Mavericks Rumors

G League Notes: Moreland, Select Contracts, Harrison, Draft

Several NBA teams secured returning rights for players who were in camp with them but failed to make the 15-man roster. Raptors 905 acquired center Eric Moreland from the Canton Charge, Cleveland’s affiliate, for forward Kyle Wiltjer, according to a G League release. The Raptors waived Moreland a week ago. Raptors 905 pulled off a similar deal with the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ affiliate, to acquire guard Kyle Collinsworth, who was waived at the same time as Moreland. Texas acquired the returning player rights to forwards C.J. Leslie and Kennedy Meeks, according to a G League release. The Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers’ affiliate, gained the returning player rights of forward Cory Jefferson in a three-team swap with the Agua Caliente Clippers and the Legends, according to another G League post. The Sixers waived Jefferson on October 13th.

We have more from the G League:

  • The league is putting together a “working group” that will determine which players are eligible for select contracts, G League president Malcolm Turner said in a Q&A session posting on the league’s website. “That group will be charged with identifying appropriate, eligible, elite talent, not only in terms of on-court performance and potential, but also in terms overall readiness for the G League. In addition to identification, that working group will really help us monitor the rollout and execution of this professional path … that working group will be charged with developing its own framework and lens for eligible players.” Beginning next year, the G League will offer “select contracts” worth $125K to top prospects who are at least 18 years old but aren’t yet eligible for the NBA draft.
  • Numerous NBA and G league executives, coaches, agents and players feel the select contract concept is intriguing, but there is widespread skepticism how much appeal the program will have to top-level prospects and how it will be implemented. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the topic in a lengthy analysis piece.
  • The Arizona Suns traded away the returning player rights of Shaquille Harrison to the Memphis Hustle in a deal involving four players and a draft pick, according to another G League release. Harrison was the odd man out in the Suns’ point guard competition, as he was waived early this week. It was still somewhat surprising they traded away his rights. The Grizzlies gave themselves a little extra depth at the G League level as protection against another Mike Conley injury.
  • NBA veterans such as Willie Reed, Hakim Warrick, DeJuan Blair, and Arnett Moultrie could be among the higher selections in the annual G League draft, which takes place on Saturday, Adam Johnson of reports. The Salt Lake City Stars own the top pick.

Why Mavs Signed, Waived Ding Yanyuhang Twice

  • The Mavericks signed and waived camp invitee Ding Yanyuhang twice before the regular season began. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks confirms to Hoops Rumors, Ding’s first Exhibit 10 contract with Dallas only included a $5K bonus, whereas the second deal bumped that bonus to the maximum allowable $50K. Ding will earn that money if he spends at least two months with the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League affiliate.

Mavs Have One Of NBA's Oldest Rosters

  • Bobby Marks of passes along some interesting data on the NBA’s opening-night rosters, tweeting that the Nuggets, Knicks, and Trail Blazers have the youngest rosters, while the Rockets, Heat, and Mavericks are on the other end of the spectrum. Meanwhile, the NBA announces that the opening-night rosters feature a total of 108 international players from 42 different countries and territories.

Mavs Writers Debate Jordan's Future; DSJ Showing Leadership

  • The Mavericks haven’t had a reliable and productive starting center since Tyson Chandler manned the middle for the 2011 championship squad, so the club is understandable excited about seeing DeAndre Jordan in action this season, writes Dwain Price of Still, there’s no guarantee that Jordan will remain in Dallas for longer than one year. A handful of Dallas Morning News scribes, including Eddie Sefko and Brad Townsend, provide their thoughts on Jordan’s potential future with the Mavs.
  • The Mavericks haven’t had a reliable and productive starting center since Tyson Chandler manned the middle for the 2011 championship squad, so the club is understandable excited about seeing DeAndre Jordan in action this season, writes Dwain Price of Still, there’s no guarantee that Jordan will remain in Dallas for longer than one year. A handful of Dallas Morning News scribes, including Eddie Sefko and Brad Townsend, provide their thoughts on Jordan’s potential future with the Mavs.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. is just 20 years old and is entering his second NBA season, but he has already showed leadership qualities, as Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle details. “When he talks, people listen,” Carlisle said of Smith, per Sefko. “He’s not a guy that’s going to give you a lot of unnecessary constant chatter. But he understands when to step forward and be strong as a leader verbally.”

Mavs Exercise Dennis Smith’s 2019/20 Option

Another team has exercised its 2019/20 option on a player with a rookie scale contract, with Dwain Price of reporting (via Twitter) that Dennis Smith Jr.‘s third-year option has been picked up by the Mavericks. The move locks in Smith’s $4,463,640 cap charge for the ’19/20 season.

