Dallas Mavericks

Cavaliers Face Two Important Deadlines Monday

Monday is an important day on the Cavaliers’ calendar for two reasons, notes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com.

It’s the expiration date for a trade exception the team acquired when it dealt Anderson Varejao to Portland last season. Currently at nearly $4.4MM, the exception started out at more than $9.6MM, but the Cavs used about $5.2MM when they acquired Kyle Korver from the Hawks in January.

Pluto speculates that Jazz point guard Shelvin Mack could be a good pickup with Cleveland searching for a veteran backup to Kyrie Irving. Mack has dropped out of the rotation in Utah, but he is averaging 7.3 points through 46 games and is shooting 36% from 3-point range, which would be an asset in Cleveland’s offense. Mack’s salary is a little more than $2.4MM, and he will be a free agent when the season ends.

Monday also marks the first day that Varejao could potentially return to Cleveland. NBA rules state that players who are traded must wait at least a full calendar year before rejoining their original team.

The Warriors waived Varejao two weeks ago to free up a roster spot to sign Briante Weber. Pluto writes that the 34-year-old big man could be on the Cavaliers’ radar as a fallback choice as they look for a replacement for the injured Chris Andersen. First they will see if any centers are realistic trade options, then they wait to see who gets bought out. Pluto says they prefer Andrew Bogut to Varejao, but it seems likely the Mavericks will keep him.

Woj: Butler Trade To The Celtics Still Possible

A potential trade sending Jimmy Butler from the Bulls to the Celtics will loom over deadline week, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link).

In a video interview, Wojnarowski says the teams have discussed a deal involving Butler, but talks haven’t progressed very far. He adds that Chicago officials have to to fully commit to the rebuilding process before they would be willing to give up Butler.

Wojnarowski says the trade would involve one of the Nets’ first-rounders — but probably not both — that Boston owns in the next two drafts. If the Bulls get this year’s pick, Wojnarowski states they can find a replacement for Derrick Rose, who was traded to the Knicks last summer. Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball are point guards mentioned as likely choices at the top of the draft.

Teaming Butler with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford would give the Celtics enough firepower to challenge Cleveland for supremacy in the East, Wojnarowski states, not just this season but for years to come.

Other highlights from the interview:

  • The Clippers and Thunder are both potential landing spots for Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler. However, both teams are low on draft picks and may not have the assets that Denver would want in return.
  • The Thunder were trying to acquire Kings forward Rudy Gay before a season-ending Achilles injury.
  • The Wizards would like to add another wing player to their bench, with the LakersLou Williams and the NetsBojan Bogdanovic as possibilities. Wojnarowski says Washington is willing to part with a draft pick to get veteran help.
  • The Suns have been shopping P.J. Tucker, Tyson Chandler and Brandon Knight, hoping to get picks or young players in return.
  • Chandler is one of several centers on the market, along with the SixersJahlil Okafor, the MavericksAndrew Bogut, the BucksGreg Monroe and the NetsBrook Lopez. However, there is limited interest in back-to-the basket centers. Wojnarowski speculates that one or two of them may be traded this week, but cautions that there aren’t enough buyers for all of them to be moved.
  • Unless something changes, Carmelo Anthony will remain with the Knicks. New York management hasn’t presented him with any deals that would tempt him to waive his no-trade clause. Most of the teams that were interested in dealing for Anthony are now “looking in other directions,” but Wojnarowski thinks the Clippers might revisit their attempt to land Anthony this summer.

Celtics May Pursue Danilo Gallinari

The Celtics may try to pick up Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari before Thursday’s trade deadline, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald.

Boston GM Danny Ainge has long been a fan of Gallinari, according to Bulpett, and has tried to deal for him before. There haven’t been any trade rumors linking the Celtics and Gallinari this year, but the author notes that was also true with Isaiah Thomas before Ainge dealt for him two years ago.

Gallinari has been slowed by a groin injury and hasn’t played since February 1st. He has a player option worth $16.1MM next season.

Boston is hoping to add another scorer through trade, and Ainge has been active in talks during All-Star Weekend, both as a main participant and a facilitator, according to Bulpett. So far, Ainge hasn’t found a deal worth giving up his most valuable assets, which include the Nets’ first-rounders this season and in 2018.

“Danny’s let it be known that he’s willing to talk about the Nets’ picks,” said an unidentified executive. “But you want one of those guys, you have to be willing to give up a star.”

