Facundo Campazzo

International Notes: Campazzo, Scott, Kurucs, Evans

Argentinian guard Facundo Campazzo had an eventful stint in the NBA over the past three seasons, appearing in 138 games with Denver and Dallas.

Campazzo joined the Nuggets in 2020, playing in 65 games and making 19 starts, averaging 6.1 points and 3.6 assists. The 5’10” guard became integral to the Nuggets’ rotation, starting nine out of 10 of Denver’s playoff games and averaging 9.3 points, 4.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 27.0 minutes. However, Campazzo’s regular season role diminished slightly the following season and he only averaged 3.3 minutes in Denver’s ’21/22 playoff run.

In an interview with Marca (hat tip to Eurohoops), Campazzo spoke about the unpredictability of the NBA.

It’s a roller coaster, you always have to be ready,” he said. “Knowing that it is a seesaw, I tried to put my energy into things that I could control, like having an impact on the game when it was my turn to play and, if not, being ready when the coach called my name.

After spending two years in Denver, Campazzo didn’t return to the Nuggets. The Mavericks signed him to a deal at the beginning of the ’22/23 season, but he only appeared in eight games with Dallas, averaging 6.5 minutes.

I wanted to try another year in the NBA and it happened that they cut me after a month and a half,” Campazzo said. “That’s why my return to Europe after the cut was a bit strange, in the middle of the season, with the teams already assembled, it was difficult… There were offers, but it was complicated.

Campazzo ended up signing with Crvena Zvezda of the Serbian League before inking a four-year contract with Liga ACB’s Real Madrid, where he previously played in ’14/15 and ’17-20.

It was possible to negotiate a return and [I’m] happy to be able to return to a place that I feel is my home,” Campazzo said. “I am super motivated and looking forward to everything starting now.

There’s more international news.

  • Forward Rodions Kurucs, the No. 40 overall pick from the 2018 NBA draft, signed with UCAM Murcia of Liga ACB, according to a release from the club. Kurucs played in 115 games for the Nets from 2018-20, averaging 6.5 points per game for the team, before making brief stops with the Rockets and Bucks. As a 20-year-old rookie for the Nets, Kurucs averaged 8.5 points for a Brooklyn squad that earned the sixth seed in the playoffs. During his rookie season, Kurucs was named to the Rising Stars Challenge. Eventually, Kurucs was part of the trade that sent James Harden to the Nets from the Rockets, but he wasn’t in the Rockets’ long-term plans and returned to play overseas in 2021.
  • Fresh off being named MVP of the Puerto Rican League final, former NBA forward Mike Scott is reportedly signing with ASVEL Basket and will make his EuroLeague debut next season, as Sportando relays (original report via Théo Quintard). Scott played in the NBA from 2013-21, averaging 6.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 555 career appearances across stints with the Hawks, Wizards, Clippers and Sixers. Following his time with the Sixers, Scott played with SLUC Nancy Basket of the LNB Pro A in 2022/23 before playing with Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rico, where he won the aforementioned finals MVP after averaging 26.7 PPG in the team’s four wins.
  • Former NBA guard Jawun Evans has signed with Poland’s Slask Wroclaw, the team announced in a press release. Evans, the No. 39 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, has 56 games of NBA experience with the Clippers, Suns and Thunder. Evans’ played 48 of those games with the Clippers, averaging 4.8 PPG with the team in ’17/18. Evans played in summer league with the Suns this month before signing with Slask.

And-Ones: Biggest Issue, Awards, Baldwin, Faried, Campazzo

What’s the biggest issue facing the NBA? Not surprisingly, a poll of players conducted by Josh Robbins and Sam Amick of The Athletic placed the officiating at the top of the list. Out of 70 participants, 25.8 percent called out the officials for a variety of reasons.

“Ref accountability. It’s the (big) thing right now. Because there is none,” one poll respondent said. “There’s just not a system set up for it. And it’s been real shaky, I think, this year. Just something to keep them accountable. I don’t know if I want to take their money. But something to get them to have some type of, ‘I can’t f–k this up’ mentality.”

