Monte Mathis

And-Ones: Davis, Pacers, Clippers, Warriors

Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis has been medically cleared to play, according to the team’s official website in news that was passed along by’s Justin Verrier. Davis participated in his first scrimmage on Wednesday and GM Dell Demps said at a season-ticket holder event that Davis is expected to start the season without any restrictions, Verrier adds. Davis’ 2015/16 season ended prematurely because of a left knee injury. He underwent an ultrasonic debridement and received an injection of his own bone marrow March 25.

In other news around the league:

  • Nick Zeisloft’s training camp deal with the Pacers includes a $25K guarantee, league sources told Scott Agness of Zeisloft’s one-year, rookie minimum contract allows the Pacers to retain his rights for D-League purposes, Agness adds. The signing of the 6’4” shooting guard was somewhat surprising, considering he only averaged 6.5 points with the Indiana Hoosiers last season and wasn’t on the Pacers’ summer league teams.
  • The Clippers have hired Monte Mathis as a scout under new GM Lawrence Frank, sources told’s Marc Stein (Twitter link). Mathis was previously an assistant coach with the Mavericks and Magic.
  • Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t see the Lakers becoming playoff contenders any time soon, he told Bill Oram of the Orange County Register and other reporters during Hall of Fame weekend. “I mean, they’ve still got to go up against Golden State in the West, they’ve got to go up against OKC, still got to go up against Cleveland, the Rockets. So they have a long way to go to be a contender,” O’Neal said. “Every now and then they’ll make some noise and get the people in the Staples Center excited.”
  • Warriors rookie center Damian Jones is showing progress from a pectoral injury but is unlikely to be healthy enough to participate at the start of training camp, Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News tweets. Jones, who suffered the injury in June, has begun to lift weights, Slater adds. The 7-footer was the 30th overall pick in the draft.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Wade, Dragic, Mathis

The Hornets are averaging 10.0 made 3-pointers this season, up drastically from 6.1 last year, and most of that is because of the team’s offseason pickups, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

“Not only just for our shooting, but also our playmaking ability out there. We have so many – both perimeter and big players – who can make plays. A huge difference from last year,” said Marvin Williams, a free agent at season’s end. “When you bring in a Jeremy Lin – a very good pick-and-roll player. When you bring in a Jeremy Lamb, also a very good pick-and-roll player. Spencer Hawes, who can pass and shoot the ball. Frank [Kaminsky], the rookie, a very good playmaker. Nic Batum can do everything.”

See more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat committed more than $105MM in the offseason to Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic, and while they each thrive at a different pace and might not be an ideal backcourt pairing, they’ve shown signs of being able to play together successfully, argues Michael C. Wallace of
  • The play of Luol Deng, in the final year of his contract, is holding the Heat‘s rotation together with his ball movement and versatility, as well as his status as one of the few who’s found a rhythm with Dragic, opines Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, who writes in a mailbag column.
  • The Mavericks let former assistant coach Monte Mathis join Scott Skiles‘ new staff in Orlando over the offseason as part of a larger shift toward more game-to-game consistency on defense and away from a customized approach for each opponent, Mavs sources told Zach Lowe of Dallas has risen from 18th in defensive efficiency last year to 14th this year, but Mathis has helped the Magic surge from 25th to seventh, according to

Southeast Notes: Deng, Oubre, White, Eriksson

It’s still unclear what Luol Deng will do with his player option, worth nearly $10.152MM, with tonight’s deadline to decide looming, but the Heat absolutely wants him back, as team president Pat Riley made clear after the draft, notes Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). That’s in spite of Miami’s selection of small forward Justise Winslow at No. 10. While we wait to see just what Deng will do, here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • GM Ernie Grunfeld didn’t think the Wizards would have the chance to trade up and nab Kelly Oubre until a day before the draft, and in so doing, Washington landed a player who has a relationship with D.C. native and 2016 free agent Kevin Durant, as Benjamin Standig of The Associated Press examines.
  • J. Michael of looks at the options the Wizards have if Paul Pierce, who’s opting out, doesn’t re-sign.
  • Forward Aaron White, whom the Wizards drafted 49th overall out of Iowa, will “definitely” play overseas this coming season, as Michael hears, but Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post writes that a decision has not yet been made. “Aaron will play Summer League with the Wizards and then we will evaluate if it is best to go overseas or not this season,” White’s agent, Chris Emens, wrote in an e-mail to Castillo. “Aaron is open to doing whatever the Wizards think is best for his development.”
  • The pair of players the Hawks drafted in the second-round Thursday will stay overseas, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Swedish shooting guard Marcus Eriksson, the 50th pick, and Greek forward Dimitrios Agravanis, pick No. 59, remain under contract with Barcelona of Spain and Olympiacos of Greece, respectively, according to Vivlamore.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel breaks down the new Magic assistant coaches whose hires the team officially announced Friday: former Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin, former Mavs assistant Monte Mathis, Mario Elie, who last was an NBA assistant with the Nets in 2012/13, and former Lakers D-League coach Conner Henry.