Ainge would also prefer to stay away from players whose contracts expire this year or next year. The Celtics had some interest in Serge Ibaka before Orlando traded him to Toronto, but they weren’t willing to part with much because they weren’t sure they could re-sign him in free agency.

Bulpett adds that the Celtics are very protective of their cap space and are reluctant to make a move that would hurt them on the free agent market. He speculates that it would take someone like Jimmy Butler or Paul George to tempt Boston to add significant salary in a pre-deadline trade.

The Celtics are also significantly less interested in trading for Jahlil Okafor than they were a year ago, Bulpett notes. They had talked to the Sixers about an Okafor deal at last year’s deadline, but after signing Al Horford the Celtics only want front-line players who they believe are compatible with him. Boston might have more interest in Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel, but the team won’t offer as much as it would have in 2016.

The author believes the Celtics would love to pick up Andrew Bogut from Dallas if the Mavericks decide to be sellers, but again wouldn’t pay a high price in a deal.

Mavericks GM Talks Trade Deadline, Barnes, Ferrell

Like a handful of other NBA teams, the Mavericks got off to a very slow start this season, but have looked better as of late. The team has won 11 of its last 18 games, and remains within striking distance of a playoff spot in the West, just three games behind the eighth-seeded Nuggets.

With next Thursday’s trade deadline fast approaching, general manager Donnie Nelson and the Mavs will have to decide whether it makes more sense to sell off veteran players and focus on the future, or whether to keep those players around to assist in the push for a postseason berth.

Appearing on ESPN Dallas Radio this week, Nelson addressed that subject and a handful of others, so let’s round up a few of the highlights, courtesy of a pair of articles from the The Dallas Morning News.

On whether the Mavs will buy or sell at the deadline:

“When you’re in the position that we’re in, there’s all kinds of different possibilities. You’re looking what’s in the best interest of your franchise, short-term and also long-term. To get the right veteran type of player at a position that will give us solid minutes, obviously you have to look at those things. Dirk [Nowitzki] gets into his twilight years, you’re always looking for an injection of youth and athleticism and energy and toughness. You’re always looking to add, you never want to subtract, but unfortunately in this league there aren’t many fools and you got to give to get.”

On the trade talks the Mavs are having as the deadline nears:

“We have daily conversations with pretty much everyone in the league and you’re always talking about the possibility. That’s kind of our job. There isn’t a single person that doesn’t come up in a discussion during the course of the season. So again, you’re always weighing those and measuring those opportunities. When something comes up you have to take a peek at it and if something comes up, one thing Mark Cuban isn’t is trigger shy.”

On whether the Mavs were more fortunate to sign Harrison Barnes or Seth Curry last summer:

“Oh, it was definitely Harrison. I don’t think anyone was expecting [Kevin Durant] to land in Golden State and that happened so fast … Obviously, we were all in the mix and preparing, but the thing happened so fast, literally within a probably a two-hour period it kind of came to fruition. Then to be in a position to get a starting center like Andrew Bogut, which was another because they clearly had to make room and make decisions. So that was a good two- or three-hour period for the old Mavericks.”

On why Yogi Ferrell couldn’t catch on with another NBA team before the Mavs signed him:

“That’s a great question. We currently have seven of those [undrafted] guys in our locker room, three of which are starting. You got Wes Matthews that went through the same thing. J.J. Barea, as you remember. I think it’s a couple things. First of all, the talent level is so significant and then the influx of international kids, sometimes kids get lost in the cracks. Then you always have the Division II or III guys or the low D-Is who don’t quite hit their stride. That’s the great thing obviously about the D-League is it gives these kids an opportunity to spread their wings and fly in NBA systems.”

Mavericks Notes: Bogut, Draft, Singh

Trade speculation has surrounded Andrew Bogut, but the big man doesn’t believe he will be traded before next week’s trade deadline, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes.  “That’s not a question for me to answer,” he said when asked if he thinks he’ll remain with the Mavs all season. “But I don’t think anything’s going to happen.”