Load management was a close second in the poll. Rules skewed in favor of offensive players also ranked high on the list.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The NBA will reveal the winner of the Most Improved Player award on Monday, the league’s communications department tweets. Lauri Markkanen, Jalen Brunson and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are the three finalists. The Rookie of the Year will be revealed on Tuesday, with Paolo Banchero considered the heavy favorite.
  • Former NBA player Wade Baldwin IV has signed a two-year contract extension with Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to Eurohoops.net. He averaged 16.7 points, 5.0 assists and 3.6 rebounds this season. Baldwin played 56 career NBA games, most recently with Portland during the 2018/19 season.
  • Reyer Venezia is interested in signing big man Kenneth Faried for the Italian playoffs, according to Sportando. Faried spent this season playing in Mexico with Soles de Mexicali. Faried has been out of the NBA since he played a combined 37 games for Brooklyn and Houston during the 2018/19 season.
  • Another former NBA player, Facundo Campazzo, is joining Real Madrid next season, Sportando relays. Campazzo joined Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda after being waived by the Mavericks in late November. He appeared in eight games with Dallas this season.

And-Ones: Campazzo, Vildoza, Two-Ways, Rookies

Serbian team Crvena Zvezda has been sanctioned by the EuroLeague for overdue payments to players and will be prohibited from registering new players until February 28, per BasketNews.com.

That means that former Nuggets and Mavericks point guard Facundo Campazzo, who reached a contract agreement with the team after being waived by Dallas, may not be able to suit up in EuroLeague games until March.

Crvena Zvezda issued a statement calling the sanctions “extremely severe” and announcing that they intend to fight them (link via BasketNews).

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

  • Argentinian guard Luca Vildoza, currently a member of Crvena Zvezda, spent time with the Knicks and Bucks from 2021-22, but injuries and timing prevented him from ever getting a real chance to earn a rotation spot. While Vildoza has some good memories from his time in the NBA, including practicing with Giannis Antetokounmpo, he’s disappointed that things didn’t work out for him stateside. “It’s painful that I didn’t have the right chance,” Vildoza said (link via Eurohoops). “But I’m here now, and I try not to think about it.”
  • NBA teams seem more inclined this season to use their two-way contract slots to churn through back-of-the-roster players, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link), who notes that the Heat have signed five different players to seven total two-way deals since July. That trend may continue even when the 10-day contract signing period opens on Thursday, since two-way players don’t count against the cap or tax, Marks writes.
  • In the latest update to his rookie rankings for 2022/23, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic has moved Thunder guard Jalen Williams and Hawks forward AJ Griffin into third and fourth place, respectively. Both players are providing relatively steady and efficient production as starting wings, Vecenie says, adding that Griffin’s floor spacing, in particular, has been crucial in Atlanta.

Facundo Campazzo Joins Serbian Team

Former Nuggets and Mavericks guard Facundo Campazzo is officially a member of Crvena Zvezda, writes Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. The Serbian team issued a press release to confirm the deal, which will run through the 2023/24 season and includes a third-year player option.

Real Madrid, Campazzo’s team before he came to the NBA, had an opportunity to match the offer of 1.8 million Euros for the rest of this season and 2.8 million Euros for next season, but didn’t act before last week’s deadline.

Campazzo was a star with Madrid from 2014-20, helping the team capture two EuroLeague championships and three ACB titles.

The veteran point guard signed with Denver in 2020 and appeared in 130 games over two seasons, mostly in a reserve role. After spending the entire offseason as a free agent, the 31-year-old got an opportunity with Dallas in mid-October. He played just eight games for the Mavericks, averaging 1.3 points and 1.1 assists in 6.5 minutes per night, before being waived November 29 when the team added Kemba Walker.

And-Ones: Campazzo, Podoloff Trophy, Scouting, CBA Talks

Free agent guard Facundo Campazzo, who spent the last two seasons in Denver and the early part of 2022/23 in Dallas, appears set to resume his career in the EuroLeague, but his destination has yet to be determined.

