Mavericks Rumors

Luka Doncic Intends To Play In Olympic Qualifiers

Luka Doncic, who played in both the Rising Stars and All-Star games this weekend, has another non-Mavericks event circled on his calendar for later this year. Asked about his potential participation for Slovenia in this June’s Olympics qualifying tournament, Doncic responded, “I’m gonna play for sure” (Twitter link via Donatas Urbonas).

The Mavericks star didn’t get the chance to suit up for his home country during the 2019 FIBA World Cup, since Slovenia wasn’t able to qualify for the event. This June’s tournament will represent the last chance the squad has to earn a spot in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Doncic and the Slovenians won’t have it easy — they’ll have to beat Lithuania and Poland, among others, in that qualifying tournament to secure one of four Olympic berths up for grabs this summer.

Mavericks Notes: Doncic, Bryant, Kidd-Gilchrist, Sonju

Luka Doncic is a little bit starstruck as prepares for his first experience in the All-Star Game, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Doncic will start for Team LeBron in tonight’s game, but first came a weekend that included the Rising Stars Challenge, practice sessions with a more experienced group of All-Stars and a chance to interact with legends of the game, including a Jordan Brand party Friday night where he met Michael Jordan for the first time.

“It was something amazing,” Doncic said. “I was too nervous. I forgot to ask him for a picture.”

A few days shy of his 21st birthday, Doncic will become the youngest European to ever play in the All-Star Game, Townsend notes. He’s the sixth-youngest starter in the game’s history and the youngest since LeBron James was a starter 15 years ago. His coaches will include former Mavericks guard and current Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, who will help run Team LeBron as part of Frank Vogel’s staff.

“I told [Doncic] we’re going to play him 40 of the 48 minutes,” Kidd joked. “When you’re young, you can play all the minutes in the world. So there won’t be any load management.”

There’s more Mavericks news to pass along:

  • One of the most memorable moments of Doncic’s second NBA season was the night in Staples Center when Kobe Bryant trash talked him in Slovenian. The encounter took on added significance with Bryant’s death a few weeks later. Marc Stein of The New York Times says Bryant picked up the off-color phrases from former teammate Sasha Vujacic. “It’s going to be one moment that I remember for the rest of my life,” Doncic said. “Obviously I was hoping there would be more times with him, maybe even practice with him some day, but a terrible thing happened.”
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is grateful for the opportunity to restart his career in Dallas after reaching a buyout with the Hornets, relays Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News, and the Mavs believe he can be a valuable contributor as the games become more important. “The guy has a reputation for being a gamer and a hell of a competitor,” coach Rick Carlisle said.
  • Mavericks co-founder Norm Sonju received the Jerry Colangelo Award at Saturday’s All-Star breakfast, according to Dwain Price of The award recognizes someone in management who lives an exemplary life on and off the court and while expressing high character, leadership and faith. Sonju served as team president and general manager before retiring in 1996.

Porzingis, Doncic Starting To ‘Click’ As Teammates

Although injuries have limited their time together on the floor this season, Mavericks All-Stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis have started showing signs of becoming an elite duo.

In Dallas’ final game before the All-Star break, Doncic (33 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists) and Porzingis (27 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks) led the team to a blowout win over the Kings. While Doncic has played at an MVP-caliber level when healthy, Porzingis is playing his first season since tearing his ACL as a secondary option.

Despite both players missing some time with injuries, Porzingis says he and his new teammate are starting to mesh together, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon writes.

“Luka’s done a great job communicating to me [about] where I wanna get the ball,” Porzingis said. “He’s also getting used to playing with me and he’s really starting to find me in those spots where I’m comfortable, that midrange area. And slowly these things are starting to click. I think as we keep working, playing together, it’s going to get better and better and better.”

At 33-22, the Mavericks are the current seventh seed in the Western Conference. A lot of that success has hinged – and will continue to hinge – on the health of Doncic and Porzingis. As MacMahon noted, after an inconsistent 10-game stretch to start the season, the Mavericks have been a scoring force when both of their young stars have shared the court. Moving forward, Doncic feels things will only improve.

“It’s great that we both had those nights,” Doncic said. “We’ve got to keep working, and we’re going to get better and better.”