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • Denver was able to land a quality center in exchange for a Jusuf Nurkic and a future first-round pick. Sefko believes (separate piece) that the Mavs should be able to land an even better haul for Bogut and one of their picks.
  • The Mavs will likely be looking for a point guard in the upcoming draft and the Dallas Morning News takes a look at Frank Ntilikina’s game. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks Ntilikina 11th among the prospects eligible for the 2017 draft.
  • Satnam Singh, who the Mavs selected with No. 52 overall pick in the 2015 draft, is trying to make it as a wrestler in the WWE, Sefko writes in a separate piece. Singh never got an opportunity to play for the NBA club, but he spent parts of the past two seasons with the team’s D-League affiliate.

Knicks, Lakers Top Forbes’ NBA Franchise Valuations

The Knicks have been one of the NBA’s most dysfunctional teams this season. On the court, the team has gone just 23-33, with $72MM man Joakim Noah failing to make a significant impact, and Jeff Hornacek and Phil Jackson not always on the same page when it came to the use of the triangle. Off the court, things have been even worse, with Jackson criticizing star forward Carmelo Anthony, and owner James Dolan at odds with former Knicks star Charles Oakley.

On the west coast, the Lakers haven’t been much better, racking up a 19-38 record, good for the No. 14 seed in the West. The team hasn’t made as many off-court headlines, but the structure of the front office is currently up in the air, with new advisor Magic Johnson publicly declaring that he wants to be the one calling the shots on roster decisions.

Despite the problems in New York and Los Angeles, the Knicks and Lakers remain the NBA’s two most valuable franchises, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. The Knicks and Lakers are the only teams valued at more than $3 billion by Forbes.

Team valuations are up around the league, with the Warriors leading the way among this year’s increases — according to Forbes, the Dubs are 37% more valuable that they were at this time in 2016. In total, 18 teams have a valuation exceeding $1 billion, which is up from 13 teams last year and just three teams in 2015. The average NBA franchise is now worth $1.36 billion, according to the report.

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

  1. New York Knicks: $3.3 billion
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: $3 billion
  3. Golden State Warriors: $2.6 billion
  4. Chicago Bulls: $2.5 billion
  5. Boston Celtics: $2.2 billion
  6. Los Angeles Clippers; $2 billion
  7. Brooklyn Nets: $1.8 billion
  8. Houston Rockets: $1.65 billion
  9. Dallas Mavericks: $1.45 billion
  10. Miami Heat: $1.35 billion
  11. Cleveland Cavaliers: $1.2 billion
  12. San Antonio Spurs: $1.175 billion
  13. Toronto Raptors: $1.125 billion
  14. Phoenix Suns: $1.1 billion
  15. Sacramento Kings: $1.075 billion
  16. Portland Trail Blazers: $1.05 billion
  17. Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.025 billion
  18. Washington Wizards: $1 billion
  19. Orlando Magic: $920MM
  20. Utah Jazz: $910MM
  21. Detroit Pistons: $900MM
  22. Denver Nuggets: $890MM
  23. Atlanta Hawks: $885MM
  24. Indiana Pacers: $880MM
  25. Philadelphia 76ers: $800MM
  26. Memphis Grizzlies: $790MM
  27. Milwaukee Bucks: $785MM
  28. Charlotte Hornets: $780MM
  29. Minnesota Timberwolves: $770MM
  30. New Orleans Pelicans: $750MM

For comparison’s sake, Forbes’ 2016 valuations can be found right here.

Carlisle Doesn't Hesitate To Put Ferrell on Bench

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle did not hesitate to insert veteran point guard Deron Williams into the starting lineup despite the emergence of rookie  Yogi Ferrell, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports. Carlisle called Williams “a better player” than Ferrell, adding that Williams was “playing at close to All-Star caliber” before a toe injury sidelined him for eight games, MacMahon adds. Williams played 16 minutes in a blowout victory over the Magic on Saturday night, contributed seven points, four assists and three steals. Ferrell, who earned a two-year contract while filling in for Williams, played 32 minutes off the bench with Williams on a minutes restriction.

Mavs Notes: Williams, Ferrell, Trade Chips

Sidelined since January 25, veteran point guard Deron Williams has had his status updated to “questionable” for Saturday’s contest between the Mavs and Magic. The point guard has missed eight games nursing a sprained big toe on his left foot.

In 37 games with the Mavs this season, Williams has averaged 13.5 points and 7.1 assists per game and, after participating in shootaround earlier today, will be a game-time decision says Eddie Sefko of the Dallas News.

