Dorian Finney-Smith

Dorian Finney-Smith Re-Signs With Mavericks

JULY 11: The Mavericks have officially re-signed Finney-Smith, the team announced today in a press release.

JULY 2: The Mavericks will bring back restricted free agent Dorian Finney-Smith on a three-year, $12MM contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The third-year forward signed with Dallas in 2016 after going undrafted out of Florida. He missed most of the 2017/18 season with tendinitis in his left knee, but bounced back strong this year, averaging 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 81 games.

The Mavericks have been active since free agency began Sunday, re-signing Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber and J.J. Barea, reaching an extension agreement with Dwight Powell and adding sharpshooting guard Seth Curry.

Dallas is emphasizing continuity and now has seven players whose contracts will run for at least three years, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas is also pursuing Danny Green and may have room for another free agent as well.

The Mavs will be able to keep Finney-Smith’s sub-$2MM cap hold on their books and make their other offseason moves before going over the cap to lock up the forward using his Bird rights.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Oubre, Wright, Finney-Smith, Kleber Receive QOs

With the qualifying offer deadline just a few days away, several more players have been tendered QOs by their respective teams, which will ensure that they become restricted free agents (rather than unrestricted) on the evening of June 30. Those players are as follows:

Oubre’s name is the most interesting one in the bunch. Wojnarowski suggests that the former Wizard will be a candidate for a significant offer sheet, especially from a team with cap room that misses out on a high-profile unrestricted free agent.

As long as Oubre remains on the Suns‘ books, he’ll carry a cap hit in the neighborhood of $9.63MM, which will cut into the club’s projected cap room. Once they acquire Aron Baynes and Dario Saric and move T.J. Warren, the Suns project to have about $14MM in cap space. That number would increase to about $23MM if Phoenix were to renounce Oubre.

Wright had a strong finish to the season for the Grizzlies after being acquired in the Marc Gasol trade at the deadline, averaging 12.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 5.3 APG in 26 games for Memphis. With Mike Conley headed to Utah, Wright could be re-signed to share point guard duties with No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant.

As for Finney-Smith and Kleber, the Mavericks view them as quality role players who will fit in well with franchise cornerstones Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, says MacMahon. Because both players have such modest cap holds, they won’t compromise the team’s flexibility on the open market.

Dallas could keep those holds on the team’s books and eventually go over the cap to re-sign Finney-Smith and Kleber to new deals. The Mavs have Bird rights for Finney-Smith and Early Bird rights for Kleber.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southwest Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southwest Division:

Dorian Finney-Smith, Mavericks, 25, SF (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $3.4MM deal in 2016
The Mavericks can make Finney-Smith a restricted free agent by extending $1.93MM qualifying offer. That’s small change by NBA standards but there’s no guarantee they’ll do it. Finney-Smith has been a rotation player throughout his third season in the NBA with trades and injuries opening up playing time. He’s averaging 7.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG in 24.4 MPG and still hasn’t developed a 3-point shot (31.9%), though his defensive ratings are on the plus side. Finney-Smith seems like a second-unit player going forward, whether it’s with the Mavs or elsewhere.

Jonas Valanciunas, Grizzlies, 26, C (Up) — Signed to a four-year, $64MM deal in 2016
Valanciunas was putting up silly numbers with Memphis before a Grade 2 ankle sprain sidelined him for the remainder of the season. He was averaging 19.9 PPG, 10.7 RPG and 1.6 BPG in just 27.7 MPG in 19 games since being traded by the Raptors. Of course, it’s easier to do that on a bad team, but it certainly added an element of mystery to Valanciunas’ offseason plans. It seemed a safe bet that Valanciunas would exercise his player option for a guaranteed $17.6MM. He might choose now to test the market and gain long-term security, even if he makes a few million less next season.

