Mavericks Rumors

Spencer Dinwiddie Earns Bonus, Guarantees 2023/24 Salary

Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie appeared in his 50th game of the season on Saturday in Utah, reaching an important contract-related milestone. As Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, Dinwiddie’s 50th appearance earned him a $1.5MM bonus this season and ensured that his 2023/24 salary will now be fully guaranteed.

When Dinwiddie signed a three-year contract with the Wizards during the 2021 offseason, he was coming off an ACL tear, so his deal included some protections related to playing time.

Since Dinwiddie appeared in more than 50 games last season, he earned his $1.5MM bonus in 2021/22 as well — as a result, it was considered likely to be earned in ’22/23, so it’s baked into his $20.17MM cap hit. Dinwiddie is now assured of making at least $19.5MM this season, via his $18MM base salary and $1.5MM games-played bonus — his deal also includes some likely and unlikely incentives related to how far the Mavericks advance in the playoffs.

As for next season, Dinwiddie’s salary ($18.86MM base, $2.57MM in incentives) had previously only been partially guaranteed for $10MM. Now, his full base salary will be guaranteed and at least $1.5MM of his incentives will be considered likely.

The full guarantee for 2023/24 reduces the odds that Dinwiddie will be waived in the summer, but given the way he has played this season, that didn’t really seem like a realistic outcome anyway.

The 29-year-old has been one of Dallas’ most reliable role players alongside Luka Doncic, averaging 17.6 points and 5.4 assists per game on .464/.412/.823 shooting in 50 starts (34.2 MPG). Dinwiddie leads the Mavs in both games played and overall minutes (1,708).

Luka Doncic Ruled Out For Saturday

Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who sustained a left ankle sprain on Thursday, has been ruled out for Saturday’s game in Utah, the team announced (via Twitter). However, the expectation is that Doncic won’t be sidelined for much – if any – additional time beyond that game.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who sustained a left ankle sprain on Thursday, has been ruled out for Saturday’s game in Utah, the team announced (via Twitter). However, the expectation is that Doncic won’t be sidelined for much – if any – additional time beyond that game.

Appearing on NBA Today on Friday (video link), ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said that a worst-case scenario for Doncic would probably be missing two games: tonight’s contest in Utah and Monday’s vs. Detroit. After that, the Mavericks aren’t back in action until next Thursday, when they host New Orleans, so Doncic would have had a full week to rest an ankle sprain that Woj describes as “mild.”

  • As the trade deadline nears, it will be tricky for the Mavericks to balance their desire to improve this year’s roster with a “future-focused approach,” writes Tim Cato of The Athletic. As Cato outlines, a deal for a veteran like Bojan Bogdanovic would upgrade this year’s roster, but Dallas likely won’t be inclined to move a future first-round pick at the deadline for a player who would only serve the club’s short-term interests.

Luka Doncic Day-To-Day After Spraining Ankle

11:01am: Doncic’s sprain is considered “mild” and he’ll be day-to-day going forward, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).


7:43am: On the same night that he was announced as an All-Star starter, Mavericks guard Luka Doncic exited his team’s win over Phoenix early in the first quarter due to a sprained left ankle, per Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News.

Doncic sustained the injury when he stepped on the foot of Suns forward Mikal Bridges about three minutes into Thursday’s game. He checked out of the contest shortly thereafter and didn’t return.

Any injury to a team’s franchise player is a cause for major concern, but the Mavericks expressed optimism after the game about Doncic’s outlook. As Tim MacMahon of ESPN writes, X-rays on the ankle were negative and head coach Jason Kidd said the Mavs star was in “good spirits.”

“He looked good, he looked fine,” Kidd said. “But we’ll see how he feels as we go forward.”

Doncic’s backcourt partner Spencer Dinwiddie told reporters, including Caplan, that Luka’s injury doesn’t appear to be one that will force him to sit out for an extended period.

