Petteri Koponen

Southwest Notes: Chandler, Conley, Mavericks, Erman, Turner

Sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN that veteran big man Tyson Chandler is a likely target for the Rockets in their search for a center to backup starter Clint Capela.

Chandler, who turns 37 later this year, had an effective 2018/19 season with the Lakers as a defender, rebounder, and veteran mentor. Per MacMahon, he is known as a good locker room guy and has a strong relationship with Rockets’ point guard Chris Paul from their days as teammates with the New Orleans Hornets.

There’s more from the Southwest Division this afternoon:

  • The Grizzlies will retire No. 11 in honor of longtime franchise point guard Mike Conley, per an official release from team owner Robert J. Pera.
  • After missing out on Danny Green, owner Mark Cuban says that the Mavericks 2019 free agency is probably done except for an opportunistic situation like a potential offer sheet to restricted free agent Delon Wright, reports Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.
    • The Mavericks have since agreed to acquire Wright via S&T.
  • Should they change their mind about free agency, the Mavericks no longer need to worry about the cap hold for Petteri Koponen after the league office permitted Dallas to remove the hold amount for the 2019/20 season (per RealGM transactions log).
  • According to Scott Kushner of The Advocate, associate head coach Darren Erman is leaving the Pelicans coaching staff. Per Kushner, Erman remains a candidate for other NBA coaching jobs.
  • Elston Turner has officially been hired as the Rockets new lead assistant coach under Mike D’Antoni, per a press release from the team. Turner previously worked for the Rockets under Rick Adelman and has spent the last three seasons in Sacramento working for the Kings under former head coach Dave Joerger.

Mavs Notes: Jordan, Doncic, Finley, Koponen

Many NBA observers were surprised to see the Mavericks pursue DeAndre Jordan again, three years after he spurned them in free agency by backing out a verbal agreement with Dallas to rejoin the Clippers. However, team owner Mark Cuban said it only took him and Jordan a matter of seconds to smooth things over, as Tim MacMahon of details.

“There’s like four guys I hold grudges with, and three of them are from grade school, maybe even before,” Cuban told MacMahon. “I just want to win. Look, only Dirk [Nowitzki] and J.J. [Barea] were there from that period anyway. All of our guys were like, ‘Go get him! Go get him!

“I talked to him on the phone and he’s like, ‘Everything behind us?’ I’m like, ‘Let’s go win.’ He goes, ‘Let’s go to war.’ Done.”

According to Cuban, the team and Jordan mutually agreed that a one-year deal was the best route to take, with both sides planning to use the 2018/19 season to assess the potential for a long-term fit. Cuban also noted that the Mavericks explored the possibility of adding DeMarcus Cousins, but felt like Jordan gave the club a better chance to “win now” than a player coming off an Achilles tear.

“You don’t want to put somebody in a position where they have to rush back, and the Warriors obviously don’t have to deal with that,” Cuban said. “I was happy for him. A lot of people talk trash about [Cousins], but we thought he would have been great. But I wanted to win now, and that’s what I told his guys.”

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Cuban also spoke to MacMahon about No. 3 overall pick Luka Doncic, whom the Mavericks owner called “the top player on our board.” Cuban added that “it wasn’t even close.”
  • Speaking of Doncic, the Mavericks have agreed to terms with Real Madrid on his buyout agreement, tweets international basketball reporter David Pick. Doncic should be on track to finalize his rookie contract and officially join the Mavs soon.
  • Mavericks executive Michael Finley received a promotion in the front office this week, according to Dwain Price of (Twitter link). Formerly Dallas’ assistant vice president of basketball operations, Finley was named the Mavs’ VP of basketball operations.
  • In a move that has been a formality for the last several years, the Mavericks removed Petteri Koponen‘s cap hold from their books this week, per RealGM’s official transactions log. Dallas still has the NBA rights to Koponen, a 2007 first-round pick, so in order to remove his cap hold each season, the team and player have to agree to that he won’t be signing with the Mavs for the current league year.

Western Notes: Young, Neto, Teodosic, Koponen

Nick Young is ready to end the feud with Lakers teammate D’Angelo Russell that resulted in the rookie being ostracized last season, relays Mark Medina of The Orange County Register. The dispute started when Russell secretly recorded Young talking about being unfaithful to his former fiancee, a clip that was later posted to social media. “It’s been so long, so it’s kind of old,” Young said. “We’ll be able to work it out. We’ve already been working it out. I can’t be mad forever.”

Young, who shot a career-low 34% from the field last season, may not be back with the Lakers, as there have been rumors that the team might buy out the final two years and $11MM left on his contract. If he does return, he’s looking forward to a chance to play for new head coach Luke Walton, who was hired over the offseason to replace Byron Scott“Luke is a big-time coach and came from a championship team,” he said. “I think I have the tools that we can use as a shooter.”

