Mavericks Rumors

Texas Notes: Rockets, Porzingis, Houston Coaching Search

Following a disappointing second-round playoff exit and the departure of coach Mike D’Antoni, the Rockets are faced with some serious questions about their future this offseason. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report spoke with rival NBA executives about Houston’s offseason options. Significant makeover suggestions include trades of All-Star guards James Harden or Russell Westbrook, both 31.

“Everything should be on the table, including moving Harden,” an Eastern Conference executive told Pincus.

“The Knicks might be one of the only teams that could be a fit for Westbrook,” a different Eastern Conference executive said. “Not sure if there are any others.”

The Rockets could absorb several of New York’s expiring veteran contracts in a deal.

Sam Cassell, Alvin Gentry, Kenny Atkinson, Chris Finch, Ime Udoka, David Vanterpool and even former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy have been floated as possibilities for the team’s new head coach.

There are more NBA notes out of the Lone Star State:

  • Former Mavericks team doctor T.O. Souryal is fairly optimistic about the long-term health of star big man Kristaps Porzingis, per Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. “[Porzingis] seems to have come back from his ACL [tear] stronger than ever, so that injury’s behind us now,” Souryal opined. “Each one of these injuries should be taken on its own merit.”
  • The Rockets‘ far-ranging search for a new head coach, conducted by GM Daryl Morey, is examined by Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Iko specifically unpacks the resumes of current Pelicans assistant Chris Finch and former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.
  • As we previously relayed, a pair of Texas teams are reportedly in the running for the services of veteran Real Madrid point guard Facundo Campazzo. The Spurs and Mavericks will be competing with the Timberwolves to add the 2017 EuroCup Defensive Player of the Year.

Evaluators Unanimously Pick Luka As Under-25 Player To Build Around

A panel of 15 NBA evaluators, including four general managers, unanimously agreed that Mavericks star Luka Doncic is the player under 25 whom they would most want to build a franchise around, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Suns guard Devin Booker, and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant received the next-highest scores in the poll.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Discusses His Future In Milwaukee

Bucks management had to be encouraged by Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s first public comments after winning his second consecutive MVP on Friday. Appearing from Greece on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” Antetokounmpo speculated about a lengthy future with the franchise (Twitter link).

“As long as everybody’s on the same page and as long as everybody’s fighting for the same thing,” he said, “fighting for the same thing every single day, which is to be a champion, I don’t see why not to be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years.”

Antetokounmpo could go a long way toward making that happen by accepting a maximum extension that the Bucks have promised to put on the table this offseason. That new contract would take effect with the 2021/22 season and could be worth more than $250MM over five years, depending on what happens with the salary cap.

If Antetokounmpo turns down the extension and opts for free agency, he’ll become the top player in what could be a loaded market next summer. The Bucks could still offer more years and a higher salary than any of their competitors, but they would prefer to get a long-term deal completed as soon as possible.

Bobby Marks of ESPN offers a preview of what the market for Antetoukoumpo might look like. He notes that Milwaukee has strung together two straight impressive regular seasons and won’t need a full roster overhaul to be in the title race. Marks suggests the Bucks might be interested in Thunder guard Chris Paul, but isn’t sure if a package of Eric Bledsoe, Robin Lopez (if he opts into his current deal), Ersan Ilyasova, D.J. Wilson and draft picks would be enough to get a deal done.

If Antetoukoumpo opts for free agency, Marks has Miami in the “driver’s seat” to land him. The Heat already have two All-Stars in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, along with a collection of young talent. They can keep their current core together by offering free agent guard Goran Dragic a one-year, $20MM contract this summer, then renouncing his rights to clear room for Antetokounmpo in 2021 and re-signing Dragic with their $4.8MM room exception.

Marks lists the Raptors, Mavericks and Knicks as other serious contenders to add Antetoukoumpo in free agency, along with the Lakers if LeBron James is willing to sacrifice $16.2MM in his 2021/22 salary.

NBA Announces 2019/20 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2019/20 season. Voting was completed prior to the league’s restart in July and was based on results through March 11.

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lakers forward LeBron James, widely considered the two frontrunners for this year’s MVP award, were the only two players to be unanimously voted to the All-NBA First Team this season. Rockets guard James Harden, Lakers big man Anthony Davis, and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic rounded out the First Team.

The full All-NBA teams are listed below, with their vote totals in parentheses. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for a Second Team vote, and one point for a Third Team vote, so Giannis and LeBron scored a perfect 500 — First Team nods from all 100 voters.