“I don’t know if he’ll be back next game, or if he’ll miss a couple or something like that,” Dinwiddie said. “But it ain’t no cause for where we’re like, ‘Oh no, we’re about to go on a 10-game stretch without LD.’ He’s going to heal up nicely. He’s a young kid. Although he likes to think he’s old, he’s not.”

While the Mavs wait for further clarity on Doncic’s outlook, they can expect to be without another key player for the next few games. Kidd said on Thursday night that Christian Wood (fractured left thumb) will remain on the shelf for at least another week, according to Caplan. Wood has missed Dallas’ last four contests.

“I think it’s just week to week, just to see how the healing goes,” Kidd said before Thursday’s game. “It’s been a week now, so we’ll give you another update in a week just to see if there’s been any healing or improvement there.”

Antetokounmpo, James Head All-Star Starters; Embiid Falls Short

Lakers forward LeBron James tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Thursday with his 19th NBA All-Star selection. James, who currently shares the record with Abdul-Jabbar for most All-Star Games played with 18, was chosen as a starter, according to a league press release.

All of the starters were revealed on Thursday night.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic were the other starters chosen out of the Western Conference. James will serve as a team captain for the sixth straight year, since he received the most votes.

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, named a team captain for the third time, heads the list of starters out of the Eastern Conference. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Nets forward Kevin Durant, Nets guard Kyrie Irving, and Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell will join him, but the league’s second-leading scorer, Sixers center Joel Embiid (33.4 PPG), didn’t garner enough votes.

The starters are selected by a weighted voting process with the fan vote accounting for half of the final outcome. The player and media portions of the vote each counted for 25 percent. Three frontcourt players and two guards were selected from each conference.

Embiid finished third in the player and media voting among Eastern Conference frontcourt players but fourth in the fan voting. All voting results can be found here.

The game will be played Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City. James and Antetokounmpo will choose their teams shortly before the game begins. James will set the league record for most All-Star appearances if he plays, since Abdul-Jabbar did not play in the 1973 game after being chosen.

The reserves, which are chosen by the league’s coaches, will be announced Feb. 2.

Wizards Notes: Avdija, Porzingis, Kuzma, Dinwiddie

The Wizards‘ decision to trade Rui Hachimura this week was partly motivated by a desire to create a larger role for Deni Avdija, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Avdija was a lottery pick in 2020, and Hughes notes that his importance to the team is greater than ever now that Hachimura is gone.

“When we really looked at what we needed was to get Deni more responsibility, more opportunity to play,” general manager Tommy Sheppard explained in an interview with NBC (Twitter link).

Avdija has started 30 of the 45 games he has played this season, but his numbers aren’t spectacular at 8.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per night. Hughes suggests that Avdija may handle the ball more often with Hachimura gone, and he might see more time at power forward than small forward, which could be beneficial given his 27.5% shooting percentage from three-point range. Hughes notes that Avdija attempted just one three-pointer in Tuesday’s win at Dallas, but attacked the basket more frequently and shot a career-high 11 free throws.

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • The ankle injury that has Kristaps Porzingis out of action for at least the next two weeks comes at a crucial point of the season for the Wizards, Hughes states in a separate story. Porzingis is unlikely to play again before the February 9 trade deadline, and the team is running out of time to determine whether the current roster is good enough to earn a spot in the play-in tournament.
  • With free agency and the trade deadline both looming, Kyle Kuzma‘s future in Washington is uncertain, but he says in an interview with Josh Robbins of The Athletic that he’d gladly re-sign with the team this summer if he gets the right offer. “They showed me love,” Kuzma said of the Wizards. “They have allowed me to have a platform to show my game and show the league I’m not just a role player. I’m someone that’s arriving right now. That’s the biggest thing for me.”
  • Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who was notably unhappy with the locker room chemistry during his time with the Wizards, took a shot at his former team after Wednesday’s game. “For them, it’s a showcase,” Dinwiddie told Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). “They’re over there trying to get paid, not trying to play winning basketball. For a team that has real aspirations and has an MVP, went to the conference finals last year, we have to be better to a man.” Kuzma took to social media to answer Dinwiddie’s claim after the Wizards narrowly beat the Mavs, tweeting, “The funny thing is they don’t play winning basketball.”