Iman Shumpert, Rockets, 28, SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $40MM deal in 2015
Shumpert made his money with his current contract. He won’t be receiving any $11MM-per-year offers this summer. His 2017/18 season was a washout due to knee and foot injuries. He’s managed to stay on the court this season but his impact has been minimal. The Kings dealt him to Houston in a three-team trade in February and Shumpert has shot 29% from long range in 18 games with the Rockets. Shumpert’s 34% career average from deep is subpar and he’s never posted a PER above 12 in any season. He’ll likely be looking at veteran’s minimum offers this summer.

Stanley Johnson, Pelicans, 22, SF (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $12.85MM deal in 2015
Johnson was a colossal disappointment with the Pistons after a promising rookie campaign. A change of scenery, via a deadline trade, offered Johnson a fresh start. But he hasn’t been much better with New Orleans than he was in Detroit. Johnson’s strength is his perimeter defense and ability to guard a variety of positions, but he’s got to become more of an offensive threat for his career to blossom. The Pelicans can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $4.5MM qualify offer. One of the things their new GM must decide is whether to give the 22-year-old Johnson another year to improve his game.

Rudy Gay, Spurs, 32, PF (Up)– Signed to a one-year, $10.1MM deal in 2018
Quietly, Gay has delivered one of the best seasons of his career. His field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage are career highs. His rebounding average (6.8) is second only to his 7.4 mark in 2013/14, when he played 8.7 more minutes per game. His PER is a rock-solid 17.8. All the more impressive is that Gay tore his Achilles two seasons ago at age 30, an injury from which many players never fully recover. Gay may attract some interest from a contender seeking another veteran piece but the likely scenario is San Antonio rewarding him with a two- or three-year deal.

Southwest Rumors: Gasol, Nowitzki, Lauvergne, Finney-Smith

Spurs center Pau Gasol hopes to play for Spain in the FIBA World Cup next summer, according to a Sportando report. Gasol told the Spanish website El Dia he’ll wait until after the NBA season to make a final decision whether he’ll play for his home country as it attempts to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. “I am about to turn 39,” Gasol said. “I love playing with the national team and I would like to continue, and qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and help the team with my presence, if I am physically well my belief and my wish is to be in the World Cup.”

We have more from around the Southwest Division:

  • Dirk Nowitzki scrimmaged with his Mavericks teammates for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery in April, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports. Coach Rick Carlisle said Nowitzki should be available for training camp, which opens September 21, Sefko continues. Lottery pick Luka Doncic and J.J. Barea were among the other players in the scrimmage, Sefko adds.
  • Former Spurs big man Joffrey Lauvergne said he would have stayed in San Antonio if he didn’t get an offer to play with Turkey’s Fenerbahce, he told Fenerbahce TV in an interview relayed by Sportando. Lauvergne declined a $1.656MM player option to sign a two-year deal overseas with the anticipation of getting more playing time. “I wanted to come back to Europe and the team that I wanted to play is Fenerbahçe,” he said. “I accepted the offer without thinking but if Fenerbahçe didn’t offer me i would probably stay in Spurs for one more season.”
  • Mavericks swingman Dorian Finney-Smith should find more playing time in the frontcourt rather than the crowded backcourt, Sefko writes in a separate story. The club hopes he can develop into a 3-and-D player and he’ll earn more minutes if his outside shot improves, Sefko continues. It’s a pivotal year for Finney-Smith, who will become a restricted free agent after the season if he receives a qualifying offer or unrestricted if the club declines to do so, Sefko adds.

Southwest Notes: Aldridge, Gay, Gordon, Finney-Smith

A Spurs team that has been without Kawhi Leonard for most of the season has nonetheless been able to remain in playoff contention. LaMarcus Aldridge has been largely responsible for that — once labeled a bust of a free agent signing, Aldridge has stepped up as a clutch leader for San Antonio, Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News writes.

“He’s basically carried us and everybody else him with his talent and everybody else with their heart,” head coach Gregg Popovich said. “The game goes along, goes along, and then you realize that his heart is as big or bigger than anybody’s.

