Dwight Powell

Southwest Notes: Doncic, Powell, Jackson Jr., Wright

Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic picked up his 14th technical foul of the season on Wednesday against the Knicks, a decision that won’t be overturned, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets.

The league office previously rescinded Doncic’s technical foul against the Warriors on Feb. 27, but his most recent one will stand. Doncic is now officially two technical fouls away from a one-game suspension, according to league rules. That count will reset once the postseason begins.

The Mavericks (41-26) rank fifth in the Western Conference standings and have 15 games left on the season. The team lost to New York 107-77 at home, shooting a dismal 6-of-44 from behind-the-arc (14%), but it bounced back to defeat Houston 113-100 on Friday and Boston 95-92 on Sunday.

Here are some other notes from the Southwest:

  • The Mavericks are enamored with Dwight Powell‘s physical approach to the game, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News notes. Powell doesn’t score many points per game (8.0), but his toughness and durability on both ends have been vital. He’s started in 56 of his 67 games this season.
  • Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commerical Appeal explores why the Grizzlies’ championship odds may be determined by their second-best player. Starting point guard Ja Morant has put forth an MVP-caliber season, but Memphis will need production from Jaren Jackson Jr. to make a deep playoff run. Jackson has emerged as a versatile defender for the Grizzlies, averaging 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and a career-high 2.2 blocks per game.
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic hosts a Q&A with Spurs general manager Brian Wright, who’s helping the team usher into a new era of basketball. Wright was named general manager at 36 years old in 2019. He discussed his tenure with the team, Gregg Popovich and more in the brief interview.

Trade Rumors: Mavs, R. Lopez, Hawks, Wizards, Pistons, More

The Mavericks have made Dwight Powell available, but they remain uninterested in moving Jalen Brunson or Dorian Finney-Smith, reports Matt Moore of ActionNetwork.com. If those two players are off the table, Dallas may have a hard time finding a deal that significantly upgrades its roster.

According to Moore, Tim Hardaway Jr., who is out indefinitely due to a foot injury, is the player the Mavericks have shopped most aggressively. Hardaway was having a down year prior to his injury and is on a sizable long-term contract ($53.7MM for three years after this season), so his value will be limited.

Still, Moore notes that Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle is a big fan of Hardaway, whom he coached in Dallas. Moore has also heard that the Wizards and Mavericks discussed a deal involving Hardaway and Spencer Dinwiddie, though a source tells Moore that the two sides didn’t make much progress.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Magic have been willing to discuss center Robin Lopez, but are apparently asking for a first-round pick, according to Moore. I’d be surprised if a team is willing to meet that price.
  • The Hawks may have a quiet deadline, with John Collins appearing increasingly unlikely to be dealt, but they remain on the lookout for a backup point guard, Moore reports.
  • Within his trade-rumor roundup, Moore also says the Wizards have been willing to discuss anyone besides Bradley Beal or Kyle Kuzma, and adds that Pistons guard Cory Joseph is “gettable.” Moore has received mixed intel on whether Detroit is interested in moving Kelly Olynyk.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner appears less likely to be dealt now that the team has moved Domantas Sabonis, but the Knicks continue to pursue Turner, a league source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. The big man is dealing with a foot injury that may sideline him until at least March.
  • With Harrison Barnes looking like a good bet to stay with the Kings through the deadline, Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley III are the Sacramento players most often identified by rival teams as candidates to be moved in the next few hours, says Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Mavs Rumors: Brunson, Finney-Smith, Kleber, Powell, Dragic

Although Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith have been frequently mentioned in trade rumors within the last few weeks, Marc Stein says in his latest Substack article that the safe money is on both players remaining with the Mavericks through the February 10 trade deadline.

Dallas has rebuffed trade interest in Brunson and Finney-Smith so far, according to Stein, who notes that both players are important parts of the team’s current roster. Discussing Brunson specifically, Stein says the Mavs believe the point guard wants to stick with the team long-term and haven’t considered the idea of sending him to the Knicks in a deal that would allow them to reacquire their 2023 first-round pick.