Trade Candidate Watch: Impending Free Agent Centers

Leading up to the February 9 trade deadline, we’re keeping an eye on potential trade candidates from around the NBA. We’re continuing that series today with a closer look at a group of centers who could be on the market.


Jakob Poeltl, Spurs

Salary: $9.4MM

Now in his seventh season, Poeltl has developed into a quality starting center during his tenure with the Spurs. Notably, he has become a more confident and reliable scorer, and a much-improved passer, while cutting back on his fouls and maintaining his typical above-average rebounding and interior defense.

The scoring and passing were really important additions to the Austrian’s game. The scoring allows him to punish switches, and the play-making means he can still have an impact away from the basket — critical for a non-shooter like Poeltl.

The Spurs are reportedly looking for at least one first-round pick – and preferably two – for the 27-year-old. If a team trades for him, it needs to be both reasonably sure it can re-sign him and willing to pay him — he’s expected to command around $20MM per year as a free agent, which is what Jarrett Allen received from the Cavs in 2021.

Myles Turner, Pacers

Salary: $18MM

Turner is having a career year at the perfect time, as he is certainly boosting his stock ahead of free agency. He’s averaging career highs in points (17.0), rebounds (7.8), and free throw attempts (4.3) per game, as well as field goal percentage (55.1%) and three-point percentage (39.6%).

A renowned shot blocker who has led the league in that category twice, Turner’s game has blossomed with the arrival of Tyrese Haliburton. If the Pacers are unable to find common ground with Turner’s representatives on an extension, they would be wise to recoup value for him rather than lose him for nothing.

One potential red flag for would-be suitors: The 26-year-old has had extended injury absences each of the past two seasons, though he has been relatively healthy in 2022/23, having missed nine of 49 games to this point.

Christian Wood, Mavericks

Salary: $14.32MM

Wood’s situation is somewhat similar to Turner’s, as both big men are having strong seasons and are reportedly discussing extensions with their respective teams. A very talented offensive player, Wood has shot at least 50% from the field and 37% from three each of the past four seasons.

The 27-year-old has bounced around, having played for seven teams in as many NBA seasons. Wood was quite skinny entering the league, isn’t a great decision-maker, and has defensive concerns. There were also some question marks about his attitude, though those seem to have gone away as he’s gotten more minutes in recent years.

While Wood theoretically can play both frontcourt spots, he has clearly been more effective as a center, especially on defense. He’s currently dealing with a fractured left thumb, but that shouldn’t impact his value much unless he needs surgery, and there’s been no indication that’s necessary to this point.

Given what happened last year with losing Jalen Brunson for nothing in free agency, and the fact that Dallas is over the cap and can’t easily replace him, you would expect the front office to keep Wood around. Still, if an extension isn’t reached, he could very well be traded.

Serge Ibaka, Bucks

Salary: Veteran’s minimum

Ibaka was a good player for a long time, leading the NBA in blocks per game twice early in his career with Oklahoma City and then transforming into a solid outside shooter. He was a key rotation player for the Raptors when they won the title in 2019.

Unfortunately, Ibaka underwent back surgery in June 2021 while with the Clippers and hasn’t looked the same since. At 33 years old and in his 14th season, he certainly has a wealth of experience, but it’s unclear how much he can contribute at this point in his career.

The Bucks reportedly agreed to seek a trade for the veteran big man, who has only made 16 appearances in ‘22/23. The Nets, Heat and Hawks are among the teams said to have interest in Ibaka.

Mason Plumlee, Hornets

Salary: $9.08MM

An energetic big man, Plumlee is surprisingly having a career year for a 13-35 Hornets team that currently has the third-worst record in the NBA. Considering he turns 33 in a couple months, is an impending free agent, and the Hornets are going nowhere this season, it’s fair to wonder why Plumlee is playing a career-high 28.3 minutes per game, but he has provided solid production.