Aldridge, in his third season with the Spurs, is also in the midst of his best season since departing from Portland. In 66 games, he’s averaging 23.1 PPG 8.4 RPG, and 2.1 APG. Without Aldridge’s production, the Spurs — who recently fell out of playoff contention — would likely not still be in the hunt. His coaches and teammates recognize and appreciate his productivity in a time of need.

“We are not the most talented team in the league,” veteran Manu Ginobili said. “He is the one with the real resources.”

Check out more Southwest Division notes:

  • Rudy Gay escaped from the Kings to join the Spurs and chase a championship. San Antonio is in the postseason picture and Gay, who has played in just one playoff series in his career, wants to help the team, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News writes. “I don’t know how they do it, to be honest,” veteran Tony Parker said of players who annually miss the postseason. “I’ve been in eight conference finals, so it’s kind of weird all those guys. But [Rudy Gay] got a great opportunity now with us and we will try to make the most out of it.”
  • Injuries to both Chris Paul and James Harden have given Eric Gordon an opportunity to be the Rockets‘ fill-in starting point guard. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relays that Gordon likes the opportunity the injuries created for him. “I like it that way,” Gordon said. “It expands my game more. To me, it’s tougher to determine what I’m going to do when I have the ball in my hands more. If you’re a good playmaker and a good scorer and you have the ball in your hands more, you have a chance to do good things. I do pretty well when I’m the backup point guard.”
  • Dorian Finney-Smith served as a starting shooting guard for the Mavericks in order to get both him and Doug McDermott into the lineup, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes.“If you don’t start [Finney-Smith] at 2 or McDermott at 2, then somebody’s going to get really screwed on minutes,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “And we need to see both of those guys play because they’re both good players. 

Texas Notes: Spurs, Barnes, Finney-Smith, Harrison

Yesterday, Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News relayed that the original narrative about the Spurs‘ players only meeting regarding Kawhi Leonard being tense was not accurate, writing that Leonard even received support from some teammates who urged him not to return until he feels healthy enough to do so.

Today, Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio-Express News seconded his colleague Young’s reporting, with quotes from Spurs’ veterans Danny Green and Tony Parker. Green, who tweeted a strong denial to the alleged tense nature of the meeting, said “(the report) was incorrect, wrong, false. I guess that’s the only way to put it. There was a meeting. That’s probably the only thing that was true in the article. Nobody in (the meeting) was frustrated or took it the wrong way. We were communicating like adults.”

For his part, Parker neither affirmed or denied the original report, essentially telling Spurs’ reporters that what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room. “You should know better that I can’t talk about that. That’s private stuff, locker room stuff. We always talk as a team, but you know we can’t talk about that.”

Interestingly however, Orsborn writes in another, related story that Parker contrasted his quadriceps injury from last season with Leonard’s injury this season in a thought-provoking manner, saying “I’ve been through it. It was a rehab for me for eight months. Same kind of injury, but mine was a hundred times worse, but the same kind of injury. You just stay positive.” Parker also spoke highly about the Spurs’ medical team, while Leonard received a second opinion from outside medical professionals.

Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News also has some news from Dallas:

  • The experiment of Harrison Barnes at power forward is over, and Barnes couldn’t be happier about it. Since the Mavericks returned Barnes to small forward four games ago, he has averaged 24.3 points per game and when asked about the move back, simply said, “I love it.” Barnes goal for the remainder of the season is to continue to work on his playmaking, which makes sense considering Barnes only averages 2.0 assists per game, which doesn’t even crack the top-20 for small forwards.
  • Dorian Finney-Smith is one of a handful or more of Mavericks‘ players who aren’t guaranteed a spot of the Dallas roster next season, with his 2018/19 contract of $1.54MM currently non-guaranteed. But luckily for Finney-Smith and the others, the Mavs’ down year has given them an opportunity to showcase their talents for potential suitors. “It’s tough, losing like this, (but) they’re doing a good job playing hard,” says veteran J.J. Barea. “You never know who’s looking. They’re getting opportunities to play, to show themselves to everybody, to get better at what they do.”
  • Faced with a glut of big men on their roster, the Mavericks signed former Kentucky stand-out Aaron Harrison to a 10-day contract yesterday, electing to let Jameel Warney return to the G League. Whereas Warney clogged an already crowded position, Harrison is now only the second healthy player on the team’s entire roster who could reasonably be classified as a shooting guard.

