Charlie Villanueva

And-Ones: Draft, Doncic, Villanueva, BIG3

In the view of NBA general managers and scouts, The league’s 2017 draft is poised to be the strongest in a decade, according to Chad Ford of (Insider-only link), who has updated his big board with profiles of this year’s top 30 prospects. Washington guard Markelle Fultz remains atop Ford’s board, though he acknowledges that it’s no slam dunk that Fultz will be the No. 1 pick in June. Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson, other candidates for that top spot, held their respective positions at Nos. 2 and 3, while Dennis Smith and Jonathan Isaac moved up to round out Ford’s top five.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Givony’s latest prospect profiles for The Vertical include a player who may be the early frontrunner to come off the board first in the 2018 draft. According to Givony, 17-year-old Luka Doncic is making waves in Europe with his play for Real Madrid this season, having become the youngest player to secure a rotation spot for a Euroleague team since Ricky Rubio in 2007. And so far, Doncic’s production is blowing away Rubio’s, Givony writes.

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • After appearing in 62 games last season for the Mavericks, longtime NBA big man Charlie Villanueva didn’t re-sign with Dallas or land with a new team in free agency. However, Villanueva doesn’t appear to be ready for retirement yet. The 11-year veteran issued the following tweet on Tuesday: “I want back in #NBAcomeback.”
  • Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams will co-captain one of the eight BIG3 teams this summer, according to a press release from the league. The team featuring Lewis, Williams, and three additional players will be known as the 3 Headed Monsters.
  • Cliff Alexander, who was in camp with the Magic in the fall and has spent the season with Orlando’s D-League affiliate, was traded on Tuesday. According to a press release, the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s NBADL affiliate, acquired Alexander from the Erie BayHawks in exchange for Long Island’s third-round pick in 2017. In 22 D-League games this season for Erie, the Kansas product has recorded 11.9 PPG and 8.0 RPG.

Southwest Notes: Bickerstaff, Fizdale, Pachulia, Mavs

Former Rockets coach J.B. Bickerstaff is being considered for a job on the Grizzlies‘ staff, tweets John Martin of A source told Martin that Bickerstaff traveled to Memphis Friday to meet with new coach David Fizdale. Bickerstaff had a 37-34 record with Houston after taking over for Kevin McHale in November. He pulled his name out of consideration in the Rockets’ coaching search before they hired Mike D’Antoni.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Fizdale has a reputation as a players’ coach, but that’s because he’s a communicator, not a pushover, writes Tom Schad of The Commercial Appeal. Fizdale spent the past two seasons as an assistant in Miami, where he became known for his directness. “That doesn’t mean you’re always nice. That means you’re true with your players,” former Heat point guard Beno Udrih said in an interview with ESPN 92.9. “I think players appreciate more if coaches, when he needs to be tough, he’s tough to them. And he can communicate in a different way that — picking up his voice — he does that. He has that very good balance to do that.”
  • The Mavericks hope to improve at center, so it’s likely that free agent Zaza Pachulia will wind up with another team, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Pachulia was a pleasant surprise after Dallas acquired him from the Bucks last summer in exchange for a second-round draft pick. He started 69 games and averaged close to a double-double with 8.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per night. The Mavs made a strong play for DeAndre Jordan last summer and are expected to chase free agent centers again. If they get one, they may not be able to afford to keep Pachulia as a backup.
  • Veteran Charlie Villanueva may also be leaving Dallas after a down shooting season, Sefko writes in a separate piece. Normally an effective stretch four, Villanueva connected on just 27% of his 172 3-point attempts this season. He is only 32, so there’s still a chance he’ll bounce back, but Sefko expects it to be with another organization.
  • The players the Mavericks target in free agency will provide a clue on the direction the franchise is taking, Sefko writes in a question-and-answer column. The writer says the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson would be a nice pickup at point guard, but Dallas may not want to live with his mistakes while giving him time to develop. Sefko thinks the Mavericks will pursue veteran free agents who can help them win right away.

Mavs Re-Sign Charlie Villanueva

AUGUST 6TH, 3:35pm: The signing is official, the Mavs announced via a press release.

