Kristaps Porzingis

Mavericks Notes: Kokoskov, St. Jean, Front Office, Porzingis

The Mavericks are working on adding former Suns head coach and current Fenerbahce coach Igor Kokoskov to Jason Kidd‘s staff as an assistant, according to multiple reports. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) first reported that Dallas was targeting Kokoskov, while Marc Stein (Twitter link) said there’s “tangible optimism” the Mavs will be able to hire him.

As Stein explains (via Twitter), Kokoskov is technically still under contract with Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague, so the Mavs and the Turkish club would have to come to some sort of agreement releasing him from that deal.

In addition to coaching the Suns for one season (2018/19), Kokoskov has worked as an assistant for seven other NBA teams. He and Kidd never overlapped at any of those spots, but Kokoskov does have one noteworthy connection to the current Mavs — he was the head coach of the Slovenian team that won gold in the 2017 EuroBasket tournament, led by Luka Doncic.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • The Mavericks are also expected to hire Greg St. Jean to their coaching staff, Stein reports (via Twitter). As Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group observes (via Twitter), St. Jean has been a player development coach and advance scout for the Lakers for the last two years and is tight with Kidd.
  • At a Mavs’ press conference on Thursday, Nico Harrison was introduced as both the team’s general manager and president of basketball operations, Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News notes (via Twitter). However, team owner Mark Cuban said he’ll still be the one making the final call on basketball decisions, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. I always do because it’s a lot of money,” Cuban said.
  • Cuban declined to say whether Haralabos Voulgaris is still with the Mavs, according to Caplan (Twitter link). A report last month indicated Voulgaris had gained an outsized influence within the team’s front office but wasn’t yet under contract beyond 2020/21.
  • While there has been speculation that the Mavs may explore trading Kristaps Porzingis this offseason, the team gave no indications on Thursday that such a move is in the cards. Kidd raved about Porzingis’ fit in Dallas and said he expects to see “a different KP” going forward, while Cuban said the big man has been “unfairly maligned” (Twitter links via Caplan).

Warriors Rumors: Wiseman, Payroll, Oubre, Curry

There’s an expectation among league personnel that the Warriors will consider shopping one or both of their lottery picks if they receive the Timberwolves’ first-round selection in tonight’s lottery, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. However, Fischer says the club has had no serious internal talks about the possibility of trading young center James Wiseman.

Appearing on The TK Show with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, Warriors owner Joe Lacob confirmed that the Dubs aren’t looking to move Wiseman, stating that it’s “very unlikely” the club will entertain offers for the 20-year-old this offseason. While Lacob didn’t close the door entirely on the possibility, he said it would “take a lot” for Golden State to consider such a move, adding that the team would have to be blown away.

Discussing the decision to select Wiseman at No. 2 in last year’s draft over LaMelo Ball, among others, Lacob acknowledged that Ball had a great rookie season in Charlotte, but said that he remains confident Wiseman can be an “All-Star level player,” noting that nothing he saw in 2020/21 diminished that belief.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • In his interview with Kawakami, Lacob repeatedly mentioned the repeater tax penalties facing the Warriors going forward, stressing that it’s impractical for the team to continue increasing its payroll indefinitely. However, he didn’t rule out using Golden State’s taxpayer mid-level exception this offseason, and Fischer says there aren’t internal concerns about the club’s growing tax bill.
  • The Warriors have interest in retaining Kelly Oubre, but a sign-and-trade remains a viable possibility, according to Fischer, who reports that multiple Spurs players seem eager to add Oubre. Fischer also identifies the Mavericks as a team that may have interest in the veteran forward, citing sources who say Dallas approached the Warriors prior to the trade deadline about a deal involving Oubre and Kristaps Porzingis. It’s unclear whether the Mavs’ front office shakeup would affect their level of interest in Oubre, Fischer adds.
  • Asked by Kawakami about the possibility of a Stephen Curry extension this offseason, Lacob declined to speculate on whether a deal will get done, but stated that he expects the two-time MVP to spend the rest of his career with the Warriors, noting that both sides want that to happen.

Doncic On Signing Supermax Extension: “I Think You Know The Answer”

Making his first comments since Sunday’s Game 7 loss to the Clippers, Mavericks star Luka Doncic discussed some of the pressing questions facing himself and the organization this summer.