There’s more news tonight from the Western Conference:

  • The Olympics have given Jazz point guard Raul Neto a chance to connect with new teammate Boris Diaw, writes Amy Donaldson of The Deseret News. Utah acquired Diaw, who plays for the French team, in a July trade with the Spurs  to provide veteran help off the bench. “I’ve talked to Boris in the [athlete’s] village,” said Neto, who hails from the host country of Brazil. “He’s a really nice guy. [Leandro] Barbosa played with him in Phoenix, and he say only good things about him. I think we have a great team, some nice guys joined our team, and we expect [to] do better [this] season.”
  • The Grizzlies offered Serbian star Milos Teodosic more than $5MM in 2013, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Teodosic’s agent, Nick Lotsos, said his client chose CSKA Moscow over Memphis.
  • Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen, whose draft rights have been held by the Mavericks since 2011, is close to reaching a deal with Barcelona, Pick tweets.

And-Ones: Looney, Koponen, Plumlee

The Trail Blazers were extremely high on Arizona swingman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, but could not pass on adding a starting-caliber player like Mason Plumlee, whom the team acquired from the Nets in exchange for Hollis Jefferson and Steve Blake, Mike Richman of The Oregonian writes. “We really like Rondae. He’s a terrific young player,” Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said. “But we just felt like, based on some of the moves we have to make [and] some of the uncertainly regarding some of our unrestricted free agents, the opportunity to get a dynamic young center that’s a little bit more accomplished, that we know we can put on the floor this fall, that can help you win games but still has a tremendous upside because of his age and his athleticism, it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The NBA is proceeding with a plan to seed playoff teams one through eight in each conference regardless of division starting with 2015/16, reports Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
  • The reason that talented UCLA forward Kevon Looney lasted until the Warriors nabbed him with the 30th overall pick is that he was red-flagged with a degenerative back as well as a hip issue, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress tweets. Looney may require surgery at some point in his career as a result, Givony adds.
  • There’s only a 10% chance that Finnish guard Petteri Koponen signs with the Mavericks this offseason, Tim MacMahon of relays (on Twitter). Dallas holds the rights to Koponen, who was selected with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Mavs Notes: Chandler, Rondo, Felton

With Monta Ellis out due to injury it is time for Rajon Rondo to show the Mavs and the league what his true worth is, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. The point guard needs to step up his game on both ends of the court if he intends to seek a maximum salary contract when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, Sefko adds.

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • Center Tyson Chandler is the free agent who the Mavs should re-sign at all costs this summer, opines Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News. The veteran big man is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, and with Dallas’ lineup heavy with shooters, Chandler would be extremely difficult to replace, Gosselin adds.
  • With the Mavs’ backcourt hit hard by injuries, Raymond Felton has proven a capable fill-in option for coach Rick Carlisle, Tim MacMahon of writes. “He’™s a high-integrity guy. He really is,€ said Carlisle. “€œHe’€™s a high-integrity competitor. There hasn’™t been one time this year where he’€™s dropped his head or pouted. When he was hurt, when he came back and there weren’™t minutes right away, he’s just remained consistently professional and he kept working extremely hard, which shows now that he’s getting an opportunity to play.”€
  • Finnish guard Petteri Koponen, 26, who was selected with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2007 draft, is hoping to make the jump to the NBA next season, Jorge Sierra of relays. Koponen is much happier with his level of communication with the Mavs, who hold his draft rights, than with the Blazers, the team that drafted him, Sierra adds.
  • The Mavs have $28,064,039 in guaranteed salary already committed for the 2015/16 campaign, as our salary cap breakdown shows.

Western Notes: Mullin, Capela, Nelson

Steve Lavin was fired as coach of St. John’s University today after five seasons on the job, Adam Zagoria of reports. “A national search is underway for a candidate who possesses the characteristics to give our program an opportunity to successfully compete at the national level,” St. John’s AD Chris Monasch said. “We will be aggressive in our search for a coach who has a track record of success, understands all the requirements of running a high major basketball program in New York City, including the media demands within this market. We are seeking someone who embraces the St. John’s mission and tradition, including the ability to attract the top talent both nationally and internationally.”

One candidate already being mentioned as a possibility to replace Lavin is Kings adviser Chris Mullin, Zagoria notes. St. John’s has already expressed interest in the former player, Jeff Goodman of reports (Twitter link). “He’s the most famous person in the school history, he’s going to have a decided edge on whatever name comes up,” a source told Zagoria. “Whether he takes it or not, I don’t know. At one point there was mutual interest but that guy’s got a pretty good [expletive] life.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • The Rockets have recalled rookie Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. Capela has averaged 16.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks in 37 D-League contests this season.
  • Point guard Petteri Koponen‘s contract with the Russian team Khimki contains NBA out provisions, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. David Pick of (Twitter link) confirms that Koponen’s pact includes an NBA out clause that can be exercised as early as this summer. The 26-year old was originally selected with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft by the Sixers and his rights are now held by the Mavericks.
  • Jameer Nelson likes the situation that he has with the Nuggets, but the veteran isn’t sure if he will exercise his $2,854,940 player option this summer and remain in Denver, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes. “I wouldn’t mind staying here,” Nelson said. “I’m not ready to make that decision just yet. I’ll make that decision with my agency and my family first and foremost when the time comes.”