Mark Cuban Discusses Trades Mavericks Almost Made

The Mavericks didn’t make major moves before the trade deadline, though Mark Cuban says he tried to get more done.

“We tried. We came really, really close on a couple deals. Two really big pieces,” Cuban said on Shan and RJ on 105.3 The Fan (h/t SportsDay) “They were both three-team deals, and in one case was a trade-and-extend and we couldn’t get the player to agree on terms. And the other piece, one of the teams just decided they didn’t want to trade a key guy to make it happen.”

A report after the trade deadline indicated that the Mavs made an effort to acquire Danny Green from the Lakers as part of L.A.’s Marcus Morris talks with New York. The Lakers were said to be unwilling to surrender both Green and Kyle Kuzma in that deal, so that sounds like the second would-be trade Cuban is referring to.

Cuban feels good about Dallas’ roster. He hopes the team can pull out homecourt advantage in the first round. He also would like to see the squad win a playoff series.

“Trust me, I know as well as anybody we haven’t won a playoff round since the championship season and so, you know, that’s our goal, and then from there we hope to build on that and see what happens,” Cuban said.

Bringing Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis along further is also a goal for the second half of the season. Cuban doesn’t believe the Mavericks have played their best basketball yet.

“Because of the injuries, losing Dwight Powell was a big blow for us, you know, now we’ve got two new guys we’ve got to integrate, Luka coming back, [Porzingis] you know, everybody getting their minutes straight and their roles straight. It’s like any other Mavs team when we were making runs. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Cuban said. “If we can get a good run going to end the season going into the playoffs… everybody on that team believes they can beat anybody.”

2020’s Most Valuable Traded Second-Round Picks

Fans of lottery-bound NBA teams will be keeping a close on the league’s reverse standings down the stretch because of the effect they’ll have on the draft order and lottery odds for the 2020 first round.

However, it’s not just the first round of the draft that’s worth keeping an eye on. Those reverse standings will also dictate the order of the draft’s second round, and an early second-round pick can be nearly as valuable as a first-rounder.

Traded first-round selections like the one the Grizzlies are sending to the Celtics will ultimately be more valuable than any second-rounder, but it’s still worth taking a closer look at some traded 2020 second-rounders that project to be valuable picks.

[RELATED: Traded Second-Round Picks For 2020 NBA Draft]

Here are a few of those traded picks:

From: Golden State Warriors
To: Dallas Mavericks
Current projection: No. 31

This traded pick dates all the way back to the 2016 offseason, when the Mavericks acquired it along with Andrew Bogut. That deal gave them the option to eventually receive either the Warriors’ 2019 or 2020 second-rounder.

Dallas faced a little criticism at the time for helping Golden State clear the cap room necessary to sign Kevin Durant, but if the Mavs hadn’t done it, another team would have. Now they’ll benefit from the end of the Warriors’ dynasty, potentially acquiring the best non-first-round pick of the 2020 draft.

From: Cleveland Cavaliers
To: Charlotte Hornets
Current projection: No. 32

The Cavaliers first traded this pick to Orlando at the trade deadline in 2016 to acquire Channing Frye. It was later traded from the Magic to the Clippers, who eventually sent it to Charlotte on draft night in 2018.

The pick was one of two future second-rounders L.A. surrendered to move up a single spot in the lottery to draft Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at No. 11 in ’18.

Considering the Cavs won a title with Frye and the Clippers eventually used Gilgeous-Alexander to acquire Paul George – and, indirectly, Kawhi Leonard – I don’t think either team is losing sleep about giving up this selection, but it’ll be a nice asset for the Hornets this spring.

From: Atlanta Hawks
To: Philadelphia 76ers
Current projection: No. 33

From: New York Knicks
To: Philadelphia 76ers
Current projection: No. 35

Philadelphia sent three second-round picks to the Warriors at the deadline for Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III, but did well to hang onto these selections, both of which could fall in the top 35 this spring.

The Sixers received both of these picks in deals that saw their trade partners move up in the second round to nab big men. The Knicks’ second-rounder was sent to Philadelphia in a 2015 deal for No. 35 pick Willy Hernangomez, while the Hawks’ second-rounder changed hands in last June’s swap for No. 34 pick Bruno Fernando.