While the Mavs would ideally like to extend both Brunson and Finney-Smith before they reach unrestricted free agency this summer, it’s unclear if either player will be interested in a four-year, $55.6MM deal, which is the most Dallas can offer at this point. A previous report stated that Finney-Smith may be seeking $15MM+ annually on his next contract, and Stein says Brunson is believed to after $18MM+ per year.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • As they consider potential deadline moves, the Mavs are looking to upgrade their offense rather than their defense, which is why they backed off pursuing rim-protecting Pacers center Myles Turner, Stein writes.
  • Dallas’ ability to make an impact trade may be hindered by the lack of interest in many of their players outside of Brunson and Finney-Smith, according to Stein. Tim Hardaway Jr. was having a down year before he got hurt, and the perceived trade value of Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell has “waned,” Stein adds.
  • Sources tell Stein that using their $10.9MM trade exception to acquire guard Dennis Schröder from the Celtics isn’t in the Mavs’ plans.
  • If Goran Dragic is bought out, either by the Raptors or by a team that acquires him as a salary-matching piece, Dallas would be among the frontrunners to sign him, but multiple clubs would be in the running, according to Stein.

Trade Rumors: Ross, Harris, Dinwiddie, Mavs, Grant, Pistons

The Magic are widely expected to trade Terrence Ross and/or Gary Harris before the February 10 trade deadline, assuming they can get sufficient draft capital in return, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column.

Ross and Harris aren’t among the top tier of players on this season’s trade market, so it may not require massive offers to get the Magic to part with one or both of them. For that reason, Stein writes, some people around the NBA view Ross in particular as a “natural target” for a team like the Jazz or Lakers — Utah and L.A. are seeking upgrades on the wing but have already given up future first-round picks and may not have the assets necessary to make a run at a higher-end target.

Here are a few more trade-related updates from around the league:

  • Some executives who spoke to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report believe the Wizards are open to discussing point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who hasn’t meshed especially well with Bradley Beal. While it makes sense that Dinwiddie wouldn’t be untouchable, I’d be a little surprised if the Wizards gave up on their backcourt pairing this quickly.
  • Pincus adds within the same story that the Mavericks have been mentioned as a possible “dark-horse” suitor for Pistons forward Jerami Grant. A Dallas offer would likely start with Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell, says Pincus.
  • Grant may well be traded at the deadline, especially if the Pistons can acquire a player like John Collins or Patrick Williams, but we shouldn’t be surprised if he stays put, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Edwards believes there’s a “real possibility” that general manager Troy Weaver decides to hang onto Grant until the offseason if he doesn’t get an offer he loves.
  • Edwards also expects the Pistons to remain on the lookout for a deal that nets them a promising young big man after their acquisition of Bol Bol fell through. Edwards identifies Kings forward Marvin Bagley III and Suns center Jalen Smith as two players worth keeping an eye on.

Pincus’ Latest: Pacers, Mavs, Cavs, Blazers, Hawks, Avdija

As they weigh their options on the trade market in the next few weeks, the Pacers will be seeking shooting and players who fit head coach Rick Carlisle‘s system, sources tell Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

As Pincus observes, this could make the Mavericks an intriguing trade partner for the Pacers. Reports have indicated that Dallas has interest in Myles Turner, and Carlisle may value some of his former players more than other teams would. According to Pincus, several rival executives had considered the Mavs the favorites to land Turner using a package that includes Dwight Powell as a salary-matching piece, plus either Jalen Brunson and/or Dorian Finney-Smith.

Turner’s health complicates matters, however. The Pacers’ big man is expected to be sidelined through the February 10 trade deadline due to a foot injury, which will likely temper enthusiasm among his potential suitors. Additionally, league sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link) that the Mavericks have recently backed off their pursuit of Turner as their defense has moved into the NBA’s top five.

While Turner may no longer be a top target, it’s still possible the Mavericks will consider moving Brunson or Finney-Smith for a roster upgrade, especially if they’re concerned about their ability to sign either player this summer, when they’ll reach unrestricted free agency. According to Pincus, there’s a sense around the league that Finney-Smith probably won’t get more than the full mid-level exception, whereas Brunson is “believed by many” to be seeking a four-year, $80MM deal.