According to Aris Barkas of Eurohoops.net, Serbian club Crvena Zvezda has offered Campazzo a two-year contract worth 1.8 million Euros this season and 2.5 million Euros for 2023/24, with a third-year player option. The team also intends to cover a significant chunk of the remaining money Campazzo still owes to Real Madrid as part of the 2020 buyout agreement that allowed him to go to the NBA, says Barkas.

However, since Real Madrid still holds Campazzo’s EuroLeague rights, the Spanish club will have 10 days to decide whether or not to match the offer, per Barkas. That clock began on Tuesday.

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

  • The NBA announced on Tuesday that the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, named after the league’s first commissioner, will now be awarded to the team that finishes each regular season with the best record. As Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press observes, the Maurice Podoloff Trophy was previously awarded to the NBA’s annual Most Valuable Player up until 2021, but has since been revamped and repurposed.
  • The NBA has loosened the rules related to the scouting of high school prospects, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Teams will now be permitted to attend a handful of important high school basketball events, despite the fact that the participants will be at least a year away from draft eligibility. There are no immediate plans to remove the one-and-done rule for draft prospects in the near future, Givony adds, so for the time being this change is simply about giving teams a head-start on evaluating top prospects before they enter college.
  • Providing an update on the NBA’s labor talks, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article that he believes the league and the players’ union will likely agree to push back the December 15 opt-out deadline so that they can amicably continue their negotiations. Interestingly, Stein also says the NBA’s push for an “upper spending limit,” first reported in October, appears to be more serious than it has been in the past — in previous negotiations, the NBA dropped that request to gain other concessions, but the league is pursuing the de facto hard cap more “vigorously” this time around, according to Stein.

Mavericks Sign Kemba Walker, Waive Facundo Campazzo

NOVEMBER 29, 4:02pm: The Mavericks have officially signed Walker, the team announced (via Twitter).

Walker’s prorated minimum-salary cap hit will be $1,392,895. He’ll earn $2,204,438 if his salary becomes guaranteed for the season.

NOVEMBER 29, 9:01am: Walker’s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Mavericks will be non-guaranteed, Stein reports (via Twitter). The veteran point guard isn’t expected to play immediately after having sat out for nine-plus months, Stein adds.

NOVEMBER 28, 12:43pm: The Mavericks have officially waived Campazzo, the team announced (via Twitter).

Dallas’ cap hit for Campazzo will be $464,299, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That’s 44/174th of his $1,836,090 salary, since he spent 42 regular season days on the Mavs’ roster and will be on waivers for two more.

NOVEMBER 28, 7:12am: The Mavericks are in “advanced talks” with veteran guard Kemba Walker, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack story. Dallas plans to sign Walker and waive Facundo Campazzo, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Mavs are hoping that Walker can provide another long-distance shooter and ball-handler off their bench, Stein adds. Dallas, which reached the Western Conference finals last season, has lost four straight games and dropped into 11th place in the West at 9-10.

Walker, 32, has been searching for another team since the summer, when the Knicks agreed to a deal to send him to the Pistons on draft night. Walker was expected to reach a buyout agreement with Detroit right away, but he was unable to find a guaranteed offer from another team. He was ultimately waived on October 17, shortly before the start of the regular season, and is being paid his full $9.17MM salary for this year.

Aa four-time All-Star, Walker was thrilled about the chance to play for his hometown Knicks after signing with New York in free agency last summer. However, lingering knee issues and a drop in production soured the relationship, and Walker wound up playing just 37 games and averaging 11.6 points and 3.5 assists per night.

Stein points out that Dallas planned to pursue Walker as a backcourt partner for Luka Doncic when he became a free agent in 2019. The Mavericks were originally viewed as the top threat to sign Walker away from the Hornets before the Celtics entered the bidding and ultimately landed him.

Walker was an All-Star during his first season in Boston, but the knee problems limited his effectiveness and he was traded to the Thunder in a salary dump in the summer of 2021. He reached a buyout with Oklahoma City two months later.

Campazzo, 31, signed a non-guaranteed deal with Dallas in mid-October after spending his first two seasons with Denver. He got into just eight games and averaged 1.3 points in 6.5 minutes per night.

