Devin Harris

Southwest Notes: Conley, Gordon, Barea, Harris

Mike Conley said Memphis still feels like “home” as he returned to the city on Saturday for the first time since an offseason trade sent him to Utah, relays Marc Giannotto of The Commercial Appeal. Conley was in town for his annual Bowl ‘N Bash, a charitable event that has always signaled that it’s nearly time to report to Grizzlies training camp.

This year will be different as Conley got the trade to a contender that he has been wanting and Memphis unloaded three costly contracts to officially kick off a youth movement. Conley said he still cares about the Grizzlies and was happy to see the team get a good return in deals involving himself, Marc Gasol and Chandler Parsons.

“Not a lot of players get that connection with the team or the organization. Like I really did care about how the team would fare after I left if I got traded, who they got in the trade,” Conley said. “It was almost like I was negotiating the deal for them, like make sure you get this, that and the other because you want to have more picks or more people, and I’m just thrilled to see the guys they got. They got a heck of a future in front of them because of the trades they were able to make for Marc, or myself, or Chandler, and just really turned it over well.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Eric Gordon heard his name mentioned a few times in trade rumors as the Rockets tried to add another star, but he tells Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle that he always expected to remain with the team. The four-year extension he signed last week should solidify his place in Houston. “I know I’m valuable to this team,” Gordon said. “I think I’ve showed that. … I feel like I am going into my prime years. I can shoot, defend, be creative on offense. I have a lot to give.”
  • Mavericks guard J.J. Barea has received medical clearance for the start of training camp, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Barea, who is recovering from a torn Achilles, said he will be able to practice without restrictions when camp opens October 1.
  • Veteran guard Devin Harris tells Townsend that he’s “weighing options” about where to play this year (Twitter link). The 36-year-old, who appeared in 68 games for the Mavericks last season, added that it “needs to be the right opportunity.”

Western Notes: Capela, Brunson, Kings, Roberson

Clint Capela‘s thumb injury could cost him a $2MM bonus, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes. The Rockets center has a 2,000-minute criteria tied into the team reaching the Western Conference Finals and for a defensive rebounding percentage above 30%. He has another bonus for attempting 150 or more free throws and a free throw percentage above 65%. He is currently shooting 62.6% from the line. Through 42 games, Capela has played 1,436 minutes. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Mavericks rookie Jalen Brunson and veteran Devin Harris will pick up the minutes vacated by backup point guard J.J. Barea, who suffered a torn Achilles on Friday, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. Brunson played 30 minutes against the Warriors on Sunday but Harris will see his role expand as well. “He’s going to be ready and he’s going to be there for us,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Harris.
  • Kings assistant coaches under Dave Joerger are having their options for next season picked up by the front office, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets. That group includes Bryan Gates, Elston Turner, Bob Thornton, Jason March, Duane Ticknor, Larry Lewis, Bobby Jackson, Phil Ricci and Dan Hartfield. It’s a way of aligning the contracts of the staff with Joerger’s deal. The surprising Kings are currently a game above .500.
  • Kings GM Vlade Divac warned members of the executive board to stop meddling in the team’s affairs, Sam Amick of USA Today reports. Divac made the pronouncement during a conference call with 13 members of the  executive board, along with lead owner Vivek Ranadive. Divac has been frustrated by internal complaints and used the forum to demand respect, Amick adds.
  • Thunder shooting guard Andre Roberson remains sidelined indefinitely, coach Billy Donovan told Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman and other media members. “He’s worked hard, he’s doing all he needs to do but he’s still in the rehab process.”  Roberson suffered a season-ending left knee injury last January and suffered a setback in late November when an MRI revealed an avulsion fracture in the knee.

Mavericks Notes: Doncic, Free Agency, Porter

The Mavericks haven’t had much luck recruiting star free agents to Dallas over the last several years, but it’s possible that Luka Doncic could help change that, Sean Deveney writes in his latest Sporting News article. With longtime star Dirk Nowitzki on his last legs, Doncic looks like the Mavs’ next franchise player, and the idea of playing alongside the young star could appeal to players considering Dallas in free agency.