Here’s more from Pincus:

  • Rival teams don’t get the sense that the Cavaliers are making Isaac Okoro or Kevin Love readily available, Pincus says. That doesn’t mean that either player – especially Love – is untouchable, but it sounds like they’re not being actively shopped.
  • There’s an expectation that the Trail Blazers will pursue deals that help them shed a few million dollars in salary to get under the luxury tax line, according to Pincus, who suggests Robert Covington, Jusuf Nurkic, and even Larry Nance Jr. are among Portland’s potential trade candidates. The Blazers gave up a first-round pick for Nance last summer.
  • Some executives around the NBA believe the Hawks acquired a first-round pick from New York in the Cam Reddish trade in an effort to improve a potential offer for Sixers star Ben Simmons, writes Pincus. Philadelphia wasn’t interested in Reddish, Pincus adds.
  • Multiple teams have interest in Wizards forward Deni Avdija, per Pincus. If Washington looks to upgrade its roster, it’s safe to assume Avdija is someone potential trade partners will ask about.

Mavs Notes: Chandler, Powell, Burke, Ntilikina

Former Mavericks center Tyson Chandler doesn’t officially have a role on his old team’s coaching staff, but he’s present at training camp and is sharing his knowledge with Dallas’ players, writes Dwain Price of Mavs.com.

“For me, I just want to help in any way I can,” Chandler said. “(Head coach) Jason (Kidd) called me and said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Nothing much. Working out.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, come by.’ So I came by and I’m just trying to lend my knowledge and help any way I can.”

Chandler isn’t sure whether he wants his unofficial role with the Mavericks to lead to something more formal down the road. For now though, Kidd is happy to have his former teammate around working with the club’s big men.

“He started helping out, and he wanted to see if he loved it,” Kidd said. “We’re lucky to have someone like that who can help our bigs. It was great to hear players mention him yesterday. That’s a sign of Tyson is doing the right thing.”

Let’s round up a few more Mavs notes…

  • Dallas’ plan to open the season is to have Dwight Powell starting at center alongside power forward Kristaps Porzingis, Kidd said on Wednesday (link via Eddie Sefko at Mavs.com). Kidd added that he wants to experiment a little with different lineups early in the year “to see what combinations work.”
  • The Mavericks said earlier this week they’re hoping to get 100% of their roster vaccinated against COVID-19, but guard Trey Burke said on Wednesday that he’s “not trying to rush into a decision,” per Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). Burke said he wants to learn more about possible long-term effects of the vaccine.
  • Kidd had a hand in the Mavericks’ decision to sign Frank Ntilikina, having pushed for the move, a source tells Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link).

Rosters Announced For Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

Four qualifying tournaments to determine the final four teams in the men’s basketball pool at the Tokyo Olympics are set to tip off on Tuesday. In advance of the Olympic qualifiers, the 24 teams involved have officially set their 12-man rosters, according to a press release from FIBA.

More than two dozen current NBA players are participating in the tournament, and 11 of the 24 teams competing for Olympic spots have at least one current NBA players on their respective rosters. Of those clubs, Team Canada has the biggest contingent of NBA players — eight of the 12 players on Nick Nurse‘s squad finished the season on an NBA roster. Turkey is next with four NBA players.

The four qualifying tournaments will take place in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, and Canada. Only the winner of each six-team group will advance to Tokyo. Those four winners will join Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

The teams that move onto the Olympics may tweak their rosters for Tokyo, depending on the availability of certain players. For instance, if Greece were to win its qualifying tournament, perhaps Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo – who remains active in the playoffs for now – would make an effort to join the team in Tokyo next month.

Here are the NBA players on the OQT rosters:

Belgrade, Serbia

Kaunas, Lithuania

Split, Croatia

Victoria, Canada

There are also many former NBA players among the 24 rosters, including Mario Hezonja (Croatia), Milos Teodosic (Serbia), Jan Vesely (Czech Republic), Timofey Mozgov (Russia), and Anthony Bennett (Canada).

To view the full rosters, be sure to visit FIBA’s official site and click through to each team from there.

14 NBA Players On Canada’s Preliminary Olympic Qualifying Roster

Team Canada has yet to secure a place in the men’s basketball event at the Tokyo Olympics, but the club should have a loaded roster as it looks to lock up a spot in a qualifying tournament next month.