The 22-year-old guard, who averaged 35 PPG, 10.3 APG and 7.9 RPG in his first round matchup with Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, offered a strong, if playfully coy, hint about whether or not he plans on signing a supermax extension this summer. “I think you know the answer,” he said with a large smile, as tweeted by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

As relayed by ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Doncic is set to become the first rookie in league history to sign a rookie max extension worth over $200MM. The deal, should he sign it, would begin in 2022/23 and would be worth approximately $201.5MM over five years, based on current cap projections. Marc Stein of The New York Times confirms (via Twitter) that the Mavs plan to put that offer on the table once free agency begins in August.

Doncic will officially qualify for the supermax (30% of the cap instead of 25%) once he’s formally named to this year’s All-NBA team, since he made last year’s All-NBA squad as well. Players need to make the All-NBA team in the season before the extension takes effect or in two of the previous three seasons in order to be supermax-eligible.

Doncic also reaffirmed his commitment to his partnership with Kristaps Porzingis, despite whispers that the two aren’t exactly the closest of friends. “He’s a great player. I think we’ve got to use him more, and that’s it,” Doncic said of Porzingis (Twitter link via Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News).

The Latvian big man was brought in via trade in 2019 and subsequently signed to a max contract, but the last two seasons have been riddled with injuries and up-and-down play. He averaged 20 points and nearly nine rebounds per game, but his once-vaunted defense seemed to slip, resulting in a career-low blocks per game. In the playoffs this year, he averaged just 13 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 33 minutes a night.

Finally, Doncic confirmed that he will be joining the Slovenian national team soon to help lead them through the Olympic qualifying rounds. Though the team has never qualified for the Olympics before, Doncic was part of the group, along with Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic and former NBA forward Anthony Randolph, that won the 2017 EuroBasket championship. Doncic is hoping to carry that success to this year’s qualifiers, and to lead his team to the Tokyo Olympics.

No vacation,” he said, as tweeted by Stein.

Mavs Notes: Carlisle, Luka, Porzingis, Offseason

The Mavericks fell to the Clippers in Game 7 on Sunday after holding leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the first-round series. However, despite the disappointing finish to the 2020/21 season, Mavs owner Mark Cuban told Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link) that the team isn’t considering replacing head coach Rick Carlisle.

“Let me tell you how I look at coaching,” Cuban said. “You don’t make a change to make a change. Unless you have someone that you know is much, much, much better, the grass is rarely greener on the other side.”

Here’s more out of Dallas in the wake of the team’s first-round loss:

  • Although Luka Doncic was good enough to beat the Clippers, the rest of the Mavericks’ roster wasn’t, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic. Improving Doncic’s supporting cast will be the focus of the team’s offseason. “This is going to be an important offseason on many levels,” Carlisle said on Sunday, per Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. “We have a lot of guys who are free agents or who have opt-ins or opt-outs with their deals, so there’s a chance that there will be a lot of change, but we don’t know.”
  • The Mavericks have difficult decisions forthcoming on players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Jalen Brunson, and others, but their decision on Doncic will be an easy one, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) in his offseason preview. Doncic will be eligible for a maximum-salary rookie scale extension that starts at 30% of the salary cap in 2022/23, and Dallas will likely waste no time in signing him to that deal. It projects to be worth about $201.5MM over five years based on 3% cap increases in 2021 and 2022.
  • The Mavericks acquired Kristaps Porzingis in the hopes that he’d complement Doncic as the team’s second star. However, it hasn’t worked out that way and it remains to be seen how Porzingis fits into the organization’s long-term plans, says Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who hears from sources that the big man has often felt “more like an afterthought than a co-star.” Porzingis spent much of the Mavs’ first-round series standing in the corner or on the wing as a floor-spacer and said after the series that it was a “mental battle” to play a role that wasn’t comfortable for him, MacMahon adds.
  • In a column for The Dallas Morning News, Kevin Sherrington wonders if Carlisle needs to make changes to his offensive scheme to better accommodate Porzingis. As Sherrington writes, moving on from Porzingis is also an option the Mavs could explore, but it would be hard to get great value in a trade given the 25-year-old’s injury history and contract (three years, $101.5MM remaining).

Southwest Notes: Alexander-Walker, KP, Adams, Mavs

Pelicans combo guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker found ways to improve during his second NBA season, writes Christian Clark of Clark highlights Alexander-Walker’s growth as a ball-handler. The 22-year-old, who may play for Team Canada this summer, averaged an encouraging 19.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 3.0 APG across the 13 games he started.