Southwest Notes: Spurs, Leonard, Mavericks, Evans

The Spurs have made the playoffs every year for the past 20 seasons and won five titles along the way, but as Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer writes, the NBA’s model franchise is in the midst of its worst season since 1996/97 – Tim Duncan‘s senior season at Wake Forest – and is in serious danger of missing the playoffs.

The Spurs have the NBA’s toughest remaining schedule, with two games left against the Rockets, Warriors, Pelicans, Thunder, and Wizards. Add in the fact that the team is 2-8 over its last 10 games and only 2.5 games ahead of the eight, ninth, and tenth place teams in the Western Conference, and one can see why fans in San Antonio may have reason to worry for the first time in two decades.

Here’s more from around the Southwest Division:

  • In more positive Spurs‘ news, Michael C. Wright of ESPN is citing a highly knowledgeable source who tells him that Kawhi Leonard is working hard and putting himself through some “insane” workouts in an effort to return to action as quickly as possible.
  • In a Q&A session, columnist Kevin Sherrington of The Dallas Morning News answered some questions on Mavericks‘ owner Mark Cuban and whether NBA commissioner Adam Silver would step in and force Cuban to sell the team a la current Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson or former Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
  • Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Mavericks‘ swingman Dorian Finney-Smith is expected to return to action this weekend for the first time since injuring his left knee/quadriceps in early November.
  • The Grizzlies are being cautious with Tyreke Evans‘ recovery from a rib injury, writes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. Evans, who has been out since late February, remains day-to-day and will not play against the Jazz tomorrow night.

Southwest Notes: Aldridge, CP3, Grizzlies, Parsons

LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs haven’t always seen eye to eye over the last two years, but in the wake of a contract agreement that extended Aldridge’s deal by an additional two years, the big man sounds as happy as he’s ever been in San Antonio. As Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News details, Aldridge says “everything is great” between him and the Spurs, and that both sides are pleased with the extension.

“I feel like the talks this summer (between Aldridge and the Spurs) were very constructive and were kind of needed, having a heart to heart where you just say how you feel,” Aldridge said. “And I feel like Pop (Gregg Popovich) has been great about the things that I said or kind of needed or wanted, and so far it’s been great.”

Asked by Jabari Young of The Express-News (Twitter link) if he hopes to finish his career with the Spurs, Aldridge said that would most likely be his preference. Still, his new deal doesn’t add a ton of new years to his contract. As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets, the extension adds one guaranteed year worth $26MM, then one additional season that’s partially guaranteed ($7MM of $24MM). The pact also features a 15% trade kicker, Woj adds.

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • Troy Williams (Rockets) and Dorian Finney-Smith (Mavericks) saw the guarantees on their respective contracts increase this week, as our salary guarantee calendar shows. Williams’ salary for the season is now fully guaranteed.
  • In an in-depth feature for ESPN The Magazine, Jackie MacMullan provides an inside look at Chris Paul‘s decision to join the Rockets over the summer. Within the piece, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers admits that the relationship between him and Paul suffered toward the end.
  • After waiving Wade Baldwin and Rade Zagorac to set the regular season roster this week, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace said those decisions were “extremely difficult,” per Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “If this was a normal year when we didn’t have extra players who were viable then Wade and Rade wouldn’t be released,” Wallace said. Zagorac isn’t eligible to head to the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate, but the team thinks there’s a good chance they’ll bring him back down the road, tweets Tillery.
  • The Grizzlies‘ major free agent signing of 2016, Chandler Parsons, won’t be in the starting lineup to open the season, making him one of the NBA’s highest-paid bench players. Tillery has the details in another article for The Commercial Appeal.

