Dwight Powell

Dwight Powell Talks Recovery, Mavs’ Organization

Mavericks big man Dwight Powell, who continues to recover from the torn right Achilles he suffered back in January, tells Callie Caplin of the Dallas Morning News that “everything is on schedule” with regard to his recovery, adding that the coronavirus precautions are not impacting his rehab.

“Luckily it’s nothing I can’t do from home for now,” Powell explained. “I have a couple more months of really not too much, so I have everything I need here. The Mavs set me up with all the equipment, which there isn’t much of, to keep on track, and they’re checking in with me daily, so things are going good.”

Powell added that he remains in contact with the team’s medical staff via FaceTime, checking in every day. He said communication between him and his teammates has been solid.

“I think we’re doing a good job of reaching out on a daily and every-other-day basis with everybody, and we’ve got a group chat that’s pretty active and is light, humorous,” the big man said.

While the Mavericks remain away from their facility, the franchise is doing its best to help the community that is impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Powell credited Dallas’ leadership for how responsive the organization has been.

“That’s something I was taught and shown from Day 1 getting here from Mark [Cuban] and from Coach [Rick] Carlisle and from Dirk [Nowitzki], especially, at that time when he was here,” Powell said of the organization setting a high standard for giving back to the community. “They set the stage for that, so it doesn’t surprise any of us at all to see the leadership role that Mark has taken in this situation, the example that he’s set and the guidance he’s given all of us in how we can help as well.

“…We can’t be out there on the front lines, so those heroes that are doing the real work and the ones that are trying to get us back to normalcy, those are the ones who really need support, and I think that was one area that was being a little bit overlooked.”

Hiatus Notes: Dudley, Blazers, Ballmer, Booker, Mavs

Veteran forward Jared Dudley is pessimistic that the NBA will resume its season after this indefinite hiatus, he explained on FOX Sports Radio this week.

Dudley joins a growing list of NBA players and officials who are skeptical about whether the league can resume its regular season. The overall concern, he explains, is focused around limiting injuries.

“Once I heard the news of no more practice facilities, if that goes for a month or month-and-a-half to two months, I find it almost impossible to then have a season because now you’re telling a professional athlete, ‘For 60-to-80 days you’ve done no training,'” Dudley said.

League officials know that resuming the regular season after several weeks of limited training would be risky unless each team is awarded ample time of preparation, much like what’s already being offered in the fall with training camps. Dudley estimates that 70% of athletes don’t have a personal gym inside their home to utilize during this break.

“I’m not optimistic right now at all for a season to be honest with you,” Dudley said. “Unless something happens here in the next 30 days where they open back up the facilities. But how do they do that? Once everyone starts getting tested you’re going to hear more and more cases because it’s a very common thing to get.”

The NBA is discussing a plethora of different avenues to take as this unprecedented hiatus continues, with commissioner Adam Silver open to receiving suggestions from the league’s players, coaches, agents, executives and fans for the time being.

Here are some other notes related to the NBA’s hiatus:

  • The Trail Blazers and owner Jody Allen have committed more than $4MM towards COVID-19 relief efforts, the team announced on social media (Twitter link). The money will assist game night employees impacted by the league’s postponement.
  • The Ballmer Group, founded by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, have donated $1MM to community groups in Los Angeles to help during the coronavirus epidemic, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times writes.
  • Suns guard Devin Booker is pledging $100L through Twitch livestreaming to support non-profits that best serve the needs of the most vulnerable in the community, the team announced in a press release. Phoenix Suns Charities will match Booker’s initial donation, the release adds.
  • Mark Cuban, Luka Doncic and Dwight Powell have teamed up with the Mavericks Foundation to donate $500,000 to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital, the team announced (Twitter link). The funds will support childcare for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.

Dwight Powell Undergoes Achilles Tendon Surgery

Mavericks center Dwight Powell underwent surgery to repair the rupture of his right Achilles tendon on Monday, according to a team press release.

Powell suffered the season-ending injury against the Clippers on January 21. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bob Anderson in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the release adds.

There is no timetable for his return. It’s uncertain whether he’ll be ready for the start of the 2020/21 season, since recovery from an Achilles tear can take upwards of a full calendar year.

The former second-round pick appeared in 40 games, including 37 starts, this season. He averaged 9.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG in 26.5 MPG.

The Mavericks fortified their frontcourt by acquiring Willie Cauley-Stein from the Warriors over the weekend.

