Dwight Powell

Mavs Notes: Doncic, Preseason, Holmes, Powell, THJ

Ahead of the Mavericks‘ exhibition game against Real Madrid on Tuesday, the team told Bally Sports Southwest that Luka Doncic would be limited to about five minutes of playing time due to a left calf strain. According to Marc Stein (Twitter link), Doncic “desperately” wanted to play more than that against his old team in Spain, but the Mavs opted to be “ultra-cautious” with its franchise player.

After the game, Dallas’ third consecutive preseason loss, Doncic told reporters that the injury is “nothing serious.” Still, as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News writes, the Mavs are returning home from their three-game trip to Abu Dhabi and Spain with more questions than answers — due to Doncic’s calf injury and a groin strain for Kyrie Irving, the team hasn’t gotten to see its star backcourt play together much and hasn’t been able to assess how its new role players fit alongside Luka and Kyrie.

The Mavericks have more than a week off before they play their final preseason game on October 20, so the hope is that they’ll have a healthier roster by that point and will be able to get a longer look at their lineup before the regular season tips off.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Because the Mavericks were permitted to start training camp three days early due to their international trip, they’ll be required to have three non-practice days upon returning to Dallas on Thursday, Dwain Price writes at Mavs.com. While players can complete individual workouts, the team won’t have a full practice again until Monday.
  • Richaun Holmes ended up with the Mavericks this offseason as part of a salary-dump trade that sent a first-round pick along with him from Sacramento to Dallas. However, Holmes should get a chance to vie for rotation minutes and he’s looking forward to being part of a franchise he has long admired, according to Price. “I think this has always been a place or organization that I’ve loved since I was a basketball fan coming up,” Holmes said. “So, to actually be here and see this place and see the Dirk (Nowitzki) statue outside, it’s truly amazing.”
  • Long-tenured Mavericks Dwight Powell and Tim Hardaway Jr. had great success as a three-man unit with Doncic last season, according to Tim Cato of The Athletic, who notes that lineups featuring that trio outscored opponents by 11 points per 100 possessions. Still, in order for Dallas to take its next step toward legitimate contention, the team will likely need to eventually find upgrades on Powell and Hardaway, as Cato details.

Western Notes: Williamson, Powell, Holmgren

Zion Williamson has spent more time at the Pelicans’ practice facility than in previous seasons, hoping to avoid the injuries that have plagued his NBA career, Andrew Lopez of ESPN said on Zach Lowe’s podcast (video link).

Williamson only appeared in 29 games last season, mainly due to a hamstring injury, after sitting out the previous season with foot ailments.

He’s been doing more with them than he has in the past but again, this is going to come down to health,” Lopez said. “They’ve been doing some different things. trying to get him ready. I know that’s been a focus for him and his family, getting his lower body ready to play more than 30 games in a season. … something he’s only done once in his NBA career.”

Ideally, Williamson would suit up in at least 65 games, which would make him eligible for postseason awards.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Mavericks big man Dwight Powell is proud of what Team Canada accomplished in the FIBA World Cup, he told Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. Canada not only qualified for the Olympics, but received a bronze medal for beating Team USA in the third-place game. “We have a really good group of guys – more guys than went to the World Cup that played a big role in qualifying us for the World Cup and eventually the Olympics,” Powell said. “We had a really good, committed group of guys that had a lot of pride and got the job done. It was a long time coming. And then to be able to medal in the World Cup at the same time is huge. So it was a great summer.”
  • There’s plenty for the much improved Thunder to look forward to in the upcoming season, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman, who lists 23 things for fans to get excited about. At the top of the list is Chet Holmgren‘s debut after missing last season with a foot injury.
  • The Mavericks are interested in Buddy Hield but there hasn’t been much movement in trade talks with the Pacers. Get the details here.

World Cup Notes: Canada, Fournier, USA, Mills, Towns

The Canadian national team hasn’t had a ton of success in international competition in recent years and is missing top players like Jamal Murray and Andrew Wiggins at this year’s World Cup. However, Team Canada looked formidable its first group-play game on Friday, outscoring a talented French club by 27 points in the second half en route to a 95-65 win.

“We got our ass kicked,” French wing Evan Fournier told reporters after the game, per Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops. “… They were really physical with us. Taking us out of our set plays. And as a team I think they kind of forced us to do things that we don’t want to do.”

The Canadians leaned heavily on their NBA talent in the victory, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, RJ Barrett, Dillon Brooks, Luguentz Dort, Dwight Powell, Kelly Olynyk, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker all playing at least 20 minutes. Melvin Ejim was the only other player to log more than five minutes in the game.

Gilgeous-Alexander was the standout, racking up 27 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists in just 27 minutes of action. Powell (+35 in 23 minutes) and Brooks (+33 in 26 minutes) anchored Canada’s aggressive defense.

