Mavericks Rumors

Mavericks To Sign Multiple Undrafted Free Agents

The Mavericks didn’t have a pick in Thursday’s draft, but they’ve been busy lining up deals with a handful of rookies who went undrafted in last night’s event.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Oregon’s Eugene Omoruyi and Louisville’s Carlik Jones have agreed to sign with Dallas, while Jeremy Woo of SI.com says (via Twitter) that Shawnee State’s EJ Onu has reached an agreement on a camp deal with the Mavs.

Omoruyi, who transferred to Oregon for his senior year after beginning his college career at Rutgers, averaged 17.1 PPG and 5.4 RPG on .473/.376/.765 shooting in 28 games (30.6 MPG) in 2020/21. The 6’6″ small forward earned All-Pac 12 First Team honors.

A 6’1″ guard, Jones also transferred for his senior year, making the move from Radford to Louisville. He put up 16.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 4.5 APG in 19 games (37.5 MPG) for the Cardinals and made the All-ACC First Team.

Onu, a 6’11” forward who was the 24th-ranked prospect on ESPN’s list of undrafted players, helped lead Shawnee State to a NAIA championship this spring.

SMU’s Feron Hunt also tweeted that he’s joining the Mavericks, and his marketing firm congratulated him on signing with Dallas, but it’s unclear if that’s just for Summer League or if he’ll be with the club for training camp. Hunt, a 6’8″ forward, declared for the draft after a junior year in which he recorded 11.1 PPG and 7.9 RPG in 16 games (28.2 MPG).

Draft Notes: Duarte, Warriors, Hornets, Mavs, Stashes

The Pacers ended up with Oregon’s Chris Duarte on draft night, using the No. 13 pick to select him. However, Duarte drew plenty of interest from other teams before Indiana snatched him up late in the lottery, writes J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

[RELATED: 2021 NBA Draft Results]

According to Michael, a Warriors official told Duarte on the way to the draft that he’d be their choice at No. 14 if he was on the board, and the team tried to make a trade with the Pacers after Indiana picked Duarte. The Knicks‘ “furious” attempts to move into the top 10 or the late lottery were believed to be focused on Duarte, Michael continues. And the Jazz offered the No. 30 pick and Joe Ingles in a deal to get in position to draft Duarte, Michael adds.

While a Warriors official denied to Michael that Duarte was ahead of eventual No. 14 pick Moses Moody on their board, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link) also hears that was the case.

Here’s more on the 2021 NBA draft, the day after:

  • Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak said there was huge demand for the No. 11 pick, which Charlotte used to draft James Bouknight.There was as much demand for that pick this year as I’ve ever seen for a pick in my years,” the veteran executive said, per Jonathan M. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
  • The Mavericks entered draft night without any picks, but president of basketball operations Nico Harrison said the team got “lots of calls” about getting into the first or second round. The price was ultimately “too rich for our blood,” according to Harrison (Twitter link via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News).
  • A pair of second-round picks by Atlantic teams are expected to be draft-and-stash prospects. The Celtics‘ No. 45 pick, Juhann Begarin, will likely remain in France for another season, per president of basketball operations Brad Stevens (Twitter link via Jared Weiss of The Athletic). And the Sixers’ No. 50 pick, Filip Petrusev, also isn’t expected to come over right away, as first reported by Rich Hofmann of The Athletic (Twitter link) and later confirmed by president of basketball operations Daryl Morey (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of The Athletic).

Michael Finley Finalizing Front Office Contract

  • Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, who could become an unrestricted free agent next summer, might be part of any major trade the team makes in the coming days, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. Brunson, whose $1.82MM salary must be guaranteed on August 1st, is a valuable asset the Mavs could use to reel in a bigger target, Townsend notes.
  • Michael Finley is finalizing a new contract with the Mavericks which will give him a larger role in their front office as assistant GM and VP of player personnel under new president of basketball operations Nico Harrison, Marc Stein of Substack tweets. Finley had been Dallas’ VP of basketball operations for the past six seasons.
  • Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, who could become an unrestricted free agent next summer, might be part of any major trade the team makes in the coming days, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. Brunson, whose $1.82MM salary must be guaranteed on August 1st, is a valuable asset the Mavs could use to reel in a bigger target, Townsend notes.