AUGUST 4TH, 10:04pm: Villanueva announced via his personal Twitter account that the signing was completed, though no official announcement has been made by the Mavericks as of yet.

JULY 7TH, 1:04pm: The Mavs and Charlie Villanueva have agreed to a deal for the minimum salary, reports Tim MacMahon of (Twitter link). It’s a one-year arrangement, as Marc Stein of adds (on Twitter). It’s fully guaranteed, according to MacMahon (Twitter link).

MacMahon had anticipated the deal. Villanueva made the opening night roster for the Mavs on a non-guaranteed deal last year, and he stuck all season as he helped preserve an NBA career that had been flagging during his time with the Pistons. Dallas had apparently wanted to keep him around at the minimum, and Villanueva expressed his wish to keep playing for coach Rick Carlisle.

The Jeff Schwartz client will make $1,499,187 as a 10-year veteran, a raise on the $1,316,809 he saw on last season’s minimum. Still, Dallas will pay only $947,276, which is the two-year veteran’s minimum, and the league will cover the rest, since he’s on a one-year minimum deal. The Mavs can’t trade him without his consent since he re-signed for only one year, and thus would lose his Early Bird rights if Dallas were to trade him, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders points out (Twitter link).

Southwest Rumors: Villanueva, Gasol, Conley

The Southwest Division free agent bounty might take a hit if DeAndre Jordan indeed reverses course on his decision to sign with the Mavericks, as the Clippers are trying to convince him to do, but he’s not the only free agent the Mavs and Clippers have fought over. There’s more on that amid the latest from around the Southwest:

  • Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers put in a recruiting call to Charlie Villanueva, who also spoke with Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld, as Villanueva reveals on his own website (hat tip to TNT’s David Aldridge). The forward also indicates that the Kings were in the mix, too, but Villanueva made it clear that he’s pleased to have agreed to a deal with the Mavs.
  • Marc Gasol hinted that Mike Conley assured him he’ll be just as committed to re-signing with the Grizzlies next summer, when he’s a free agent, as Gasol was this year, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal writes in a subscription-only piece. Gasol said it never got to a point where he could envision himself playing outside of Memphis. “I was just sitting on it. I wanted to talk to Mike Conley,” Gasol said to Tillery. “Once I knew Mike Conley was on board, that sealed the deal. We both talked about the future. Once I knew he was on board it was a done deal.”
  • Some people within the Spurs wondered in retrospect if the team would have been better off giving some of Manu Ginobili‘s minutes to Marco Belinelli, but Ginobili remains valuable to the team and around the league, as Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News chronicles. Someone from another NBA team told Harvey that if he thought Ginobili would ever sign with a franchise other than the Spurs, his team would have pursued him. The veteran swingman has reportedly agreed to re-sign with the Spurs for what appears to be the $2.814MM room exception. Belinelli committed to the Kings.

Southwest Notes: Villanueva, Udrih, Conley

It’s a good bet that Charlie Villanueva will end up back with the Mavericks on a deal for the minimum salary, tweets Tim MacMahon of MacMahon wrote last month that the Mavs would welcome him back if he were to play for that amount, and Villanueva has spoken of his desire to play for coach Rick Carlisle again. There’s plenty more from the Southwest Division, where all five teams made the playoffs this past season even before the summer’s two most talkedabout free agents agreed to go there:

  • Beno Udrih‘s full salary of more than $2.17MM is guaranteed since he remained on the Grizzlies roster through Sunday. It had been partially guaranteed for only $923K, as the schedule of salary guarantee dates shows.
  • Mike Conley triggered a $200K bonus because the Grizzlies went to the second round of the playoffs this past season, so his cap figure for this coming season goes up by that amount, bringing it to $9,588,426, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • Rockets draft-and-stash point guard Sergio Llull has signed an extension with Real Madrid of Spain that runs until 2021, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Llull rejected reported overtures from Houston to join the NBA for this coming season, though his new deal does include a lower NBA buyout. Carlos Sanchez Blas of first reported the deal.
  • The Mavs will soon announce the hiring of Nick Van Exel as the team’s D-League coach, tweets Marc Stein of
  • Pelicans free agent Jimmer Fredette is mulling an offer from Italy’s Olimpia Milano, sources tell Paola De Persis of Sportando. Fredette would nonetheless prefer to stay in the NBA, De Persis notes.