“It’s always hard to make that pitch and get over the hump with free agents,” a league source said to Deveney. “But they (the Mavericks) didn’t really have a chance with those guys. Players mostly like (owner Mark) Cuban, and they were always a compelling enough franchise to get in the room with LeBron (James) and Dwight Howard and other stars. But they could not present themselves as a team with a great future.

“They can do that now,” the source continued. “Not sure they can push a star to put his name on the line, but ‘Come play with Luka,’ it’s a better message.”

As that source hints, it still seems unlikely that the Mavs will be a serious player this summer for elite free agents like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, or Klay Thompson. However, Deveney believes that it might be worth the effort for the team to make an offer to one or more of those players. The franchise will have significant cap room this summer and it would serve as a reminder that Dallas can still be an appealing destination for top players. Khris Middleton and DeMarcus Cousins could also be targets, Deveney adds.

Here’s more out of Dallas:

  • Michael Scotto of The Athletic previously reported that the Mavericks have interest in Otto Porter, which Deveney confirms. According to Deveney though, the Wizards seem uninterested in moving Porter as a pure salary dump, and Dallas likely wouldn’t want to include draft picks or Dennis Smith Jr. as part of an offer to Washington.
  • Count Dirk Nowitzki among those optimistic about the Mavericks’ future, as Deveney relays. “We’ve been through some tough years — a lot after the championship — but the last couple, extremely tough,” Nowitzki said. “But we feel like we have got some great young guys. We drafted Dennis last year and we drafted Luka this year. Those are some great young guys we can build around. They’re both only 20 years old or so. We have some cornerstones we can build on. Hopefully this franchise is going in the right direction.”
  • Jalen Brunson and Devin Harris are among the guards who could see increased workloads with J.J. Barea sidelined for the rest of the season, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. As Caplan details, head coach Rick Carlisle called Barea’s torn Achilles a “gut-wrenching” injury.
  • The Mavericks applied for a disabled player exception as a result of Barea’s injury. Here’s our full story on what exactly that means.

Atlantic Notes: Butler, Russell, Raptors, Wanamaker

Sixers coach Brett Brown is defending Jimmy Butler, saying he wasn’t disrespectful when he questioned the way he’s being used in the offense, according to an Associated Press story. ESPN reported Friday that Butler has “aggressively challenged” Brown since being acquired from the Timberwolves in November and has “tenuous” chemistry with fellow stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Meeting with reporters before tonight’s game, Brown tried to calm the situation.

“I didn’t feel like any of that crossed the line,” he said of Butler’s comments. “He’s vocal. He’s all in and he has opinions, but it’s instigated by me. None of this should surprise anybody. He’s got opinions. He wants to be heard. And he should be heard.”

Butler missed the game with a respiratory infection and wasn’t available for comment. He reportedly wants to be utilized more often in pick-and-roll situations, which aren’t a standard part of Brown’s offense.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets guard D’Angelo Russell has improved significantly during his second season in Brooklyn, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Russell, who is averaging career highs with 18.2 points and 6.4 assists per game, is headed for restricted free agency this summer but indicated a desire to stay with the Nets. “We’re winning,” he said. “I haven’t won a lot in this league, so for me to get that type of success, I’m going to stick with it.”
  • As Kyle Lowry missed his sixth straight game tonight with back trouble, the Raptors are looking for another playmaker before next month’s trade deadline, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. He states the best target would be the Timberwolves’ Jeff Teague, who isn’t being shopped but has become more expendable with productive seasons from Derrick Rose and Tyus Jones. Other possibilities include the Mavericks’ J.J. Barea or Devin Harris and the Hawks’ Jeremy Lin.
  • Brad Wanamaker was as surprised as anyone when Celtics coach Brad Stevens told him to check in during the first quarter last night, relays Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. It was the 15th game of the season for the 29-year-old rookie, but most of his time has come late in games that were already decided. He responded with a pair of 3-pointers to help Boston build a lead. “The key word is challenging,” Wanamaker said. “I’m just trying to stay mentally prepared. I’m getting a lot of feedback from my family, friends, just saying, ‘Stay ready.’”