Canada will face Lebanon on Sunday, while France will look to bounce back against Latvia.

Here’s more on the World Cup:

  • In an Insider-only story, Jonathan Givony and Kevin Pelton of ESPN pick their 15 most interesting players at the World Cup, including reigning NCAA national player of the year Zach Edey (Canada), projected 2024 first-rounder Juan Nunez (Spain) and Fournier (France), who scored a team-high 21 points on Friday after spending most of last season glued to the Knicks‘ bench. A strong World Cup could help earn Fournier a new NBA opportunity via trade or buyout, Pelton notes.
  • Team USA entered Friday as the strong frontrunners to win the 2023 World Cup, but head coach Steve Kerr knows the team can’t afford to get overconfident, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes. “Last time through this tournament, we finished seventh, we lost (two) games,” Kerr said. “We recognize how hard this is. These are not the days of 1992. … We may be one of the favorites, but I don’t think anybody’s clear cut. I think there’s a lot of teams that have a shot at this thing.”
  • Following an eventful offseason that saw him traded from Brooklyn to Houston to Oklahoma City to Atlanta, veteran guard Patty Mills provided a reminder on Friday of what he can bring to a team. The Hawks guard scored a team-high 25 points in Australia’s resounding win over Finland. “No surprises there,” Jack White said of Mills’ performance, per Olgun Uluc of ESPN. “We know he can turn it on; that’s what he does… he’s a hell of a leader and it’s what we expect from him.”
  • Prior to the start of the World Cup, Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns spoke to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic about why he’s playing for the Dominican Republic and what it means to him to represent his mother’s native country. Towns and the Dominican Republic team got off to a strong start on Friday, defeating the host Philippines in a game that set a new World Cup attendance record (38,115), as Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press details. Towns scored 26 points in the 87-81 win.

And-Ones: Team Canada, Ownership Stakes, Cap Room, Giles

While a Team USA roster led by Jalen Brunson, Anthony Edwards, Brandon Ingram, and Mikal Bridges will enter the 2023 World Cup as the frontrunner next month, Team Canada’s initial 18-man group features some real star power.

The extended roster, announced this week by Canada Basketball, is headlined by Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder forward Luguentz Dort, Knicks forward RJ Barrett, and Rockets forward Dillon Brooks.

It also features five other players currently on NBA rosters: veteran big men Dwight Powell (Mavericks) and Kelly Olynyk (Jazz), guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Timberwolves) and Cory Joseph (Warriors), and forward Oshae Brissett (Celtics). Purdue’s star center Zach Edey is on the roster too.

Team Canada will have to make a few cuts to get down to 12 players for the World Cup, and it’s possible some of the more notable names will drop out in order to focus on the NBA season. However, league sources tell Joe Vardon of The Athletic that Murray has reaffirmed his commitment to the team despite a lengthy postseason run with the Nuggets this spring.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The minimum stake that someone can own in an NBA franchise has been lowered, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, who says a minority shareholder can now control as little as 0.5% of a team, down from 1%.
  • A total of eight teams operated below the cap this offseason, having entered the league year with $277MM in combined cap room, per Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. As Gozlan outlines, over half of that league-wide cap space was used to accommodate trades or contract negotiations rather than free agent signings.
  • Sean Cunningham of FOX40 in Sacramento (video link) caught up with free agent big man Harry Giles to talk about the 25-year-old’s efforts to make it back into the NBA, as well as the new rule related to two-way contracts that will unofficially be named after him.

Mavs Notes: Draft Picks, Bogdanovic, McGee, Centers

The Mavericksacquisition of Grant Williams in a three-team sign-and-trade agreement with Boston and San Antonio was initially reported on July 5, but wasn’t officially completed until a week later. According to Tim Cato of The Athletic, that delay was by design, as the three clubs agreed to keep the deal unofficial through Tuesday evening to give everyone a chance to explore expanding it further. No opportunities materialized, so the teams completed the trade as planned on Wednesday.

The Mavs were – and remain – willing to immediately flip the 2025 and 2028 second-rounders they acquired from San Antonio in order to further upgrade their roster, but they’ve been “incredibly cautious” about trading their own 2027 first-round pick, a team source tells Cato.

Because Dallas has already moved its 2029 first-rounder, it would be difficult to put any protections on its 2027 first-rounder due to the Stepien rule, which prohibits a team from leaving itself without a first-round selection in any two consecutive future drafts.