Mavs, Lakers, Pelicans Have Interest In Landry Shamet

The Mavericks, Lakers, and Pelicans are among the teams with interest in Nets shooting guard Landry Shamet, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

An earlier report indicated that Brooklyn has been willing to discuss Shamet in trade talks. Begley confirms as much, writing that several teams have been in touch with the Nets about a possible Shamet trade. Most of those scenarios would involve Brooklyn receiving a first-round pick, Begley adds.

Shamet, 24, averaged 9.3 PPG on .408/.387/.846 shooting in 61 games (23.0 MPG) for the Nets in 2020/21. He’s eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason and would reach restricted free agency in 2022 if he’s not extended, so if Brooklyn isn’t prepared to give him a raise, it makes sense that the team would gauge his value on the trade market. If he’s traded, he’d be joining his fourth team in four seasons.

The Mavs don’t have a first-round selection in 2021, but both the Pelicans (No. 17) and Lakers (No. 22) pick ahead of the Nets (No. 27) and could be in the market for low-cost veteran help on the wing. Begley notes that the Knicks, who hold the 19th and 21st overall picks, have had interest in Shamet in the past.

The Nets have also discussed DeAndre Jordan with potential trade partners, according to Begley, who hears from sources that one of those conversations was about a possible three-team deal.

Jordan, who has two years and $19.7MM left on his contract, probably doesn’t have positive trade value, so Brooklyn could use Shamet or the No. 27 pick as a sweetener to try to move his salary. However, it’s not clear if any of the talks involving Jordan have gained any traction, says Begley.

Jazz Considered Likely To Re-Sign Mike Conley

Free agent point guard Mike Conley is likely to return to the Jazz, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic, though Jones cautions that the price tag “won’t be cheap.”

The report comes on the heels of a pair of similar stories from Tuesday. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote that league executives believe Conley is most likely to remain in Utah, while Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said there’s a “strong belief” around the league that the Jazz will be able to shed some salary and make Conley a substantial offer.

The Mavericks have been cited repeatedly as one team expected to show interest in Conley, but their focus is said to be more on Kyle Lowry, which perhaps reflects their belief that Lowry will be more attainable.

As we outlined in our preview of Utah’s offseason, the team is already on the hook for nearly $130MM in guaranteed salary for nine players. Even if Conley is willing to take a pay cut after earning $34.5MM last season, a reasonable deal for him (perhaps in the neighborhood of $20MM+ per year) would push the Jazz way into luxury tax territory.

Virtually all of Utah’s biggest contracts belong to productive rotation players, so if the club wants to trim salary, it may come at the cost of a regular contributor. The Jazz have reportedly explored trades involving Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, and Derrick Favors.

Multiple reports have suggested the team could end up attaching this year’s No. 30 pick to Favors in a cost-cutting deal. Since Favors’ contract (two years, $20MM) isn’t especially unwieldy, it’s possible Utah could get a less expensive rotation player back in such a deal, though that’s just my speculation.

Here are a few more notes on the Jazz:

  • Sources tell Jones that the Jazz remain high on second-year shooting guard Elijah Hughes and believe he could play his way into the team’s 2021/22 rotation. The team likes what he brings to the table offensively and will be looking for him to show defensive improvement in Summer League play, per Jones.
  • Miles McBride, Ayo Dosunmu, and Nah’Shon Hyland are among the guards the Jazz like as possible targets if they keep the No. 30 pick, says Jones.
  • If Utah trades the No. 30 pick and remains in the draft, moving up is unlikely, but a move down is a possibility, according to Jones, who says there are multiple players the team likes in the second round. One potential second-round target would be Iowa’s Joe Wieskamp, Jones adds.

Lakers Notes: Trade Obstacles, Hollins, Penberthy, Workouts

The Lakers’ desire to land another big star is well-documented at this point, but their ability to actually make the money work is another matter altogether.

Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register goes through the obstacles facing the Lakers in a variety of different high-profile moves, such as a trade for Russell Westbrook or a sign-and-trade of Dennis Schroder for Kyle Lowry. Goon also discusses the idea of stars like Chris Paul, DeMar DeRozan, or Kyle Lowry taking pay cuts to play with LeBron James, explaining why it’s unlikely.