Smith, who will turn 21 next month, had a solid rookie season in 2017/18 after Dallas made him the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft. He put up 15.2 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 3.8 RPG in 69 games (all starts). His role figures to be adjusted slightly this season due to the arrival of 2018’s third overall pick, Luka Doncic, another talented young ball-handler and play-maker.

Smith still has a fourth-year team option for 2020/21 and – assuming that option is exercised – will become extension-eligible during the summer of 2020.

The Knicks (Frank Ntilikina) and Nets (Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen) have also picked up rookie scale team options today. The deadline isn’t until October 31, but several clubs appear to be getting those decisions out of the way before the regular season gets underway.

Mavericks Waive Ding Yanyuhang

The Mavericks have announced that they have waived forward Ding Yanyuhang, according to a press release from the team. It’s the second time Ding has been cut by Dallas in the last four days, as he received a new contract on Friday for G League purposes. He figures to end up on the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League affiliate.

Ding was originally signed on July 23, but only appeared in one preseason game for the Mavericks. The 25-year-old has been a standout for China’s Shandong Golden Stars, as he won his second consecutive Chinese Basketball Association Domestic MVP award in the 2017-18 season. He had previously played for the Mavericks’ Orlando and Las Vegas Summer League teams in 2017.

The Mavericks are now carrying 17 players, including 15 on standard contracts, so their roster is down to the regular season limit.

Mavericks Re-Sign Ding Yanyuhang

The Mavericks have re-signed Ding Yanyuhang, a formality to place him on the team’s G League affiliate, the Texas Legends, Tim McMahon of ESPN tweets.

He was waived on Wednesday after missing most of the preseason because of tendinitis in his knee.

The 6’6” Ding has spent the last seven seasons playing professionally for China’s Shandong Golden Stars. In 45 games for Shandong last season, he averaged 26.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.2 APG and 1.6 SPG and earned his second consecutive Chinese Basketball Association Domestic MVP award.

Ding played on the Mavericks’ summer-league team last year.

Dirk Nowitzki Still Weeks Away From Returning

Mavericks big man Dirk Nowitzki is still weeks away from returning to action, head coach Rick Carlisle told reporters today. As Tim MacMahon of details, that means Nowitzki will miss the start of the season, his 21st with the Mavs.

“It’s going to be multiple weeks, I can tell you that,” Carlisle said. “But there’s no real soft or hard date [for Nowitzki’s return] at this point. He is doing better, but has not done any significant court work. His rehab work is ongoing, and we can update you in another 10 days or something like that.”

Nowitzki, who continues to recover from April ankle surgery, initially hoped to be ready to go to start the 2018/19 season, but suffered a setback last month. He won’t require any additional procedures on that ankle though, according to Carlisle (Twitter link via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News).

After averaging 12.0 PPG and 5.7 RPG in 77 games (24.7 MPG) last season, with a very respectable shooting line of .456/.409/.898, Nowitzki re-signed with the Mavericks in July. The 40-year-old has indicated that he’d like to keep playing as long as he remains healthy and productive, as he was last season. It appears this year is off to a more ominous start in terms of his health, however.

Harrison Barnes‘ availability for the start of the regular season also remains up in the air, according to Carlisle, who said today that Barnes will need to get in some “quality practice time” before Dallas’ opener in order to play in that game.

Mavericks Release Rashad Vaughn, Donte Ingram

Three days after signing them, the Mavericks have waived Rashad Vaughn and Donte Ingram, both of whom were on non-guaranteed contracts. Dallas confirmed the cuts today in a press release.

While Vaughn and Ingram didn’t spend much time with the Mavericks, they could be in line for a stint with Dallas’ G League club, the Texas Legends. Unless another team signs them once they clear waivers on Saturday, Vaughn and Ingram are eligible to become affiliate players for the Mavs and could earn bonuses worth up to $50K.

Vaughn was the Bucks’ first-round pick in 2015 and has played a total of 139 NBA games since then. In 28 games for the Bucks, Nets and Magic last season, Vaughn averaged 2.3 PPG in 7.6 MPG. He played for the Heat’s Summer League teams in Las Vegas and Sacramento this offseason.

Ingram, meanwhile, went undrafted in June after playing four years for Loyola University Chicago. He started 38 games as a senior and averaged 11.0 PPG and 6.4 RPG in 30.6 MPG. He also appeared in five games for the Bulls’ Las Vegas Summer League team in July, averaging 6.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG and 1.4 APG in 26.8 MPG.

Dallas’ roster now sits at 17 players — 15 on standard NBA contracts and a pair on two-way deals.