Alexander-Walker indicated that extended reps at the NBA level have yielded his growth with the Pelicans. “You start to catch onto things,” he said. “You start to read things and understand what buttons control different things.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis told reporters that the behavior that violated COVID-19 protocols and yielded a $50K league fine was a result of his not understanding the NBA’s stringent new rules as more businesses open across the country during the pandemic, tweets Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. “I was honestly a little bit confused (about the protocols), but I made a mistake and I paid for it,” Porzingis said. The Dallas big man, who is vaccinated, visited an indoor L.A.-area club.
  • In trading for and subsequently extending center Steven Adams, the Pelicans were hoping to establish an intense interior presence with their new frontcourt tandem of Adams and All-Star power forward Zion Williamson, writes Christian Clark of That approach did not even yield a top-10 finish in the West this season, prompting Clark to wonder if New Orleans head of basketball operations David Griffin will attempt to move on from Adams.
  • Though the Mavericks won both the first two games of their first-round matchup against the Clippers on the road, the team is looking to improve from a lackluster free-throw shooting performance, writes Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. “It’s an area where we can gain ground,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. The Mavericks connected on just 66% of their foul shots during the first two games of the series, down from 77.8% during the regular season. Swingman Tim Hardaway Jr., an unrestricted free agent this summer whom Dallas hopes to retain, has shot just 4-of-8 from the charity stripe.

NBA Fines Kristaps Porzingis $50K For Violating League Protocols

The NBA has fined Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis $50K for socializing in a club on Sunday, according to an official league press release (Twitter link).

Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets that Porzingis attended a Los Angeles-area strip club following the Mavericks’ first game against the Clippers. MacMahon adds that Porzingis has been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

This appearance violated a league rule designed to prevent players from attending a club, lounge or bar, whether or not the players themselves have received the vaccine for COVID-19.

“In consultation with medical experts, and based on all facts and circumstances, it was determined that his attendance did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and therefore no quarantine is necessary,” the league wrote in its statement.

League spokesman Mike Bass clarified the difference between the fine for Porzingis and the treatment of Lakers All-Star forward LeBron James, who also recently violated the league’s COVID-19 protocols, albeit under different circumstances, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

“LeBron briefly attended an outdoor event related to an individual commercial activity where everyone was either required to be vaccinated or return a negative (COVID-19) test,” Bass said. “The league reviews each potential protocol violation on a case-by-case basis, and determines quarantines and imposes discipline based on the individual facts and circumstances of each matter.”  James was not penalized with a fine or suspension.

Mavs Notes: Hardaway, Arena Capacity, Doncic-KP, Barea

Mavericks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. has had a terrific year for Dallas, but Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News wonders if the reserve wing will look for greater opportunity in unrestricted free agency this summer. Hardaway is in the final season of a four-year, $71MM deal he initially inked with the Knicks.

Hardaway has been primarily a bench contributor to the Mavericks this season, having been a reserve in 49 of the 70 games he has played. Townsend notes that Hardaway’s play has positioned him as a potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate for 2020/21. “If I go on the bench, I think this bench that we have is deep,” Hardaway said. “Whether I’m starting, whether I’m coming off the bench, it’s just me trying to be aggressive and be the best basketball player I can be for the team.”

“(Mavericks head coach) Rick Carlisle’s done a great job with him,” raved Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue. “He’s playing at a high level right now. I think he’s their X-factor.” 

There’s more out of Dallas:

  • The capacity of the Mavericks’ home arena, American Airlines Center, has been boosted to 12,000 fans for the playoffs, writes Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. Team owner Mark Cuban said he would prefer to have full-capacity crowds, but amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA is still imposing crowd capacity restrictions. “Now we know we’ll be at at least (12,000), and we’re pushing if we can get some modifications done to the arena in time to get to (15,000),” Cuban said in an interview with local radio station 105.3 KRLD-FM The Fan.
  • The ability of Mavericks All-Star guard Luka Doncic and forward Kristaps Porzingis to thrive alongside one another will not only dictate the team’s playoff ceiling this spring, but will have an impact on the team’s long-term future, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic.
  • Former Mavericks reserve point guard J.J. Barea, who recently joined Cangrejeros de Santurce in his native Puerto Rico, spoke with Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News in an extended conversation. Barea notes that his NBA career appears close to over, but he would relish the opportunity to perhaps return to Dallas as an assistant coach. “I want to stay in contact with the team for the next couple years, and then definitely, when a coaching job opens up, I want to keep getting my experience ready for coaching,” Barea said. “I would love to work for the Mavericks and be in Dallas and be a part of the Mavericks forever.”

Mavericks Notes: Terry, Redick, Porzingis, Cuban

Rookie guard Tyrell Terry is back with the Mavericks after missing the past eight weeks due to a personal matter, according to Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. Terry, the 31st pick in last year’s draft, has played just 11 games for Dallas. He was in the G League bubble with the Memphis Hustle in February, then left the Mavericks on March 17 to deal with personal issues.