Through 48 games, all starts, the veteran center is averaging career highs in points (12.0), rebounds (9.8) and FG% (66.8). He’s also tied for a career-high in assists per game with 3.6.

All of those things are positives, but Plumlee is a subpar defensive player who isn’t a threat to shoot, though the right-handed center has busted out a one-handed lefty jump shot on occasion, and it is a sight to behold; he’s actually shooting above his career mark from the free throw line with it. He’s ideally more of a decent backup than a starter, but maybe the Hornets can get a second-round pick or two for him if they take on some money beyond this season.

Naz Reid, Timberwolves

Salary: $1.93MM

The Wolves have reportedly discussed an extension with Reid, with a maximum offer worth about $58MM over four years. I don’t expect him to get that much as a free agent, but considering an extension hasn’t been reached yet, obviously there’s a gap between what the Wolves have offered and what Reid is seeking.

The Clippers, Nuggets and Nets have all reportedly expressed interest in the 23-year-old, who has shown some interesting flashes when given minutes. However, his addition to this list is more cursory than anything, because it’s hard to envision the Wolves trading him unless they’re absolutely certain he will walk in free agency.

Karl-Anthony Towns is still injured, so Reid still has a big pretty spot in the rotation. The Wolves would want to get a player who can contribute right away in return if they moved him.

That’s complicated by the fact that the former undrafted free agent is earning less than $2MM this season – you can’t find many rotation-ready players at that price. If Reid does get traded, it seems more likely that he would be part of a multiplayer trade that sends out – and brings back – more salary than his alone.

Spurs Rumors: Poeltl, Free Agency, McDermott, Richardson

The Spurs are in the midst of discussing trades oriented around starting center Jakob Poeltl with over half a dozen clubs, reports LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk. Ellis previously stated in December that Poeltl, an unrestricted free agent in 2023, had been San Antonio’s most popular player on the trade market. With just a few weeks left until the February 9 trade deadline, interest appears to be heating up.

Two sources inform Ellis that the Raptors are interested in reacquiring Poeltl, whom Toronto initially traded as part of its deal for All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard in 2018. A three-team deal that includes the contract of Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. has been discussed.

The Celtics are interested in shoring up their front line with Poeltl, and are reportedly prepared to move an unprotected future first-round pick in 2028.

Because Poeltl is less concerned with low post touches than their incumbent starting centers, the Trail Blazers and Pelicans are reportedly also potentially intrigued by the Spurs’ big man. The Mavericks view a hypothetical addition of Poeltl as an improvement on their current big men, a Western Conference scout tells Ellis.

Conversations with the Warriors have stalled, as the Spurs don’t have much interest in acquiring either James Wiseman or Jonathan Kuminga in a Poeltl deal, per Ellis.

There’s more out of San Antonio:

  • A team insider tells Ellis that, should San Antonio not find a deal it likes, it would try to re-sign Poeltl. League sources tell Ellis that Poeltl could earn “at least” a four-year, $80MM contract as a free agent, far above an extension offer the Spurs could offer him this season, which would be worth up to $58MM.
  • The Lakers have stayed somewhat engaged in potential trade conversations with San Antonio as well, Ellis reports. L.A. may still want to offload the $47.1MM expiring contract of reserve point guard Russell Westbrook, and could be interested in adding sharpshooters Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott, in addition to Poeltl.
  • San Antonio wants solid returns for both McDermott and Richardson, a source informs Ellis. The Spurs are seeking a first-round draft pick for Richardson, while also hoping for solid value out of McDermott. “Dougie won’t be traded for a second round pick, I can tell you that,” the source told Ellis.