Mavs Notes: Campazzo, Ntilikina, Luka, Dinwiddie, Wood, McGee

When Luka Doncic sat out on Wednesday vs. Houston, it gave backup Mavericks guards Facundo Campazzo and Frank Ntilikina a rare opportunity to see the court. Both players, who were only on the floor in garbage time in the first 13 games of the season, established season highs in minutes, with Campazzo logging 23 and Ntilikina playing 12.

Although Dallas lost the game and the duo was a combined 3-of-11 from the floor, both Campazzo and Ntilikina had positive net ratings on the night, and head coach Jason Kidd said before the game that it would be a boon if the team could rely on one or both players to help reduce the workloads being carried by Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie.

“We’re looking for them to run the team,” Kidd said of Campazzo and Ntilikina, according to Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. “We got to get other guys involved, especially with Spencer and LD and the load they’re carrying now. We got to find other options to get them a little rest during the game than just running those guys 40 minutes every night.”

Doncic was back in the lineup for Friday’s blowout win over Denver, so Campazzo and Ntilikina weren’t part of the regular rotation. However, the one-sided nature of the game allowed Kidd to get them on the floor in the fourth quarter, limiting Doncic and Dinwiddie to 35 and 26 minutes, respectively.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Christian Wood earned praise on Wednesday from both his former head coach (Stephen Silas) and his current head coach. As Sefko details, Silas said he was “proud” of the way Wood has matured over the course of his NBA career, while Kidd lauded the big man for his willingness to accept a reserve role so far in Dallas. “He’s done everything that we’ve asked, he’s been great,” Kidd said. “You look at accepting his role, coming off the bench. He and Timmy (Hardaway Jr.) could easily start for us. But we felt like having those two coming off the bench is something that gives us the advantage. And C-Wood has done an incredible job.”
  • Even though Wood isn’t starting or finishing games, is he the perfect pick-and-roll partner the Mavericks have long sought for Doncic? Michael Pina of The Ringer explores that question, noting that the team has a 123.1 offensive rating with Doncic and Wood on the court together. That’s the 13th-best mark out of 539 duos who have played at least 150 minutes together this season.
  • JaVale McGee joined the Mavericks as a free agent this past summer after the team promised him its starting center job, but he was moved to the bench after just seven starts and hasn’t seen much action as of late. Fortunately, McGee is taking the demotion in stride, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. “If they feel I shouldn’t be starting, I’ll cheer from the bench,” McGee said. “If they feel like I should start or however many minutes they think I should play, I’m going to play them my hardest.”

Mavs Notes: Powell, McGee, Dinwiddie, Campazzo, Doncic

As speculated, the Mavericks made a change to their starting lineup for Friday’s game vs. Toronto, replacing center JaVale McGee with Dwight Powell. Head coach Jason Kidd told reporters before the game that it wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent move.

“This is something for us to look at,” Kidd said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). “(Powell) has been playing extremely well. … We’ll take it one game at a time for now.”

McGee signed with the Mavericks as a free agent this past offseason after being promised the starting center job, but the team has performed better with Powell manning that spot in the early going this season. That didn’t change on Friday.

Against the Raptors, both Powell (plus-8) and McGee (plus-6) had positive on-court ratings in the same game for just the second time this season. The first time it happened, on October 22, Dallas blew out Memphis by 41 points. On Friday, the Mavs won by just a single point.

Here’s more out of Dallas:

  • Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie alleged that veteran referee Tony Brothers referred to him as a “b–ch ass motherf—er” during Friday’s game. As MacMahon writes in a full ESPN.com story, Dinwiddie, who protested when Brothers called him for a technical foul, said that a teammate informed him of Brothers’ comment. “I’m not even mad at the language,” Dinwiddie said. “Everybody has said things before when they are upset or feeling sensitive or hurt. That’s fine. Just say it to my face. … I would like to not be called a b–ch ass motherf—er to my teammates.”
  • Speaking to Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News, veteran point guard Facundo Campazzo said he was close to resuming his career in Europe when he received an offer from the Mavericks. “When the Mavs’ offer came, I mean, I didn’t hesitate. I just said yes at the first question they did, and that’s it,” Campazzo said. “I was in Argentina with my family and said, ‘OK, we are moving to Dallas.’ That was a Thursday, and they asked me if I can fly Friday, the next day. I said, ‘I need a little bit more time. I have to move a lot of things,’ so we flew in that Saturday and stayed in the hotel and started this journey.”
  • Luka Doncic made NBA history on Friday by becoming the second player to ever start a season by scoring at least 30 points in each of his first eight games. Wilt Chamberlain was the only other player in league history to accomplish the feat, according to Caplan.