From: Detroit Pistons
To: Sacramento Kings
Current projection: No. 36

This pick has been involved in two trades, neither of which worked out particularly well for the Suns. It was all Phoenix received in return for Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock, and Danny Granger in a cost-cutting trade during the 2015 offseason. Then it was part of the package the Suns sent to the Kings for 2016’s No. 8 pick, Marquese Chriss.

The two 2016 first-round picks the Kings got that in that Chriss trade (Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere) didn’t pan out for Sacramento. However, the package also included the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic, making it a big win for the Kings. This year’s second-round pick is just an added bonus.

Magic Discussed Aaron Gordon Trades Before Deadline

Aaron Gordon remained with the Magic through last week’s trade deadline, but Sean Deveney of hears that Orlando discussed the sixth-year forward with a handful of teams. According to Deveney, the Warriors and Timberwolves were among the clubs that spoke to the Magic about Gordon. There was also “chatter” involving the Suns.

Although the Magic ended up having a fairly quiet deadline, executives around the NBA think the team may end up revisiting Gordon trade talks this summer, says Deveney.

“They were trying, and they tried hard to get something done with him at the deadline,” one source told Deveney. “All that gets brought back into focus once the season is over and you have a good idea what the market is for him.”

This is hardly the first time we’ve heard Gordon-related trade chatter this season. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported back in November that teams were monitoring the former No. 4 overall pick, and Deveney wrote shortly thereafter that there may be some long-term concerns in Orlando about Gordon’s frontcourt fit with with cornerstone player Jonathan Isaac.

A pair of January reports even connected both the Warriors and Wolves to Gordon. Those teams ultimately made a blockbuster deal with one another instead, swapping D’Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins in a trade that included other players and draft picks.

Gordon has had a down year in Orlando, with his scoring average slipping to 13.9 PPG and his shooting percentage dropping to a career-worst .422 FG%. Still, he’d be a coveted player on the trade market, given his versatility, his age (24) and his relatively team-friendly contract ($34.5MM over two years after 2019/20).

According to Deveney, the Mavericks are another team that has “long had interest” in Gordon, but they might have a hard time putting together a competitive package. Deveney writes that “buzz around the league” suggests the Nets and Nuggets – perhaps with a package featuring Spencer Dinwiddie or Gary Harris – would be teams to watch if Gordon is made available this summer.

Luka Doncic Set To Return Wednesday

FEBRUARY 11: After practicing today, Doncic told reporters that he’s ready to return on Wednesday, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Barring any setbacks, the star guard will participate in this weekend’s All-Star Game. He also plans to play in Friday’s Rising Stars game, per Sefko (Twitter link).

FEBRUARY 10: Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters that the team hopes All-Star guard Luka Doncic will be able to return to the court on Wednesday for a tilt against the Kings, per Eddie Sefko of

“He’s progressing, he’s continuing to ramp up his activity over the last week,” Carlisle said. “He scrimmaged yesterday (Sunday) for a significant amount of time. He scrimmaged today (Monday) for a significant amount of time.”

The news that Doncic practiced with the Mavericks for consecutive days is encouraging.

Doncic was diagnosed with a moderate ankle sprain in late January, and has been sidelined for the past seven games, including tonight’s contest. The second-year Mavericks player was voted to start in his first All-Star game appearance by fans, players and media. A Wednesday return would put him on track to participate in that game.

The 20-year-old Doncic has led the upstart Mavs to a solid 32-21 record, good for the current No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. The Kings are 21-32, 5.5 games out of the No. 8 seed and a playoff berth.

Forbes Releases 2020 NBA Franchise Valuations

The Knicks have had a miserable 12 months, finishing the 2018/19 season with a league-worst 17 wins, missing out on their top free agent targets, and then firing head coach David Fizdale and president of basketball operations Steve Mills during the 2019/20 season.

None of that seems to have had a noticeable impact on the team’s market value though. Once again, the franchise is considered the most valuable of any of the NBA’s 30 clubs, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. The Lakers and Warriors aren’t far behind, having both surpassed the $4 billion mark for the first time this year.