All-NBA First Team

All-NBA Second Team

All-NBA Third Team

Among the players who just missed the cut were Bucks forward Khris Middleton (82 points), Sixers center Joel Embiid (79), Wizards guard Bradley Beal (32), and Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (26). A total of 11 other players also received at least one All-NBA vote — the full results can be found right here.

Today’s announcement is great news from a financial perspective for Siakam and Simmons. As a result of Siakam’s Second Team nod and Simmons’ Third Team spot, both players will earn starting salaries worth 28% of the 2020/21 salary cap, rather than 25%. Players who sign rookie scale extensions can earn maximum salaries up to 30% of the cap if they negotiate Rose Rule language into their deals.

The exact value of those new contracts will depend on where exactly the ’20/21 cap lands. Assuming it stays the same as in 2019/20 ($109.141MM), Siakam’s four-year extension would be worth $136.9MM instead of the $122.2MM it’d be worth if it started at 25% of the cap. Simmons’ five-year pact would be worth $177.2MM rather than $158.3MM.

While it’s also worth noting that All-NBA berths are of great importance to players seeking super-max contracts, there aren’t any real developments to report on that front as a result of this year’s votes. Antetokounmpo and Gobert remain eligible for super-max extensions, but they’d already qualified based on their previous accolades.

Embiid would have become super-max eligible in 2021 if he had earned an All-NBA spot, but he’ll need to make an All-NBA team next season to gain eligibility now, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

Hoops Rumors readers accurately picked 12 of this season’s 15 All-NBA players in our spring poll. Beal, Embiid, and Devin Booker were your picks who didn’t make the official list. Of the 12 who made it, 11 made the exact team you projected, with Paul (who made Second Team instead of Third Team) representing the only exception.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wolves, Mavs, Spurs Among Likely Campazzo Suitors

While veteran point guard Facundo Campazzo remains with Real Madrid for the time being, the expectation is that he’ll sign an NBA contract after the 2020 free agent period begins, according to Jose Luis Martinez of (Spanish link), who identifies Campazzo’s most likely landing spot as Minnesota.

As Martinez explains, the presence of fellow Argentine and former Real Madrid point guard Pablo Prigioni on the Timberwolves‘ coaching staff helps make Minnesota an appealing destination for Campazzo, as does the fact that the club has little point guard depth on its roster behind D’Angelo Russell.

However, the Wolves aren’t the only team with an eye on Campazzo. The Mavericks and Spurs are also potential suitors, according to Martinez, who notes that San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich is a fan of the 29-year-old. The two Southwest rivals have previously been cited as having interest in Campazzo.

A two-time EuroLeague champion and three-time Spanish League champ, Campazzo has a decorated international résumé that also includes four Argentine League championships, a EuroCup Defensive Player of the Year award, and a silver medal in the 2019 World Cup.

In 28 EuroLeague games in 2019/20, Campazzo averaged 9.9 PPG and 7.1 APG (second behind Nick Calathes‘ 9.1). His three-point percentage slipped to 31.0% but he’s typically a reliable outside shooter, knocking down 37.5% of his tries from beyond the arc over the previous two EuroLeague seasons.

While Campazzo is still under contract with Real Madrid, his deal includes an NBA out and he sounds prepared to pay the money necessary to exercise that out.

O’Connor’s Latest: Bucks, CP3, Giannis, Clippers, Dragic

Shortly after the Bucks were eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday night, Marc Stein of The New York Times tweeted that a number of rival teams believe Milwaukee will explore a trade for Thunder point guard Chris Paul this offseason.

In his latest column, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer digs deeper into that idea, arguing that the Bucks need an upgrade at the point and making the case that Paul would be an ideal fit alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

While the Bucks likely wouldn’t face a ton of competition if they pursue Paul due to his exorbitant cap hit ($41.4MM in 2020/21), O’Connor cites league sources who say the Sixers have “seriously debated” the idea of going after the veteran guard. The Knicks – whose front office is now being run by CP3’s former agent Leon Rose – are also a potential suitor, as O’Connor notes.

The Bucks could conceivable outbid either team for Paul, but they don’t have a ton of appealing assets, in O’Connor’s view — after this year’s No. 24 overall pick, the next first-rounder Milwaukee can trade is in 2024.

Here’s more from O’Connor:

  • League sources view the Bucks as the “clear favorite” to retain Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021, but the Heat, Raptors, Warriors, and Mavericks are among the teams hoping to make a run at him, according to O’Connor.
  • Interestingly, O’Connor also reports that multiple league sources have said recently that the Clippers intend to pursue a deal for Antetokounmpo. It’s hard to imagine such a deal coming to fruition, but Giannis has an “admiration” for Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, O’Connor writes.
  • Goran Dragic is one player the Bucks could try to sign in free agency as they seek a point guard upgrade, but league sources expect Dragic to remain with the Heat, per O’Connor.
  • League sources expect a somewhat quiet trade market this offseason, says O’Connor.