Canada Basketball issued a press release today announcing its 21-player preliminary roster for the Olympic qualifier, and the group includes 14 players who finished the season on NBA contracts. Here’s the full list:

Of the seven players who didn’t play in the NBA this season, one (Bennett) is a former first overall pick, another (Nicholson) was also a first-round selection, and a third (Alexander) has NBA experience. Bell-Haynes has played in the G League, while Doornekamp, Ejim, and Nembhard all have extensive experience representing Canada in past international competitions.

Still, a few noteworthy names are missing from the list. Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is recovering from a torn ACL and won’t be able to participate. Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is also dealing with an injury, announcing on Instagram that rehabbing the plantar fasciitis in his right foot will prevent him from representing Team Canada.

Raptors big man Chris Boucher is a third notable omission. According to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link), Boucher is focused on rehabbing a knee sprain and wants to make sure he’s 100% healthy heading into 2021/22. He also has a somewhat uncertain contract situation — his $7MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed, though I’d be shocked if he’s not retained.

Even without Murray, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Boucher, Canada Basketball is in position to run out a roster stacked with NBA talent and led by former NBA Coach of the Year Nick Nurse.

While the final roster will depend in part on which players are available, none of the 21 players on the preliminary are on teams expected to still be alive for the conference finals. However, a club like Powell’s Mavericks or Barrett’s Knicks could surprise.

Team Canada will compete against Greece, China, Uruguay, Turkey, and the Czech Republic in a qualifying tournament in Victoria, British Columbia between June 29 and July 4. If the club wins that six-team qualifier, it will be part of the 12-team field in Tokyo and would be a legit contender for a medal.

Mavericks Expect Three Players To Return From Protocols

The Mavericks may have three players back from NBA health and safety protocols in time for Wednesday’s game at Utah, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell are all listed as questionable for the game after spending nearly three weeks in quarantine. However, Maxi Kleber is still in the protocols and won’t accompany the team to Salt Lake City.

“It’s great having them back on the floor … it’s three of our best defenders.” coach Rick Carlisle told Townsend (Twitter link). “I think we’ll have all three of them available.”

Finney-Smith, Richardson and Jalen Brunson all remained in Denver after a January 7 game due to coronavirus concerns. Finney-Smith and Richardson both tested positive for COVID-19, and all three spent more than a week in Denver. Positive tests were confirmed later for Powell and Kleber.

Brunson never got the virus, but he said it was difficult to be quarantined for so long, which resulted in missing four games.

“I don’t recommend taking 10 days off from playing a game,” he said, “but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

Mavs Expected To Have Enough Players For Wednesday’s Game

4:43pm: The four Dallas players listed below (Kleber, Richardson, Finney-Smith, and Brunson) and center Dwight Powell, will miss the Hornets game on Wednesday due to the health and safety protocols, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times (via Twitter).

Since reports have suggested that four Mavs players have returned positive COVID-19 tests, it seems safe to assume that all but one of those five players tested positive.

On the plus side, Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis has been listed as probable for tomorrow’s contest in Charlotte, per Stein.


4:00pm: The Mavericks‘ Monday game vs. New Orleans had to be postponed by the NBA because the league was conducting a contact tracing investigation following a positive coronavirus test and wouldn’t be able to clear enough Dallas players in time for tip-off.

However, despite the fact that four Mavericks players have reportedly registered positive COVID-19 tests, it sounds like there’s a good chance Wednesday’s game with the Hornets will be able to take place as scheduled.

Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press reports (via Twitter) that the Mavs’ team plane took off for Charlotte this afternoon, while Marc Stein of The New York Times says (via Twitter) that Dallas is expected to have 12 players available for tomorrow’s game.

The Mavs have a full 17-man roster, so if they anticipate having 12 players available, that would suggest that only one additional player – besides the four who reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus – will remain tied up in the league’s contact tracing protocols.

We should get more clarity on the availability of Mavs players when the team releases its injury report for Wednesday’s game. While we don’t know exactly which four players tested positive for the coronavirus, reports have suggested that Maxi Kleber was among them. Josh RichardsonDorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson were all self-isolating as of Friday, so it’s possible that one or more players from that trio also tested positive.