Williams’ absence, in addition to injuries and illness to J.J. Barea and Devin Harris, have contributed to the rise of 10-day signee Yogi Ferrell. Signed as a temporary replacement for previous 10-day signee Pierre Jackson, Ferrell was thrust into the spotlight in Dallas and did not disappoint. In seven games as a starter, Ferrell has averaged 15.3 points and 4.6 assists per game, enough to earn himself a two-year deal.

When Williams returns to the lineup, he will presumably assume his position in the starting five, but there’s no guarantee that the depth chart behind him will remain the same as it was prior to the Ferrell signing.

There’s more news out of Dallas:

  • An inconsistent season has put the Mavs in a unique position where there’s no direct indication that they’ll either be buyers or sellers at the deadline. If they do decide to make moves, they have a number of valuable trade chips, writes Eddie Sefko in a separate piece for the Dallas News. Andrew Bogut and his $11MM expiring deal will be coveted, as will Deron Williams and his one-year $9MM contract. Similarly, Dwight Powell and Justin Anderson could stand out as valuable assets with bargain contracts.
  • Since debuting with the Mavs at the end of January, undrafted rookie Yogi Ferrell has been a bright spot in an otherwise forgettable season. Ferrell hit the ground running with Dallas, starting in his first game with the club and Barry Horn of the Dallas News suggests that he could be partly responsible for a boost in the team’s TV ratings.
  • The Mavs will have the opportunity to draft a great player, regardless of position, writes Matt Mosley of the Dallas News. The writer specifies that, even despite the emergence of guards Seth Curry and Yogi Ferrell, if Lonzo Ball or Dennis Smith Jr. are available, them team should draft them anyway.

Southwest Notes: D’Antoni, Ferrell, Beverley

The Rockets have won just six of their last 14 games entering Tuesday’s contest, but coach Mike D’Antoni doesn’t believe the team should make a trade to get itself back on track, as Mark Berman of FOX 26 passes along via Twitter. “I like what I got,” D’Antoni said. “I’m sure [Daryl Morey] is going to do his job. You’re always trying to better the team. I’m real happy with what we have.”

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Yogi Ferrell nearly signed in Turkey to play for Darussafaka, the team coached by David Blatt, before the Mavs swooped in to sign him to a 10-day deal, Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated writes. The point guard has been impressive for Dallas and the team officially signed him to a two-year deal earlier today.
  • Ferrell style of play is a perfect fit for Mavs coach Rick Carlisle‘s system, Fischer writes in the same piece. “You have to attack the rim, you have to know how to score, you have to be a threat on offense, so that it can create not only for yourself and for your teammates as well,” Ferrell said.
  • Patrick Beverley was not pleased when Dwight Howard entered the Rockets‘ locker room prior to a game against his former team, David Aldrige of NBA.com relays. “Get Dwight Howard out of our locker room,” Beverley said forcefully, as several witnesses told Aldridge. “I’m serious.” Howard and Beverley were teammates in Houston for three seasons.

Mavericks Sign Yogi Ferrell To Two-Year Deal

FEBRUARY 7, 11:46am: The Mavs have officially signed Ferrell to a new two-year deal, the team announced today in a press release.

FEBRUARY 4, 9:28am: Bobby Marks of The Vertical sheds further light on Ferrell’s two-year deal, noting Ferrell would earn the prorated minimum of $208K this season, followed by $1.3MM in 2017/18. The Mavericks have already used their room exception and are now over the cap, limiting the team to minimum salary deals.

9:12am: Yogi Ferrell and the Mavericks will bypass a second 10-day contract, instead opting for a two-year deal, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports. Ferrell’s deal comes on the heels of a breakout 32-point performance against Portland on Friday. The deal is expected to be finalized Tuesday, when Ferrell’s 10-day contract expires.

Ferrell, who went undrafted in 2016, received his first NBA experience in Brooklyn this season, scoring 54 points over 10 games. Jeremy Lin was due to return from injury (or so the Nets thought), however, making Ferrell expendable — he was waived by the Nets in early December.

After scoring 18.7 PPG in the D-League, Ferrell signed a 10-day contract with Dallas and has run with the opportunity. Averaging 37.8 MPG through four games with the Mavs, it now appears Ferrell will be a mainstay in Rick Carlisle‘s rotation. The 23-year-old had the best game of his young career on Friday, racking up 32 points and nine three-pointers in a win over the Blazers.

The Mavs’ roster will feature 15 players on guaranteed contracts once Ferrell’s new deal is finalized.

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