Southwest Notes: Rondo, Rockets, Finney-Smith, Mavs

The pairing of Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo in the Pelicans’ backcourt should work out quite well and could turn New Orleans into a spoiler during the Western Conference playoffs next season, Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders argues. Holiday has never been hesitant to shoot and he’ll find plenty of good looks at shooting guard with defenses focusing on Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, Davies continues. Davies notes that Rondo has led the league in assists three times and is an underrated 3-point shooter and rebounder for his position who can also contribute defensively by making steals. A quality season would also help convince Cousins, who becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season, to stay put, Davies adds.

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • Billionaire Dan Friedkin has expressed interest in buying the RocketsMark Berman of Fox26Houston.com reports. Friedkin is owner and CEO of Gulf States Toyota and the president and CEO of the Friedkin Group. Forbes lists his net worth at $3.1 billion. Owner Leslie Alexander announced last month that the team was up for sale.
  • Forward Dorian Finney-Smith will have to earn a roster spot with the Mavericks by showing improvement in two key areas, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Sefko believes Finney-Smith needs to become tougher around the boards and improve his 3-point shooting or else he’ll wind up in a salary-saving transaction. All but $100K of Finney-Smith’s $1.3MM salary is not guaranteed and the contract doesn’t fully guarantee unless he’s on the roster through January 10.
  • The Mavericks need to dramatically improve their rebounding to have any shot at a playoff berth next season, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com writes. Dallas ranked last in overall rebounding and grabbed the fewest offensive rebounds in the league. Coach Rick Carlisle told Sneed his frontcourt players have to get more physical. “We’ve got to get some monsters that push and shove, throw people out of the way and go get the ball,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got to get more of those guys.”

Western Notes: Nuggets, Motiejunas, Mavs, Lakers

The race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference is wide open, but the Nuggets were unable to grain ground on Tuesday night, losing their third straight game. Tuesday’s loss was particularly frustrating since it came at home against the Kings, the team ahead of Denver for that eighth seed in the West. In the wake of Denver’s defeat, Michael Malone was critical of his team’s performance and effort, telling reporters that the Nuggets have “the worst defense in the NBA.”

“Right now we have no leadership, we have no veteran leadership on this team stepping up,” said the Nuggets head coach, per Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. “I don’t hear anybody speaking, taking the lead. We have two young guys trying to speak up on the team’s behalf, which you applaud them but you need some leadership to shine and step up when we are struggling, which we are.”

One person who didn’t agree with Malone’s assessment? Danilo Gallinari, who took exception to the idea that the Nuggets lack veteran leadership. “That’s definitely not the problem with this team,” Gallinari said, according to Dempsey. “Every veteran on this team can agree with me. So, I don’t agree with that.”

The Nuggets have frequently been mentioned as one of the teams most likely to make a move before the trade deadline, so the situation in Denver will be worth monitoring in the coming weeks. Let’s round up a few more notes from out of the Western Conference…

  • After signing on Tuesday with the Pelicans, Donatas Motiejunas confirmed today that he has been medically cleared by the team (Twitter link via Scott Kushner of The Advocate). Head coach Alvin Gentry indicated that he expects Motiejunas to play primarily at center in New Orleans (Twitter link via Kushner).
  • The Mavericks have a pair of players on non-guaranteed contracts, but Dorian Finney-Smith is safe, and Pierre Jackson looks like a good bet to stick on the roster past the salary guarantee deadline as well, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. The Mavs like what they’ve seen from Jackson so far, so the only reason to cut him would be to maintain roster flexibility going forward.
  • In Larry Nance’s absence, the Lakers have explored using Thomas Robinson and Tarik Black on the floor at the same time, and are intrigued by the pairing, per Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. Both Robinson and Black signed new contracts with Los Angeles during the offseason.