Lastly, Goon touches on the reports that the Lakers have been shopping a package of Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all over the league, and how poorly that reflects on the strength of that trade offer.

We have more from the Lakers:

  • Lionel Hollins will no longer be an assistant coach for the Lakers, reports Jovan Buha of The Athletic (via Twitter). Hollins’ contract expired without the team and him coming to an agreement on an extension. Kyle Goon tweets that Hollins indicated he would be open to coaching again in the right opportunity.
  • With the departure of Hollins, shooting coach Mike Penberthy is being promoted to a front-of-bench coaching position on head coach Frank Vogel‘s staff, Buha and Sam Amick write in a piece for The Athletic. Penberthy was offered a similar position on Jason Kidd‘s staff with the Mavericks before the Lakers matched their offer. Buha and Amick write that it’s unclear if the Lakers will add another assistant coach this offseason.
  • The Lakers worked out five prospects today, according to Lakers reporter Brad Turner: MaCio Teague, Spencer Littleson, Jose Alvarado, Brandon Boston Jr., and Moses Wright. Of the five, Boston is the highest-ranked, and could be an option either at 22 or if the Lakers look to trade back from 22 into the top of the second round in order to save money.

Free Agent Rumors: Mavs, Lowry, Kawhi, Knicks, Dinwiddie, More

While the Mavericks are expected to show interest in free agent point guard Mike Conley, veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein says Dallas’ focus in free agency will be on pursuing Kyle Lowry and attempting to re-sign Tim Hardaway Jr. Reports to date have suggested that Conley is more likely than Lowry to return to his current team, so it makes sense that the Mavs would prioritize Lowry.

According to Stein, the Mavericks were initially expected to wait to see if Kawhi Leonard gave any indication that he was thinking about leaving the Clippers. However, the team has moved off of those plans, says Stein. That’s probably a signal that Leonard is unlikely to depart Los Angeles.

Here are a few more updates related to free agency:

  • At least one key decision-maker in the Knicks‘ front office has “embraced” the idea of signing Spencer Dinwiddie this offseason, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, who hears that at least one other club plans to make the point guard a strong offer. Begley also confirms that DeMar DeRozan is among the other free agent guards on New York’s radar, though he says teams monitoring the situation view the Knicks as more likely to go after DeRozan if they’re able to acquire Damian Lillard in a trade.
  • The Suns are among the teams eyeing sharpshooter Reggie Bullock as a possible free agent target, Begley writes in a separate SNY.tv story. The Knicks have “significant” interest in re-signing Bullock, Begley adds.
  • Despite playing a modest role with the Nuggets down the stretch of the season, JaVale McGee is interested in re-signing with the team, two league sources tell Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Singer cautions that the veteran center figures to have multiple suitors on the open market.
  • Rockets guard Avery Bradley is expected to draw interest from multiple playoff contenders if he becomes a free agent, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link). Houston will have to make a decision soon on Bradley’s $5.9MM team option for 2021/22.

Scotto’s Latest: Harrell, Cavaliers, Knicks, Trent Jr., Jones

Lakers center Montrezl Harrell remains undecided on his player option as a Saturday deadline looms, sources tell Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype. Harrell is described as “50-50” on the option, which would pay him $9.7MM for next season.

Picking up the option would make the 27-year-old a trade chip for the Lakers, who are hoping to add another star to their roster. There was a report over the weekend that L.A. has discussed moving Kyle Kuzma and the 22nd pick to the Kings in exchange for Buddy Hield, and multiple sources tell Scotto that Harrell has been included in several variations of that hypothetical trade.

Sacramento may view Harrell as a replacement for Richaun Holmes, who is headed toward free agency. Scotto reiterates that the Mavericks, Hornets and Raptors are among the teams likely to enter the bidding for Holmes. He adds that the Lakers offered Kumza and the 22nd choice to the Pacers for pick No. 13 and salary filler, but Indiana turned it down.