Pacers Identify 14 Head Coaching Candidates

The Pacers are set to begin a wide-ranging search for a head coach that will include more than a dozen candidates, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As Wojnarowski details, Indiana is looking to interview the following candidates as the team seeks a replacement for Nate McMillan:

  • Former Kings and Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger
  • Timberwolves associate head coach David Vanterpool
  • Nets associate head coach Jacque Vaughn
  • Trail Blazers associate head coach Nate Tibbetts
  • Spurs assistants Becky Hammon and Will Hardy
  • Heat assistants Dan Craig and Chris Quinn
  • Mavericks assistants Jamahl Mosley and Stephen Silas
  • Bucks assistants Darvin Ham and Charles Lee
  • Sixers assistant Ime Udoka
  • Magic assistant Pat Delany

It remains to be seen whether the Pacers will be granted permission to speak with all of their potential targets. If they do, the team’s first round of virtual meetings would feature at least 14 interviews.

Many of the Pacers’ coaching candidates identified by Wojnarowski have been linked to other vacancies around the league. Vanterpool, Craig, Mosley, Silas, Ham, and Udoka, for example, are all believed to be interviewing for the Bulls’ job. Udoka and Ham have also been mentioned as potential 76ers candidates, as has Joerger. Vaughn was seriously considered for the Nets job before the team hired Steve Nash, while Hardy and Delany interviewed with the Knicks before they hired Tom Thibodeau.

[RELATED: 2020 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Others on Indiana’s list, such as Tibbetts and Hammon, have interviewed in past years for various NBA head coaching openings. Only a couple candidates – Quinn and Lee – haven’t received head coaching consideration in the past, as far as I can tell. Meanwhile, Joerger and Vaughn are the only names on the list with previous head coaching experience.

Mike D’Antoni has also been mentioned as a potential target for the Pacers, but he remains active in the postseason with the Rockets and there’s no guarantee he’ll leave Houston when his contract expires.

Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has spoken about wanting to hire a head coach who takes a “modern approach” to the game and has the ability to connect with younger players. McMillan’s old-school approach to offense was believed to be one reason why Indiana made a change.

Assessing The Mavericks' Roster

  • Following an exciting 2019/20 campaign that ended in a 4-2 loss to the Clippers, Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News takes a look at the Mavericks‘ roster. Caplan assesses player performance this season and projects how players will fare next year, looking at everyone from All-Star Luka Doncic to crucial veteran role player Trey Burke.

Barea Receiving Interest From Teams in Liga ACB

  • Eddie Sefko of looked at three keys areas in which Dallas needs to improve at in the offseason. Sefko suggested that the Mavericks need an enforcer like Marcus Morris of the Clippers, who was a factor on the boards and gave Dallas fits in the first round. While they showed improvement from last season in the rebounding department, the Mavs were outrebounded by three rebounds per game in their first-round series versus Los Angeles, Sefko notes.

The veteran point guard has missed five straight games for Los Angeles with a nagging left calf injury. In his absence, the Clippers turned to second-year combo guard Landry Shamet, who started in four games against the Mavericks in their first-round series. As a starter, the former Wichita State standout averaged 11.5 PPG and shot 50 percent from three-point range.

  • Eddie Sefko of looked at three keys areas in which Dallas needs to improve at in the offseason. Sefko suggested that the Mavericks need an enforcer like Marcus Morris of the Clippers, who was a factor on the boards and gave Dallas fits in the first round. While they showed improvement from last season in the rebounding department, the Mavs were outrebounded by three rebounds per game in their first-round series versus Los Angeles, Sefko notes.
  • Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea could possibly be playing overseas next season, according to Christian Santaella, who is a close friend of the 36-year-old. Santaella told that three teams from Liga ACB are interested in Barea’s services. The veteran point guard did not see significant playing time this season for Dallas, only averaging 15.5 MPG in 29 games.

Marcus Morris, Luka Doncic Receive Fines

Clippers forward Marcus Morris and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic have both been fined for incidents in Sunday’s Game 6 of their playoff series, the league announced.

Morris was fined $35K for “recklesssly striking” Doncic on a Flagrant 2 foul in the first quarter, resulting in Morris’ ejection (Twitter link). Morris’ history played a role in the amount of the fine, according to the statement, which notes that he has been “disciplined on several prior occasions for physical altercations on the court.”

Doncic received a $15K fine for “throwing the ball off the legs of a game official,” the league tweeted. It happened midway through the third quarter, and Doncic was assessed a technical foul.