Texas Notes: Rockets, Harris, Carmelo, Walker

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni called on his reserves to play better after Friday’s loss against the Pistons, with the team currently sporting an underwhelming 9-8 record on the season.

“Our bench has to produce a little bit more,” D’Antoni said, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “We got to get something out of it. We’re not getting a lot of production there. It puts a lot of extra strain on the guys doing it, playing a lot of minutes with our starters.”

Houston’s bench — a group of Eric Gordon, Gary Clark, Isaiah Hartenstein and Gerald Green — scored just 13 points on 5-20 shooting in the loss against Detroit. The group gave a better effort in Chris Paul‘s absence on Saturday, but Houston still lost.

“We have Eric,” D’Antoni said, clearly expecting his bench production to be better. “We expect 20 points a game out of that. He’s been a little bit off. He’s still doing what he does. We have to get Gerald going. Gary Clark will get better as we go along. We got to get Nene back. We expect some scoring (off the bench.)”

The Rockets have coped with injuries, poor chemistry and the departure of veteran forward Carmelo Anthony this season, resulting in the team holding the 10th best record in the West a little more than a month into the season.

Here are some other notes out of Texas today:

  • Devin Harris discussed his return from injury with the Mavericks, as relayed by Eddie Sefko of Harris missed time this season after injuring his hamstring, but is working to regain his strength and stamina with the franchise. He scored nine points in 17 minutes against the Celtics on Saturday.
  • ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has no doubts that Carmelo Anthony will be back on an NBA roster this season, explaining his thoughts on his podcast this week (34:50 mark). Anthony and the Rockets surprisingly parted ways after just 10 games played this season, with the former NBA All-Star seeking a new home for the rest of the year.
  • Lonnie Walker IV will practice with the Spurs‘ G League affiliate as he continues rehab from a torn meniscus, the team announced today. Walker underwent surgery after sustaining the injury in a preseason game on October 6.

Texas Notes: Anthony, Gordon, Harris, Gasol

The Rockets’ discussions with Carmelo Anthony are related to a possible reduction in playing time moving forward, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Eric Gordon returned to the lineup Saturday night after missing three games with a hip injury, and rookie Gary Clark has moved into the rotation with his impressive play, particularly on defense. That may leave even less time for Anthony, who is already averaging a career-low 29.4 minutes per game in his first season in Houston.

The Rockets have been using Anthony as a backup power forward, hoping to expand his minutes when the matchups permit it. However, the team’s offense has been so bad that it has been forced to keep games close through defense, which isn’t Anthony’s strong point.

Feigen adds that the illness that kept Anthony out of Saturday’s game was legitimate, not a negotiating ploy. However, he states that Anthony will have to decide whether he wants to remain with the franchise if it means an even smaller role.

There’s more this morning out of Texas:

  • Gordon should get a little break from trade rumors now that Jimmy Butler has been dealt to the Sixers. Frequently mentioned as part of an offer to Minnesota, Gordon told Kelly Iko of The Athletic that he understands the business side of the league. “All I can do is go out there and play,” he said. “The only tough thing is some of your friends always come to you with, ‘Do you think you’re gonna be traded?’ That’s the only annoying thing. At the end of the day I’m just a basketball player and I have to control what I can control.”
  • A hamstring injury that forced Devin Harris to miss 10 games may have sparked the Mavericks veteran to consider coaching, relays Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Harris, who returned to the lineup Saturday, said he got a different perspective on the game while sidelined. “I’ve kind of been forced to in our situation, just trying to help get everybody on the same page, what I see as a player, what I see that the coaches want and try to mend that together,” he said. “I see what drives Coach crazy sometimes, but I also see the players’ frustrations.”
  • The Spurs aren’t releasing much information on Pau Gasol‘s condition, but he probably won’t be with the team on its three-game road trip, tweets Jabari Young of The Athletic. The team is calling it “soreness,” but Gasol had a walking boot on his left foot last night.