There’s more from Scotto:

  • The Cavaliers have been contacted about the No. 3 pick by the Raptors, Thunder, Warriors and Knicks, but Oklahoma City didn’t talk to Cleveland about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was reportedly part of an offer the Thunder made to the Pistons for the top overall selection. Cleveland would like to acquire another top-10 pick, Scotto adds.
  • Before the Pelicans agreed to trade the 10th pick to the Grizzlies, the Knicks made an unsuccessful offer involving the 19th and 21st selections, according to league sources. New York is believed to be focused on Oregon’s Chris Duarte.
  • Several people around the league believe that Gary Trent Jr., who received a qualifying offer from the Raptors on Monday, could get an offer in the neighborhood of $18-$20MM per season.
  • The Grizzlies are making back-up point guard Tyus Jones available in trade talks, league sources tell Scotto. Jones will make $8.38MM next season in the final year of his contract.

Coaching/Front Office Notes: Watson, Raptors, Kokoskov, Mavs, More

Former Suns head coach Earl Watson appears set to return to the sidelines for an NBA team, as Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter) that Watson is finalizing a deal to join the Raptors. Watson – who was pursued by multiple teams, according to Haynes – would be an assistant on Nick Nurse‘s staff. Watson hasn’t coached in the NBA since 2017, but Devin Booker has credited the former Phoenix coach for his accelerated development at the NBA level, Haynes notes.

Here are a few more notes on coaching and front office hires from around the NBA:

  • Veteran assistant Popeye Jones, who spent over a decade in the NBA as a player, will leave the Sixers to take a job on Michael Malone‘s staff with the Nuggets, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). Marc Stein first reported (via Twitter) that Jones – a former Nuggets player – was emerging as a strong candidate to be hired by Denver.
  • Turkish club Fenerbahce officially announced today that head coach Igor Kokoskov won’t return to the team next season. As previously rumored, the former Suns coach is on track to take a job on Jason Kidd‘s staff with the Mavericks, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. In Dallas, Kokoskov will get the opportunity to reunite with Luka Doncic, whom he coached on the Slovenian national team in 2017.
  • Speaking of the Mavericks, they’ve hired Nets salary cap strategist Andrew Baker for a senior role in their front office under new president of basketball operations Nico Harrison, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
  • Fischer also identifies Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson and Pelicans assistant GM Bryson Graham as two potential targets for the Celtics as they seek a general manager under new president of basketball operations Brad Stevens.

Fischer’s Latest: Simmons, Beal, J. Richardson, Jazz, Kemba

Having claimed earlier in the week that the Sixers hadn’t really been able to get in touch with Ben Simmons this offseason, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report clarifies in his latest article that the team’s brass has maintained contact with Simmons and his representatives. However, the 76ers have been “unable to collaborate” so far on a summer development plan for the former No. 1 pick.

Although league executives who have spoken to Fischer speculate that the Sixers may try to hang onto Simmons in the hopes that Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will eventually ask out of Portland, the “overwhelming” expectation is that Simmons will be dealt before the start of the 2021/22 season. Of the early discussions Philadelphia has had about the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, talks with the Raptors are thought to be the most advanced, Fischer adds.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • As Bradley Beal continues to weigh his future with the Wizards, there’s a growing expectation around the league that the All-Star guard might still decide he wants to stay in D.C., says Fischer.
  • The Mavericks have explored trade scenarios involving Josh Richardson, according to Fischer. Richardson still has to make a decision on his $11.6MM player option for 2021/22, but if he opts in, his expiring contract represents a logical trade chip if Dallas wants the flexibility to make a run at a top free agent.
  • After previously identifying Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, and Royce O’Neale as potential trade candidates if the Jazz look to trim team salary, Fischer now says O’Neale is likely to stick around, but Bogdanovic and/or Ingles could still be moved. Utah has also explored the possibility of trading Derrick Favors along with the No. 30 pick, Fischer adds.
  • The Thunder‘s front office believes it should be able to flip Kemba Walker for assets this summer if his medicals are good, according to Fischer (Twitter link). Walker’s contract, which has two years and $73.7MM left on it, isn’t favorable, so Oklahoma City would likely need to take on an equally bad deal – or multiple unwanted contracts – in order to acquire assets with positive value.