And-Ones: 2020 Draft, Powell, Trade Market, Reed

A trio of guards — Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and North Carolina’s Cole Anthony — top The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie’s latest draft board. Another guard, 18-year-old Killian Hayes, made the biggest move among the top 20 prospects. Hayes, who is playing in Europe, jumped from No. 16 to No. 7.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The Nuggets’ Malik Beasley, the Spurs’ Lonnie Walker and the Celtics’ Robert Williams are among five buy-low trade targets for teams seeking to fortify their benches, according to ESPN’s Mike Schmitz.
  • Dwight Powell‘s season-ending Achilles injury was not only a major setback for the Mavericks but also Team Canada, Michael Grange of SportsNet Canada notes. Powell was expected to be a foundation piece for Canada’s Olympic push and his size, smarts, and athleticism will be hard to replace, according to Grange.
  • Veteran center Willie Reed has signed with the G League and returned to the Salt Lake City Stars, Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw tweets. Reed, 29, was playing in Greece but parted ways with Olympiacos earlier this month.

Western Notes: Vanderbilt, Burks, Drummond, Howard

Nuggets reserve forwards Jarred Vanderbilt and Vlatko Cancar could be the beneficiaries of Mason Plumlee‘s misfortune, according to Mike Singer of the Denver Post.

Plumlee will be out 2-4 weeks with a foot injury. Vanderbilt, a 2018 second-round pick, had played in 13 G League games and four with the NBA club this season. Cancar had appeared in seven Nuggets games entering Wednesday’s action.

“Just find ways, that’s our biggest challenge right now,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said of Plumlee’s injury. “Don’t waste an ounce of energy on the guys that can’t play, let’s figure out who can play and go out there, fight and give ourselves a chance.”

We have more Western Conference news:

  • Alec Burks is the Warriors’ most valuable trade chip and the team is likely to make at least one deal before February’s deadline, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. The versatile wing, who scored 33 points on Monday, is making just $2.32MM this season. Several teams in recent weeks have expressed interest in Burks, according to Poole.
  • Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Sacramento’s Nemanja Bjelica, Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love and San Antonio’s Jakob Poeltl are potential trade targets for the Mavericks, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News writes. The Mavs are seeking help in the wake of Dwight Powell‘s season-ending injury.
  • In an unusual decision for a player of his age, Dwight Howard has decided to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend, according to a league press release. Howard, who has turned into a valuable member of the Lakers’ bench, participated in three previous dunk contests early in his career but hasn’t been in one since 2009.

Mavs Confirm Ruptured Achilles For Dwight Powell

Mavericks big man Dwight Powell has suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon, the team announced in a press release. When Powell left Tuesday’s game with an Achilles injury, there was a fear that it would be a season-ending tear, and tests today confirmed as much.

According to the Mavs, Powell is currently weighing surgical options and updates will be provided as appropriate. It’s safe to say the 28-year-old will miss the rest of this season, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready to go for the start of the 2020/21 campaign, since recovery from an Achilles tear can take upwards of a full calendar year.

It’s a tough blow for the Mavericks, who were leaning heavily on Powell as their starting center alongside power forward Kristaps Porzingis. The former second-round pick has averaged 9.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG with a .638 FG% and solid interior defense in 40 games (37 starts) for Dallas this season. His 26.5 minutes per contest represented a career high.

The Mavs have some assets that could be used in a trade to acquire another center if they want to find a short-term fix. Those assets include a pair of 2020 second-round picks – including the Warriors’ second-rounder – as well as Courtney Lee‘s expiring contract and a trade exception worth nearly $12MM.

Dallas won’t be able to apply for a disabled player exception for extra cap flexibility. The deadline to request a DPE was January 15.

For now, the Mavs will likely rely on Porzingis, Maxi Kleber, and Boban Marjanovic to take on increased roles in their frontcourt, with forwards like Dorian Finney-Smith and Justin Jackson perhaps spending more time at the four.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dwight Powell Feared To Have Suffered Torn Achilles

Dwight Powell went down with a non-contact injury in tonight’s tilt against the Clippers and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link) hears that it’s believed to be a torn right Achilles tendon. So far, it has only been diagnosed as an Achilles ailment, with further testing required to confirm the severity of the injury.

The center has been a key contributor for the Mavericks, manning the starting center spot in 36 of the team’s games this year. He’s been a major reason why Dallas has overachieved and is in good position to make the postseason.

The 28-year-old has averaged 9.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG with a 63.8% field goal percentage and solid interior defense in 26.5 minutes per contest.