For the first time, all 30 NBA teams have a perceived worth of $1.3 billion or more, per Forbes’ annual report. Every team’s value increased by at least 6% since Forbes put out their 2019 valuations last February, with a handful of franchises jumping by 20% or more.

The NBA-wide average of $2.12 billion per team in 2020 is also a new record — that league-wide average surpassed the $2 billion mark for the first time. NBA franchise values are up almost sixfold over the last decade, according to Badenhausen.

Here’s the full list of NBA franchise valuations, per Forbes:

  1. New York Knicks: $4.6 billion
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: $4.4 billion
  3. Golden State Warriors: $4.3 billion
  4. Chicago Bulls: $3.2 billion
  5. Boston Celtics: $3.1 billion
  6. Los Angeles Clippers: $2.6 billion
  7. Brooklyn Nets: $2.5 billion
  8. Houston Rockets: $2.475 billion
  9. Dallas Mavericks: $2.4 billion
  10. Toronto Raptors: $2.1 billion
  11. Philadelphia 76ers: $2 billion
  12. Miami Heat: $1.95 billion
  13. Portland Trail Blazers: $1.85 billion
  14. San Antonio Spurs: $1.8 billion
  15. Sacramento Kings: $1.775 billion
  16. Washington Wizards: $1.75 billion
  17. Phoenix Suns: $1.625 billion
  18. Denver Nuggets: $1.6 billion
  19. Milwaukee Bucks: $1.58 billion
  20. Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.575 billion
  21. Utah Jazz: $1.55 billion
  22. Indiana Pacers: $1.525 billion
  23. Atlanta Hawks: $1.52 billion
  24. Cleveland Cavaliers: $1.51 billion
  25. Charlotte Hornets: $1.5 billion
  26. Detroit Pistons: $1.45 billion
  27. Orlando Magic: $1.43 billion
  28. Minnesota Timberwolves: $1.375 billion
  29. New Orleans Pelicans: $1.35 billion
  30. Memphis Grizzlies: $1.3 billion

The Raptors are among this year’s big “winners,” with their value rising 25%, from $1.675 billion a year ago to $2.1 billion this year following their first NBA championship. The Clippers also had a noteworthy bump, moving from ninth place on Forbes’ list to sixth after landing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last summer.

Although every franchise’s value increased, the Nets had the smallest jump, just 6%. The Magic‘s modest 8% increase resulted in the team slipping from 23rd on last year’s list to 27th this year.

It’s worth noting that when a franchise has been sold in recent years, the price often exceeds Forbes’ valuation, so these figures are just estimates.

Mavericks Sign Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Waive Ryan Broekhoff

FEBRUARY 11: The Mavericks have officially signed Kidd-Gilchrist and waived Broekhoff, the team announced today (via Twitter).

FEBRUARY 10: Former Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will sign with the Mavericks, who will waive shooting guard Ryan Broekhoff to carve out roster space for their new addition.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon (Twitter link) first reported Kidd-Gilchrist’s contract agreement, while Marc Stein of the New York Times first reported that the two sides were nearing a deal and that Dallas would cut Broekhoff (Twitter links).

After Kidd-Gilchrist fell out of favor in Charlotte’s rotation and the team opted not to move his expiring contract, he agreed to a buyout in the final season of his four-year, $52MM contract. The former No. 2 overall pick appeared in only 12 games for the Hornets this year, after being a defensive staple in prior seasons. The Mavericks hope he can help flesh out their roster depth as they grapple with a wave of injuries.

The 6’6″, 29-year-old Broekhoff has appeared in 59 games during his two seasons with the Mavericks, including one start this season. Though seldom used (he’s averaging 10.7 minutes per game), Broekhoff is a career 40.3% long-range shooter on 2.4 looks a night, and connects on 81.5% of his free-throw attempts.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News tweets that Broekhoff is “universally loved” in Dallas’ locker room, but his expiring, minimum-salary contract made him the club’s most logical release candidate. He’ll clear waivers later this week if he goes unclaimed.

According to an earlier report, Kidd-Gilchrist surrendered $810,763 of his $13MM salary for 2019/20 in his buyout with Charlotte. He’ll make nearly that entire amount back on his new minimum-salary deal with Dallas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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