If the Mavs were to trade their 2027 pick, it would have to either be unprotected or turn into a second-rounder (or multiple second-rouders) if it were to fall into its protected range in ’27, since it couldn’t be rolled over to 2028. An unprotected pick would be an extremely valuable trade chip, whereas one that would become a second-rounder if not conveyed in 2027 would have more limited appeal to potential trade partners.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Confirming an ESPN report, Cato says that the Mavericks and Pistons recently revisited conversations about a possible Bojan Bogdanovic trade. League sources tell The Athletic that the two teams discussed a framework that would’ve sent Bogdanovic and Killian Hayes to Dallas, with Tim Hardaway Jr. and JaVale McGee going to Detroit. It’s unclear what level of draft compensation the Pistons would’ve been seeking in such a deal or how far discussions advanced, says Cato.
  • As previously suggested during Tim MacMahon’s Howdy Partners podcast (YouTube link), the Mavericks are considered likely to trade or waive McGee before the 2023/24 regular season begins, according to Cato.
  • Assuming McGee is moved or let go, the Mavericks’ centers would be Richaun Holmes, Dwight Powell, and Dereck Lively. The team could still trade for another big man, but would be content to open the season with that trio, according to Cato. While Powell would be the favorite to start, Mavs staffers are optimistic about Holmes’ bounce-back potential, believing that he’ll be a better fit in the team’s “guard-based schemes” than he was in a Sacramento system centered around Domantas Sabonis, Cato adds.

Contract Details: Crowder, Grant, Powell, Green, Lewis

Jae Crowder‘s new one-year contract with Milwaukee is for the veteran’s minimum, league sources tell Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Bucks held Crowder’s Bird rights, so they could have given him any salary up to his maximum. Obviously he was never going to receive anything close to $47.6MM next season, but it’s still interesting that he accepted such a significant pay cut after making $10.2MM in 2022/23.

Crowder just completed his 11th NBA season. As our list of minimum salaries for ’23/24 shows, the 33-year-old will earn about $3.2MM on his new deal, while the Bucks will carry a $2MM cap hit.

Here are more contract details from around the NBA:

  • Jerami Grant received the most lucrative contract in free agency in terms of total value, earning $160MM over five years to stay with the Trail Blazers. The fifth year of Grant’s deal is a player option, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
  • Center Dwight Powell re-signed with the Mavericks as a free agent, inking a three-year, $12MM deal. Similar to Grant, Powell has a player option for the final season, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link). Powell reportedly drew interest from Houston, but decided to stay with Dallas.
  • Jeff Green‘s two-year contract with the Rockets features a non-guaranteed team option in 2024/25 and $1.6MM per season in bonuses that are considered likely to be achieved, sources tell Scotto (via Twitter). That means Green’s annual cap hits will be $9.6MM. ESPN’s Bobby Marks was first to report that the original terms of Green’s contract agreement had been amended, with Houston using cap room to sign the veteran forward.
  • The Lakers signed second-rounder Maxwell Lewis to a standard four-year contract using the new second-round pick exception, reports Khobi Price of The Southern California News Group (Twitter link). Lewis will receive guaranteed salaries of $1.1MM as a rookie next season (the minimum) and $1.4MM in ’24/25. Sources tell Price the third year of the contract is partially guaranteed for $100K, while the fourth and final season is a team option.

Mavericks Re-Sign Dwight Powell

JULY 9: Powell has officially re-signed, the Mavericks announced (via Twitter).

JULY 1: Dwight Powell will remain with the Mavericks on a three-year, $12MM contract, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The new deal represents a significant pay cut for Powell, who earned more than $11MM in each of the last three seasons.

Dallas views Powell as part of a center platoon and a mentor for first-round pick Dereck Lively II, according to Tim McMahon of ESPN (Twitter link).

The 31-year-old big man served as Dallas’ main starting center the past two years, although he frequently played less than half the game. He averaged 6.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per night last season while shooting a career-best 73.2% from the field.

Powell is one of the few remaining NBA players to be drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats, who took him with the 45th pick in 2014. He was traded on draft night and then was dealt two more times during his rookie season before winding up in Dallas, where he has remained ever since.

The Rockets had interest in Powell and were hoping to set up a meeting with him on Friday. However, the Mavericks were determined to re-sign Powell and were able to keep him at a bargain price.

Rockets Rumors: Lucas, Powell, Landale, VanVleet

Longtime Rockets assistant John Lucas won’t be part of Ime Udoka’s staff but he’ll remain in the organization, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. He’ll move to a front office role, working as an assistant to GM Rafael Stone.

Lucas, a former Cavaliers, Spurs and Sixers head coach, joined Mike D’Antoni’s staff in Houston during the 2016/17 season and has been with the franchise since then.

