about it for the first time. Following up on that topic on Tuesday, Kidd admitted he hadn’t spoken directly to Wood about his role, but he also suggested the big man wasn’t totally in the dark about it.

“I haven’t really talked to him about that. I know my assistants have,” Kidd said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). “When you use the term, ‘When you check in with six minutes…’ that means you didn’t start.

“So we’ll get to talking about his role as we go forward. I’ve never coached him, so I want to first see what he’s capable of doing with different lineups and different combinations here in preseason, and then we’ll make a decision on where he’s going to play, if he’s coming off the bench or starting. But right now, he will not start.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Frank Vogel will be with the Mavericks in training camp for “a couple of days,” according to Kidd, who said the former Lakers head coach took him up right away on an open invitation to visit (Twitter link via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News). Vogel, who worked with Kidd in Los Angeles, doesn’t have a formal NBA job this season after being let go by L.A. in the spring.
  • Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t have any delusions about his team’s ability to seriously contend this season, telling reporters on Monday, “Nobody here should go to Vegas and bet on this team to win the championship,” as Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News relays. While his young players are hoping to defy the odds and win more games than expected, Popovich said the focus will be on player development and growth. “At this point, the job is really to start them out the right way,” Popovich said. “Just like a new baby, and giving that baby all the nutrients it needs to develop properly and in the best environment. That’s our goal. Whatever success we have will come from that.”
  • CJ McCollum‘s new two-year contract extension with the Pelicans has a declining structure, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). McCollum will earn $33.3MM in 2024/25 and $30.7MM in ’25/26.
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