Mavericks, Kings Interested In Rui Hachimura

The Mavericks and Kings are among several teams that have contacted the Wizards about Rui Hachimura, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Hachimura, who has been on a scoring tear lately, addressed trade rumors over the weekend, saying he wants to be with a team that “believes in me.” Washington faces a potential salary crunch this offseason with Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma both holding player options, and Hachimura might be expendable due to luxury tax concerns.

Hachimura is making just $6.26MM this season, so teams would have to send back at least $4.9MM in salary to Washington in any deal. Scotto notes that the Kings can use either Terence Davis or Alex Len to match Hachimura’s salary.

There had been reports that Hachimura was offered to the Suns as part of a deal for Jae Crowder, although a Wizards official denied that rumor earlier this month. Scotto hears that Washington no longer has interest in Crowder because he may not be able to make an immediate impact after such a long layoff.

Southwest Notes: Mavs, Doncic, Jackson, Brooks, Rockets

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd isn’t pleased with the team’s effort on defense, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who notes that Dallas’ defensive rating, seventh in the NBA last season, has plummeted to 25th in 2022/23.

Two solid defenders, Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Green, returned to action on Wednesday following injury absences, but it was still the third consecutive game in which the Mavericks gave up at least 130 points.

“It’s attention to detail and focus,” Finney-Smith said. “It’s everything. I tried to come out here with some energy, but we still end up doing the same thing. It’s everybody. It ain’t just one person. We all gotta take the challenge and start guarding. Gotta be about the care factor. We’ve got to care about stopping somebody. You should get mad if they keep scoring.”

The Mavericks’ offense, which ranked 14th last season, is up to fifth so far in ’22/23, but Kidd told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn’t want his club to get in the habit of trying to outscore its opponents in shootouts.

“Tonight, we gave up 130 points and a team shot 57 percent,” Kidd said after the loss to Atlanta. “It’s a shootaround. In this league, if you do that, no matter if you have Luka or Kareem or LeBron, you’re going to lose. It doesn’t matter how many points you score, you’re always going to be short.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Echoing Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Luka Doncic denied a report that suggested he has “strongly indicated” he wants the team to make roster upgrades by the February 9 trade deadline, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. “Obviously, I know, the people who are next to me, who I talk to, they know that’s not true,” Doncic said. “I didn’t say nothing about that. I talk to (president of basketball operations) Nico (Harrison). I talk to Fin (assistant GM Michael Finley) more than I used to. But that’s just not the way I talk to them. We have great communication and that just stays between us.”
  • Grizzlies guard Ja Morant isn’t just advocating for one of his teammates to win Defensive Player of the Year — he thinks two of them should share the award. As Evan Barnes of The Commercial Appeal writes, Morant believes Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks both deserve DPOY honors, jokingly suggesting that voters (who can pick just one winner) write in “Jaren Brooks.”
  • Responding to John Wall‘s criticism of the Rockets and their culture, head coach Stephen Silas said he understood the veteran’s frustration about how his time in Houston played out, but pushed back against the notion that the team let its young prospects get away with too much, per Danielle Lerner of The Houston Chronicle. “As far as holding them accountable, some of it is learning from mistakes, learning through adversity, and learning from film sessions,” Silas said. “It’s important for me to lay out what the expectations are. But to expect young kids not to make mistakes is unrealistic.”

Mavs’ Christian Wood Sustains Broken Thumb

Mavericks forward/center Christian Wood has been diagnosed with a fractured left thumb and will be reevaluated next week, the team announced (via Twitter).

Wood sustained the injury in the second quarter of Wednesday’s loss to Atlanta, per the Mavs. He was able to finish the remainder of the game, which seems to bode well for his return timeline — he finished with 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 35 minutes. The injury is on his non-shooting hand.

Through 42 games (17 starts, 29.0 minutes) in his first season with Dallas, Wood is averaging 18.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks on .535/.385/.737 shooting. The 27-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

The Mavs have reportedly opened talks with Wood’s camp on an extension worth up to $77MM over four years, though the team seems to prefer a shorter-term commitment. If they’re unable to extend the big man, he could be on the trading block in the coming weeks.