We have more on the Rockets:

  • Houston’s first-year offer to Mavericks free agent Dwight Powell was higher than the $8MM Jock Landale will receive next season as part of his four-year, $32MM contract agreement with Houston, Marc Stein reports in a Substack post. Powell decided to take the Mavs’ three-year offer, even though it totaled only $12MM. Only the first year of Landale’s contract is guaranteed — it’s probably safe to assume the same was true of the offer for Powell.
  • Speaking of Landale, he knows he has to show the Rockets he’s worthy of getting the full value to his contract, he told ESPN’s Olgun Uluc. “I felt as though I’d worked my way to when I played and when I played heavy minutes, I always produced,” Landale said. “If I can get the trust of a coach who has the front office behind me, and they’re all supportive of the decision, absolutely I believe I can play to that contract. I also feel that, given it’s non-guaranteed, there’s no ability for me to take my foot off the gas, and I feel that’s really important and plays into my character a bit. I’ve still got to earn everything.”
  • While they paid an extremely high price financially, the Rockets finally have a much-needed stabilizing presence, leader and offensive connector in Fred VanVleet, Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes. Houston’s offense lacked cohesion and control in recent seasons and VanVleet’s presence should change that.

Stein’s Latest: Mavs, Thybulle, J. Allen, Maxey, D. Powell

In addition to their previously reported interest in Grant Williams, the Mavericks have their eye on another restricted free agent, Matisse Thybulle of the Trail Blazers, league sources tell veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein (Substack story).

It’s unclear if Dallas has a real shot at either player — according to Stein, the Celtics and Blazers have been sending “behind-the-scenes signals” that they plan to match any offer sheet on their respective RFAs, and the over-the-cap Mavericks will be limited to the mid-level exception.

Besides pursuing another wing, the Mavericks would still like to upgrade their center spot. They explored trades for Clint Capela and Deandre Ayton and would have been interested in Naz Reid if he had reached free agency, Stein writes. For now, Dwight Powell and Richaun Holmes appears poised to vie for the starting job as lottery pick Dereck Lively adjusts to the NBA.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest look around the league:

  • There have been some “whispers” this week that Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen may be more available via trade than the team is letting on, says Stein. Allen was an All-Star in 2021/22 and had another solid season in ’22/23, but struggled to make an impact during Cleveland’s first-round playoff loss to New York.
  • Stein, like some other reporters, has heard that the Sixers have essentially made Tyrese Maxey untouchable in trade discussions. A team source tells Stein that Philadelphia views Maxey as an integral part of the club’s future and is adamant that he won’t be available in any trade.
  • According to Stein, Dwight Powell received “serious” interest from the Rockets before deciding to remain with the Mavericks. Houston pivoted to Jock Landale after Powell chose Dallas, Stein explains.

Rockets Rumors: Free Agents, Martin, Clarkson, Capela

Rockets officials hope to meet with several of their top targets in Los Angeles when free agency begins in a few hours, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Sources tell Iko that Houston has already set up meetings with Dillon Brooks and Brook Lopez and will try to arrange sessions with Fred VanVleet, Kyrie Irving, Bruce Brown, Dwight PowellJakob Poeltl and possibly Kyle Kuzma.

Brown is of particular interest because the Rockets would be willing to go above the $12.4MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception to sign him, according to Iko’s sources. Head coach Ime Udoka was an assistant in Brooklyn when Brown played there and they have maintained a good relationship, Iko adds.

With more than $60MM in cap space, Houston officials are confident about signing their main targets, according to Iko, although some may prefer teams with more recent success. He confirms that the Rockets are hoping to avoid long-term contracts and will compensate by offering players more money up front than they’re likely to get elsewhere. Shooting, defense and rim protection will be the main focus, Iko states.

There’s more on the Rockets, all courtesy of Iko:

  • Houston is hoping to land a veteran point guard in free agency, but there’s a back-up plan if they can’t sign VanVleet, Irving or someone of that stature. Sources tell Iko that the Rockets would pursue someone like Brown, a strong perimeter defender who can handle the ball, and give Jalen Green and first-round pick Amen Thompson a greater share of the playmaking duties.
  • Iko hears that a Kenyon Martin Jr. trade is increasingly likely, as talks with other teams have increased throughout the week. Martin may not have a place on the revamped roster, and the team could add cap room by unloading his $1.93MM contract for next season.
  • Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson and Hawks center Clint Capela are two names to watch if the Rockets opt to use their cap space through trades rather than free agency. Iko notes that Utah executive Danny Ainge is reported to have interest in acquiring Martin and suggests that Houston might be willing to include second-year point guard TyTy Washington and maybe a second-round pick in a potential deal. Iko points out that Clarkson is eligible for an extension after picking up his $14.26MM option for next season and says the Rockets may offer something along the lines of $32MM over two years. Iko adds that Capela could be available straight up for Martin as Atlanta tries to shed salary.