Terry has been going through light workouts to regain his conditioning and isn’t in uniform for tonight’s game, Caplan adds. He hasn’t been in an NBA game since late January, and it’s uncertain if he’ll play at all before the season ends Sunday.

“It’s unlikely that he’ll dress (for) any of these three games because he’s been out for quite a while,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “But I shouldn’t say that’s 100%, either. We’ll have to see what our numbers look like.”

There’s more from Dallas:

  • After leaving Tuesday’s game with soreness in his right heel, Mavericks guard J.J. Redick won’t play any more during the regular season, tweets Eddie Sefko of “He’s getting his right heel evaluated and then we’ll see where we are,” Carlisle said.
  • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis is playing tonight for just the second time since April 22, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Porzingis, who has been dealing with soreness in his right knee, is on a minutes restriction, but Carlisle refused to specify what the limit is (Twitter link). Carlisle said Porzingis “understands it’s about helping the team win games but also getting him back” on the court and preparing for the postseason. He added that the team has determined its best lineups are with Porzingis at power forward, rather than center (Twitter link).
  • In an interview with Marca, a Spanish sports publication, Porzingis denied having any disputes with Luka Doncic (translation from Alessandro Maggi of Sportando). “I’ve never had any problems with my teammates off the court, I’ve always gotten along very well with them,” Porzingis said. “I don’t know what (team owner Mark) Cuban was talking about. I try to be as professional as possible, do what I have to do and be a soldier for the team.” In a recent radio interview, Cuban suggested there had been “dust-ups” between the two stars, relays Sam Quinn of CBS Sports.

Mavs Hope Porzingis Can Return On Wednesday

Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis will remain sidelined for Tuesday’s game in Memphis, but the team hopes he’ll be available to make his return at home on Wednesday vs. the Pelicans, head coach Rick Carlisle said today.

As Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News details, Carlisle said that Porzingis has done “very well over the last 10 days” as he has attempted to work his way back from right knee soreness. Porzingis, who was also recently bothered by a left ankle sprain, has played only once since April 22.

The Mavericks have just four games left on their regular season schedule, and Porzingis said today that he has made it a priority to get back in the lineup before the postseason begins, as Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News tweets. Carlisle agreed that’s the plan.

“Definitely better for him to get back and get some games under his belt before the playoffs start,” Carlisle said, per Townsend. “No question about that — for conditioning, for chemistry, for rhythm, for things having to do with the system. With him now playing some four defensively, that when he’s guarding the four-men, coverage responsibilities are different, so it’s important to get those kinds of reps in in game situations as well as practice situations.”

Having played in 40 of Dallas’ 68 games so far this season, Porzingis is averaging 20.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game with a career-best .473 FG%.

Heath Updates: Porzingis, Kleber, J. Brown, R. Williams, Hunter, Carter, Bradley

The Mavericks are in good shape to avoid a play-in game, but they may have to finish the regular season without big men Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

Porzingis has already been declared out for today’s game against the Cavaliers, marking the sixth straight game he will miss and the ninth in the last 10 games. He suffered a sprained left ankle on March 22, then returned three games later and had to leave with soreness in his right knee. He tested the knee before Friday’s game, shooting for about 15 minutes.

Kleber has sat out the past three games with pain in his right Achilles. He is officially listed as questionable for today, but coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t expect him to play.

“Not having Kleber or Porzingis puts us in a more precarious situation,” Carlisle said. “But we’ve just got to figure it out. Five games left. Every game is super meaningful. We understand it. We’re just going to stay in the present, stick to the process and keep working.”

Here are some more injury-related updates:

  • Celtics forward Jaylen Brown will miss today’s showdown with the Heat because of a sprained right ankle, tweets Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. The team had hoped Brown could be ready, but he will sit out his third straight game. Robert Williams is considered probable for today with turf toe, but coach Brad Stevens said there will be a lot of game-time decisions for him for the rest of the season, Murphy adds (via Twitter).
  • Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter will be a game-time decision at best on Monday, according to Kevin Chouinard of (Twitter link). Coach Nate McMillan indicated that a final decision will be made after today’s practice and Monday’s walkthrough. Hunter has missed the past 24 games and has only played twice since January 29.
  • Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. is dealing with blurry vision and slightly impaired depth perception, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. He will miss tonight’s game with a left eye abrasion (Twitter link).
  • Rockets coach Stephen Silas said there’s no timetable for a return by guard Avery Bradley, who is out for personal reasons, relays Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston (Twitter link).