Mavs Notes: Oden, Villanueva, Ellis

Earlier today, it was reported that Greg Oden will work out for the Mavs as part of a mini-camp the team is conducting. Tim MacMahon of (Twitter link) adds that Oden is on a list with guys like Samuel Dalembert and Jermaine O’Neal for a potential minimum-salary arrangement to be one of the team’s backup big men. Charlie Villanueva, Amar’e Stoudemire and Greg Smith are all free agents this summer, leaving Dwight Powell as the only remaining big man under contract that primarily came off the bench last season.

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • The team would welcome back Villanueva if he is willing to play for the veteran’s minimum again, MacMahon writes. The forward enjoyed playing in Dallas last season, which included his first career playoff appearance. “I like my role,” Villanueva said. “I embraced it, I accepted it. I’ve been in the league for 10 years and been coached by nine different coaches. I would love to experience the same coach again next year, but we’ll see.”
  • The Mavericks’ entire offseason hinges on Monta Ellis‘ decision to either opt in or out of his contract, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News opines. The shooting guard is expected to opt out in search of a more lucrative contract. If Ellis leaves in free agency, it would leave a huge void in the team’s backcourt. However, Sefko notes it would free up additional cap space to pursue LaMarcus Aldridge and retain Tyson Chandler. That potential series of moves would give Dirk Nowitzki a role off the bench, which is something he is willing to consider.

Southwest Notes: Green, Villanueva, Hunt

Jeff Green, who picked up his player option with the Grizzlies, will represent a cap hold of $9.45MM rather than $9.2MM for 2015/16 because he triggered a $250K bonus this season, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). The incentive clause kicked in when Memphis picked up its 55th win, and he was in line for an additional $200K if the Grizzlies, who finished 55-27, had won 56 games, Pincus explains. The cap hit applies for next season because the league now considers it likely that Memphis will again win 55 games, though he won’t get the money if they don’t again hit that threshold. Here’s more from around the Southwest Division.

  • Charlie Villanueva would like to re-sign with the Mavericks, and while the team would welcome that, Dallas isn’t willing to pay more than the minimum, writes Tim MacMahon of
  • The Mavs are close to a deal with former Nuggets interim coach Melvin Hunt that would make him the top assistant in Dallas to head coach Rick Carlisle, reports Marc Stein of The Pelicans have also been interested in Hunt as an assistant, Stein reported earlier.
  • Shooting guards Norman Powell of UCLA, Josh Richardson of Tennessee and Tyler Harvey of Eastern Washington are working out for the Mavs today, reports Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (on Twitter).
  • The Grizzlies will work out Southeast Missouri State forward Nino Johnson on Monday, sources tell Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia.

Southwest Notes: Parsons, Villanueva, Fredette

Chandler Parsons underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on Friday to address a cartilage injury to his right knee, the Mavericks announced. While no timetable for the 26-year-old was relayed, Parsons had previously stated that he might not be recovered in time for the start of NBA training camp next season. The forward just completed the first season of the three-year, $46.08MM deal he signed last summer. Parsons appeared in 66 games for the Mavs this season, averaging 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 33.1 minutes per contest.

Here’s more out of the NBA’s Southwest Division:

  • Mavs big man Charlie Villanueva, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, wants to return to Dallas and play for coach Rick Carlisle, Tim Cato of SBNation tweets. “I’ve been in the league 10 years and been coached by nine coaches. I’d love to have the same coach,” Villanueva said.
  • Jimmer Fredette is also an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the 26-year-old’s career is at a crossroads, Jay Yeomans of The Deseret News writes. If the guard is to remain in the NBA he will need to find a team that runs a system he can be productive in, as well as one that will use him as a shooter rather than a point guard, Yeomans opines. In 50 games for the Pelicans this past season, Fredette averaged 3.6 PPG and 1.2 APG in 10.2 minutes per contest.
  • While Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was aware of Rajon Rondo‘s volatile nature, the executive was caught off guard by how quickly things soured for the point guard after being dealt to the Mavericks, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News relays. “I am very surprised, yeah,” said Ainge. “I really don’t know what happened, other than media reports. So I probably shouldn’t comment any further on that. I like both individuals [Rondo and coach Rick Carlisle] and I’m very surprised it didn’t work out better.