Injury Updates: Theis, Giannis, Harkless, Harris

The Celtics may be without big man Daniel Theis for the next few weeks, head coach Brad Stevens acknowledged today (Twitter link via Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston).

While Stevens said Theis’ injury won’t require surgery and isn’t necessarily as bad it sounds, the 26-year-old is dealing with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot and has been ruled out indefinitely (Twitter links via Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald and the Celtics’ official account).

Theis doesn’t play a major role for the Celtics, but has been productive in limited minutes. So far in his second season with the franchise, he has averaged 6.0 PPG and 3.4 RPG in just 12.2 minutes per contest.

Here are a few more noteworthy injury updates from around the NBA:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, who initially returned to Saturday night’s game after taking a blow to the head, has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol and will miss at least Monday’s game against Toronto, the Bucks announced today. The Raptors will be without their own star player, having announced that Kawhi Leonard will rest in the first game of the club’s back-to-back set.
  • Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless continues to deal with the effects of the arthroscopic knee surgery he underwent in March. As Joe Freeman of The Oregonian details, Harkless’ left knee pain recently resurfaced and will keep him out of Monday’s game against Indiana. It’s not clear whether Harkless will continue to miss more time beyond that contest.
  • Mavericks guard Devin Harris, who remains out of action due to a hamstring injury, has been targeting Wednesday’s game against the Lakers as a potential return date, but that’s not set in stone, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. “I ran on it for the first time,” Harris said on Sunday. “The next step is to run on it comfortably. It didn’t feel quite right.”

Texas Notes: Bzledik, Harris, Barnes

The Rockets will be without the services of associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik this season, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The mind behind Houston’s defensive improvement has decided to retire at the age of 65.

Wojnarowski adds that the departure, less than 10 days before training camp opens, will put the Rockets on their heels and many of Bzdelik’s responsibilities will be spread over the remaining staff.

Bzledik previously served as the head coach of the Nuggets, with a number of other teams in smaller roles and at several stops in the NCAA.

There’s more from Texas:

Mavericks Sign Devin Harris

AUGUST 8: The Mavericks have made their deal with Harris official, announcing today in a press release that they’ve signed the veteran guard. Dallas now has a full 20-man roster, so a move will be required at some point to accommodate Donte Ingram‘s reported agreement with the club.

JULY 26: The Mavericks and veteran guard Devin Harris have reached an agreement on a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports was the first to report the news.

Harris, who will receive $2.4MM, was the beneficiary of Yogi Ferrell‘s change of heart. Ferrell backed out of an agreement with Dallas to sign with the Kings. That opened up a backcourt spot for the 35-year-old combo guard.

This will mark his third stint with the franchise. The Mavericks acquired him in a draft-night trade with the Wizards in 2004 and kept him until 2008, when they traded him to the Nets. Harris returned to Dallas as a free agent in 2013 and spent five more years with the Mavs before they traded him to the Nuggets in February.

The 35-year-old combo guard appeared in 44 games with Dallas and 27 with Denver last season, averaging 8.4 PPG and 2.1 APG. His addition will give the Mavericks 16 players under contract.

Mavericks Close To Deal With Devin Harris

Devin Harris is close to a one-year deal to return to the Mavericks, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, who adds that Harris and the team are hoping to have a contract finalized by tomorrow.

If Harris returns to Dallas, it will mark his third stint with the franchise. The Mavericks acquired him in a draft night trade with the Wizards in 2004 and kept him until 2008, when they traded him to the Nets. Harris returned to Dallas as a free agent in 2013 and spent five more years with the Mavs before being shipped to Denver in February.

The 35-year-old combo guard appeared in 71 games last season, averaging 8.4 PPG. His addition will give the Mavericks 16 players under contract.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News first reported that a reunion between Harris and the Mavs was possible after Yogi Ferrell backed out of a deal with the team.