Southwest Notes: Campazzo, Morant, Durant, Sengun, Rockets

Facundo Campazzo‘s visa issues have been resolved and he’ll be in uniform Tuesday and ready to play in the Mavericks’ game in New Orleans, coach Jason Kidd told Dwain Price of the team’s website (Twitter link) and other media members.

Campazzo was signed to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract last week to add depth for the Mavericks at point guard. Campazzo spent the last two seasons with the Nuggets after establishing himself as one of the top point guards in the EuroLeague.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies star Ja Morant poured in 49 points against Houston during the opening week of the season and Nets perennial All-Star Kevin Durant is dazzled by Morant’s talent, ESPN’s Nick Friedell writes. “He’s a unique player. A lot of athleticism and creativity out there,” Durant said. “Body type reminds you of somebody like — well he’s taller than A.I. [Allen Iverson], but a wiry, strong player … but he’s an incredible player, man.”
  • The Rockets’ rotation, particularly at center, remains a fluid situation, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle notes. Alperen Sengun didn’t start on Saturday even with Bruno Fernando out with a sore left knee. While there are some matchups where Sengun will be suited for the starting lineup, there are others where it’s wise for him to be on the second unit with Fernando or Usman Garuba in the starting five. Sengun missed Monday’s game with an illness, Feigen tweets.
  • Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. are the main building blocks in the Rockets’ rebuild and Kelly Iko of The Athletic takes a deep dive into the state of the franchise and its plans to develop those young players.

Mavericks Notes: Wood, Doncic, Campazzo, Hardy

Mavericks big man Christian Wood is emerging as an early favorite for the Sixth Man of the Year award, writes Dwain Price of Mavs.com. Wood, acquired in an offseason trade with Houston, torched the Grizzlies for 25 points and 12 rebounds Saturday night and became the first player ever to reach 25 points in each of his first two games with Dallas.

“He’s being himself and I think he’s getting comfortable each day as you see on both ends,” coach Jason Kidd said. “We need him to score. We’re not asking him to do anything that he hasn’t done in the past in other places.”

Wood was a full-time starter during his two years in Houston, so there were questions about whether he could adjust to returning to a bench role. It hasn’t mattered so far, as Wood has totaled 50 points and 20 rebounds in just 49 minutes on the court.

“I’m just trying to play hard and do the best I can in the role that I’m in, and that’s really about it,” he said. “I’m motivated coming off the bench or starting – either way. I’ve said that before. This team trusts me and their trust is even getting better with me in terms of offensively and defensively.”

There’s more from Dallas:

  • Luka Doncic is making an early statement in the MVP race, according to Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. Doncic was dominant in Saturday’s showdown with Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, scoring 21 points in the first eight minutes on his way to a 32-point night that also included 10 assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. “He’s playing the game at a different level right now,” Kidd said. “It’s kind of like he picked up where he ended last season, playing at an extremely high level for us. I thought his defense was [also] incredible tonight. One of the best defensive performances I saw — and he’ll tell you, too.”
  • Facundo Campazzo, who signed with the Mavericks this week, remained inactive Saturday as the team tries to recalibrate his work visa, Caplan tweets. The Mavs hope to have everything finalized by Tuesday.
  • The Texas Legends used a first-round pick in Saturday’s G League draft to add Amauri Hardy, the older brother of Mavericks rookie Jaden Hardy, per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. They were teammates last season with the G League Ignite. “I feel like it helps me a lot, having my family close to me,” Jaden Hardy said. “It’s going to be like home for me. It’s giving me that home feeling.”