Western Notes: Williams, Iske, Lawson

Monty Williams largely avoided talk about his future as Pelicans coach in his end-of-season press conference Tuesday, saying that his job status is not something he thinks too much about, as Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune relays (on Twitter). GM Dell Demps recently refuted a report that indicated the Pelicans made a playoffs-or-else mandate to Williams and Demps before the season. Owner Tom Benson sent a letter of congratulations Tuesday to Williams, Demps and their staffs for their work toward the team’s postseason berth this season, Smith observes in a full piece.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Kings are finalizing an agreement with Sixers assistant Chad Iske for him to become associate head coach under George Karl, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. Iske had spent five years on Karl’s staff when Karl was coach of the Nuggets.
  • In a back-and-forth with fans on his Instagram account, Nuggets guard Ty Lawson said he was a superior player to Rajon Rondo, and indicated that he wished he played in coach Rick Carlisle‘s system with the Mavs, Marcel Mutoni of relays. Though Dallas will likely be in the market for a starting point guard this offseason, Lawson still has two seasons remaining on his deal with Denver.
  • Unrestricted free agent Charlie Villanueva says he wants to return to the Mavs next season, Earl K. Sneed of tweets. In 64 appearances with Dallas this season the 30-year-old averaged 6.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game.
  • Chandler Parsons says that he will act as a free agent recruiter for the Mavs this offseason, Michael Florek of the Dallas Morning News writes. “I’m officially shifting into GM mode,” Parsons said. “I have great relationships with a lot of guys that are out there. I have a great relationship with a lot of guys that are currently on our team, so as a guy that will be here for a while and as one of the key guys going forward I will definitely be talking to management. Anything I can do to help I’ll obviously do.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Pacific Notes: Villanueva, Kings, Kobe, Suns

The Clippers have won 11 of their last 13 games and sit at 18-7, but they’d still be without home-court advantage in the first round if the playoffs started today. That helps explain why they reportedly remain interested in Corey Brewer, among others, given how high the bar is set in the Western Conference. Here’s more on the Clippers and their Pacific Division rivals:

  • Rick Carlisle‘s willingness to personally conduct workouts for Charlie Villanueva helped sell the veteran on signing with the Mavs this summer when the Clippers were also in hot pursuit, Villanueva said recently on Google Plus, as the Dallas Morning News transcribes. “Not to take nothing away from what the Clippers and Doc Rivers [are] doing, but it just felt right with Rick,” Villanueva said. “It was just a feeling. I went with a feeling in my gut and I feel like I made the right move.”
  • TNT’s Kenny Smith is among the names “floating around” for the Kings head coaching job, tweets Ramona Shelburne of, though it’s unclear whether he’s truly a candidate. Smith had conversations with the Kings about a front office position in 2013, as he told Sam Amick of USA Today at that time.
  • Mitch Kupchak offered a little more wiggle room for the idea that Kobe Bryant would play past the expiration of his contract in 2016 when the Lakers GM spoke this week with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio (audio link), observes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Kupchak earlier this month appeared to dismiss the notion of a prolonged career for Bryant.
  • Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that he and Suns owner Robert Sarver have had conversations about a new arena in Phoenix, observes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Sarver raised the issue publicly earlier this year, though Silver on Wednesday cautioned that he doesn’t believe there’s an “imminent” need for a new building, Coro notes.
  • The Warriors have recalled Ognjen Kuzmic from the D-League, the team announced. It was just a one-day stint for the center, who juxtaposed an impressive five blocks against a paltry three points in 28 minutes of action Wednesday for Santa Cruz.