Texas Notes: Singh, Rondo, Milutinov

Mavs GM Donnie Nelson said No. 52 overall pick Satnam Singh will play with the D-League’s Texas Legends this coming season, tweets Earl K. Sneed of, presumably meaning that Dallas will stash the Indian center with its D-League affiliate rather than sign him to the NBA roster. Singh may still pay dividends for the Mavs next season, since his agents, Happy Walters and Dan Fegan, also represent apparent free agent target DeAndre Jordan, notes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. While we wait to see if that connection works for the Mavs, here’s more:

  • It’s doubtful that soon-to-be former Mavs point guard Rajon Rondo ends up with the Lakers now that they’ve drafted D’Angelo Russell, a source tells Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, though it’s unclear if that indicates a lack of interest from the team, from Rondo, or both. In any case, the Lakers once seemed the inevitable destination for the veteran.
  • The Rockets are reportedly aiming to pursue Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency, but GM Daryl Morey suggested that it’s a long shot they’ll open the cap room necessary to make a marquee free agent signing like that, as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relays. “I think there’s possible opportunities we have to explore that are bigger, but I think they’re unlikely,” Morey said. “It’s probably likely we’ll stay over the cap and use our mid-level [exception].”
  • Morey “wanted my first-born” for the No. 18 pick, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said jokingly of talks with the Rockets, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Houston used the 18th pick on Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker.
  • No. 26 pick Nikola Milutinov is likely to remain overseas this season rather than sign with the Spurs, notes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. The center spent this past season with KK Partizan in his native Serbia.
  • Mavs assistant coach Monte Mathis is leaving to take an assistant’s job with the Magic, the Mavs confirmed, as Earl K. Sneed of tweets.

Western Notes: Warriors, Mudiay, Hunt

Now that the Warriors have secured the NBA title, the team enters the offseason with the goal of keeping its young core intact while still improving itself, Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group writes. When you have the success that we had, you like to keep it together as much as possible,” Golden State GM Bob Myers said. “It doesn’t mean you don’t open your eyes to see what else is out there, but if it’s a close call, you always want to retain the talent that got you a championship. I think if we’re going to lean in a direction, it’s the continuity, which is something we’ve tried to build here, and certainly at least it worked for this year.” One of the Warriors’ priorities this summer is to re-sign restricted free agent Draymond Green, who is in line for a hefty increase from his 2014/15 salary of $915,243.

Here’s what else is happening around the Western Conference:

  • The Kings have been unsuccessful thus far in getting point guard Emmanuel Mudiay to work out for the team, Sean Cunningham of News 10 Sacramento tweets. Mudiay’s representatives believe that he’ll be off the board prior to Sacramento selecting with the No. 6 overall pick, Cunningham adds.
  • Arizona defensive whiz Rondae Hollis-Jefferson‘s scheduled workout with the Jazz on Friday was cancelled due to travel issues, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News relays (Twitter link). It’s unclear if the showcase will be rescheduled prior to the draft. Hollis-Jefferson is already expected to work out for the Kings on Monday.
  • Mavs coach Rick Carslile has confirmed reports that former Nuggets interim coach Melvin Hunt will be joining his staff as an assistant, Marc Stein of relays (Twitter links). Hunt will replace assistant Monte Mathis, who has been offered the job as head coach of Mavs’ D-League affiliate if he does not obtain another position outside of the organization, Stein adds.