Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hopes Kemba Walker can be a dynamic offensive presence for the team, as he told Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link).
“We wanted to add some flexibility to our offense,” Cuban said. “Like last year at this point, we have great shot quality, particularly from the three, but we have struggled to make enough of them. Kemba will give (head coach Jason Kidd) more offensive flexibility.”
Townsend adds (via Twitter) that Walker’s contract, which hasn’t been officially signed yet, will be for the veteran’s minimum, as that’s all the Mavericks have to offer — they’re over the salary cap and used their taxpayer mid-level exception to sign JaVale McGee and give second-rounder Jaden Hardy a three-year deal.
Here’s more from the Southwest:
- Grizzlies star Ja Morant views Derrick Rose as a trailblazer for athletic point guards, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “He really made it to where people believe in guys like me,” Morant said after recording 27 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in Sunday’s victory over the Knicks. “Coming in, athletic guards, I felt like he was pretty much the one who kind of made it more famous. With how acrobatic his finish is, his touch around the rim, and how explosive he was. Coming in, he was my comparison. It’s crazy to be out there on the floor sharing a court with him.”
- Spurs forward Keldon Johnson had a mature approach to being benched last week, according to Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “I was letting myself down, my team down, my coaches down,” he said. “I just knew I had to play better.” Johnson signed a four-year, $74MM rookie scale extension in the offseason that begins in 2023/24. He’s averaging a career-high 20.4 points per night through 19 games.
- Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels and Thunder guard Josh Giddey could make history on Monday. If they both play in their matchup, they would be the first NBA Global Academy teammates to play against each other in an NBA game, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The two Australian point guards have been friends for several years and competed together for the Global Academy in Canberra, Australia, Mussatto notes. Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin, another lottery pick, is the third Global Academy alumnus to make it to the NBA.