Powell, who entered the night ranked sixth in the league in true shooting percentage, signed a three-year extension with the Mavs prior to the season. That extension doesn’t kick in until next year and it runs through the 2022/23 campaign, paying him approximately $11MM annually.

Southwest Notes: Ball, Powell, Van Exel, Guduric

Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball is happy to get a fresh start in New Orleans, leaving his up-and-down history with Los Angeles in the rear view mirror, he explained in an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Ball, 21, was traded to New Orleans along with Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and three first-round draft picks in exchange for All-Star forward Anthony Davis this past June.

“It was only a matter of time before a trade happened,” Ball said. “I pretty much knew a trade would happen. Any time you have a player like Anthony Davis available, I knew it was going to be my time. I was looking forward to it and I was excited for a new start. Getting out of L.A. for the first time in my life. I’m happy about it.

“It was just time for a change. I got hurt both years and didn’t do what I wanted to do. I was blessed to stay home and play in front of everybody, but it wasn’t working over there.”

New Orleans sports an impressive young nucleus of Ball, Ingram, Hart, Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and others entering the 2019/20 season. The team also managed to add veteran players such as J.J. Redick and Derrick Favors during the offseason.

“Our core could be even better here,” Ball said. “B.I., J. Hart were already part of the young core with me in L.A., and now we have Zion, Nickeil (Alexander-Walker), Jaxson (Hayes), and other guys that want to work and get better. The sky’s the limit.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division tonight:

  • Dwight Powell‘s absence from the Mavericks is preventing the team from getting a look at him alongside Kristaps Porzingis, writes Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. Powell, who suffered a left hamstring strain on the fifth day of training camp, is expected to miss the rest of the preseason. “There are no excuses,” head coach Rick Carlisle said after the team’s loss against Milwaukee on Friday. The Bucks finished the game shooting 50% from the field. “We would be doing better, certainly, if Powell was out there, but that isn’t how this game works. You have to concentrate on the guys that you have available.”
  • The Mavericks have brought back Nick Van Exel to the organization as a pro personnel scout, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link). Van Exel holds coaching experience with the Texas Legends, G League affiliate of the Mavericks, from 2014-16, also suiting up for Dallas as a player during the 2002/03 season.
  • David Cobb of the Memphis Commercial Appeal examines how a difficult childhood helped shape Grizzlies wing Marko Guduric, who signed a multiyear contract with the team back in July. “Innocent people died because of politics and whatever,” Guduric, who lived in Yugoslavia, explained. “That was my childhood. It was a difficult time, but I survived it.”

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Powell, House, Grizzlies

The Pelicans have become the latest NBA franchise to add a female assistant coach to their ranks, announcing today in a press release that WNBA Hall-of-Famer Teresa Weatherspoon has joined the franchise as a player development coach.

According to the Pelicans, Weatherspoon and newly-hired coach A.J. Diggs will serve as two-way assistant coaches, working closely with the club’s two-way players and accompanying them as they go back and forth between the Pelicans and the Erie BayHawks. Currently, New Orleans’ two-way players are Josh Gray and Zylan Cheatham.

“I am thrilled to welcome and AJ and Teresa to our coaching staff here in New Orleans,” Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said in a statement. “As we continue to put an increased emphasis on player development, AJ and Teresa will play an integral role with our younger players and will be a huge asset to our players and staff both here in New Orleans and Erie.”

Weatherspoon is the second former WNBA star to be hired the Pelicans this offseason, joining Swin Cash, who was named the club’s VP of basketball operations and team development.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Southwest…

Team Canada Dealing With Depleted Roster

Much has been made of the withdrawals from Team USA by prominent players as it prepares for the FIBA World Cup in China this summer. Team Canada has experienced similar issues.

Canada Basketball unveiled its training camp roster in a press release and many notable names are missing. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, Luguentz Dort, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Mfiondu Kabengele, Naz Mitrou-Long, Trey Lyles, Dwight Powell, Marial Shayok, Nik Stauskas, and Tristan Thompson were among the invitees who opted not to participate.

Knicks lottery pick RJ Barrett and Nuggets guard Jamal Murray are on the roster but will only participate in training camp. Barrett is dealing with a mild calf strain, while Murray is nursing an ankle injury, Blake Murphy of The Athletic tweets.

Among the NBA players who are on the roster and intend to participate in the tournament are Kings guard Cory Joseph, Heat forward Kelly Olynyk, Magic center Khem Birch and Raptors big man Chris Boucher. Toronto’s Nick Nurse is the head coach of the team, which will play seven exhibition games before its FIBA opener against Australia on September 1.