And-Ones: Mavs, Koponen, Chandler

Two games into FIBA World Cup pool play, Bulls star Derrick Rose is pain free, writes Joe Cowley of the Sun Times.  Rose didn’t light up the scoreboard against Turkey on Sunday as he scored just two points, but he looked sharp as he scored 12 points in 22 minutes against Finland on Saturday.  Here’s more from around the league..

  • Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen, whose rights are owned by the Mavericks, hopes to be playing in the NBA by the 2015/16 season, writes Marc Stein of  “I always said my dream is to play in the NBA,” Koponen said. “Every summer we talk a little bit with Dallas to see what the situation is and what they think. I’ve got one more year left on my contract in Russia and then of course I would like to come over. I hope I get some options to go there and show I can play at that level.”  Team sources tell Stein that the Mavs have not ruled out importing Koponen themselves in the future, but there was no talk of doing that this season with four point guards already on the roster.  Of course, they could also deal his rights to another team.
  • Even though he only played just one season for the Mavs, Tyson Chandler says his heart was always in Dallas, says Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram. “I enjoyed my entire time with the Mavericks and it was a sad process for me and my family leaving Dallas, especially after the amazing experience and amazing run that we had,’’ said Chandler, who was shipped back to Dallas this summer. “As I left I told those guys, ‘You know, I love you and I’ll love you forever and I love everything you have done for me and did for me.’ I understand the (NBA) business and I guess it wasn’t meant for me. But I guess it is meant for me to be back now.’’
  • The Spurs kept the band together after winning the championship but not every defending champion has been so lucky.  Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders looks at some of the worst defending champs in NBA history.
  • According to Italian basketball exec Gianmaria Vacirca, Thanasis Antetokounmpo had an agreement to play with Pallacanestro Varese before deciding to stay in America to play for the Knicks D-League affiliate, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes.

Renounced Players: Thursday

We may be no longer in the early stages of free agency, but teams continue to clear cap space by renouncing their Non-Bird, Early Bird or full Bird rights to their own free agents to remove their cap holds from the books. Teams that renounce those rights no longer have the ability to exceed the cap to re-sign those players unless they use an exception like the mid-level or the biannual. Some of those decisions are more notable than others, but for completion’s sake, we’ll track the latest of these cap-clearing moves right here:

  • The Bulls have renounced their rights to Daequan Cook, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nazr Mohammed, Brian Scalabrine and Jimmer Fredette, reports Mark Deeks of Sham Sports (via Twitter).
  • The Mavericks have expunged the cap hold of Petteri Koponen and renounced their rights to Bernard James, reports Deeks (via Twitter).
  • The Lakers have renounced their rights to MarShon Brooks and Andrew Goudelock, according to Deeks (via Twitter).
  • The Lakers have also renounced the rights to John Salley, Karl Malone, Brian Shaw and other players not on the team last season, according to ESPN salary cap guru Larry Coon (via Twitter).
  • As Coon explains, the old CBA allowed Bird rights of players not on a team the previous year to be used in sign-and-trades. With that no longer the case under the current CBA, the rights to players like Salley, Malone and Shaw are no longer useful. The teams must still go through the formality of renouncing the rights, but tend not to do so until they actually need the cap space which, like in this case, could be years later (Twitter links are here).
  • With Salley’s rights renounced, Coon believes the oldest Bird rights still on the books might be Roshown McLeod with the Celtics (Twitter link).

Odds & Ends: Lottery, Deron Williams, Magic, Nash

The draft lottery is dominating NBA headlines today, but the team with the best shot at landing the first overall pick isn't losing any sleep over tonight's drama. Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that he's not stressed about the lottery since the results are out of his hands, and adds that he still expects Charlotte to add a solid player even without the top pick.

As we count down the hours until the winner of the Anthony Davis sweepstakes is announced, let's round up a few odds and ends from around the NBA….

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International Rumors: Marbury, Freeland, Koponen

A number of this morning's items of note relate to overseas players, so let's round them up in one place:

  • Stephon Marbury has high praise for the Chinese Basketball Association and doesn't intend to return to the NBA even if there's interest, according to (Chinese link; translation via HoopsHype).
  • British forward Joel Freeland, who was picked by the Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2006 draft, would cost $1.5MM for Portland to buy out, according to Cesar Nanclares of (Spanish link; translation via HoopsHype). A number of international clubs are also interested in Freeland, though his buyout to play elsewhere would be even more expensive ($3.1MM).
  • Nets' 2011 second-rounder Bojan Bogdanovic confirmed to (Croatian link) that he met with GM Billy King, but says coming to the NBA isn't up to him, according to HoopsHype.
  • Earlier this week, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando passed along an interview between Petteri Koponen and Il Corriere di Bologna, in which the point guard said he expects to talk to the Mavericks this summer. The Mavs own the rights to the 30th pick in the 2007 draft, and the Dallas Morning News looks at the possibility of Koponen coming to Dallas for next season.