Rick Carlisle

Mavs Gave Rick Carlisle Extension, Raise Before Season

The Mavericks “quietly” reworked Rick Carlisle‘s contract with the team before the 2018/19 season, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who reports (via Twitter) that Carlisle received an extension and a raise at that time.

Carlisle had already been on a five-year contract that was projected to run through the 2021/22 season, but the Mavs extended that deal by one year, keeping him under team control through ’22/23, league sources tell Stein. While the amount of Carlisle’s salary increase was undisclosed, Stein notes that Carlisle’s five-year deal had initially been worth $35MM.

The head coach in Dallas since 2008, Carlisle led the franchise to its first-ever NBA championship in 2011 and has compiled a 464-407 regular season record during his time with the Mavericks.

The last few years have been rough for Carlisle and the Mavs, as the team won just 33 games in 2016/17 and 24 last season. Dallas (27-40) will finish below .500 again this year, but things are trending in the right direction with the additions of promising young prospects Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and Mavs management and ownership still has total confidence in Carlisle, as his latest deal indicates.

Carlisle is currently the third-longest-tenured head coach in the NBA, trailing only Gregg Popovich (Spurs) and Erik Spoelstra (Heat).

Southwest Notes: Anthony, Smith Jr., Matthews, Davis

The Rockets will improve their luxury tax situation if the proposed trade of Carmelo Anthony to the Bulls goes through, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes. Houston started the day with a projected luxury tax bill of $13.9MM but will see that number drop to $12.4MM if the trade becomes official. It will also create a $1.5MM trade exception and open up a roster spot. Big man Kenneth Faried, signed earlier in the day, will earn $917,271 with the Rockets incurring a $683,661 cap hit.

We have more from around the Southwest Division:

  • Dennis Smith Jr.’s decision to rejoin Mavericks on Tuesday was mostly about damage control and protecting his future value, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Smith realized after talking to coach Rick Carlisle it was in his best interests to return, rather than the club making up excuses about him being ill, MacMahon said. It’s unlikely that the Mavs will find a palatable deal before the deadline but those talks can be revisited and new suitors could emerge during the offseason if he finishes strong, MacMahon adds (Twitter links).
  • Wesley Matthews has heard the trade chatter about getting thrown into a potential deal involving Smith but he’s handling it professionally, as he explained to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. Matthews has an expiring $18.6MM contract and the Mavs are reportedly searching for deals with his contract as bait. “I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me,” Matthews said. “No one’s supposed to feel sorry for me. I didn’t get into this business with people feeling sorry for me. No one felt sorry for me when I wasn’t drafted. No one felt sorry for me when I tore my Achilles. … There’s bigger things than trade rumors and hater fans and all that [expletive]. That’s never going to affect me.”
  • Anthony Davis‘ finger injury is a body blow to an already scuffling franchise, Scott Kushner of the Baton Rouge Advocate writes. The Pelicans face a tough stretch of games heading into the trade deadline despite beating Memphis by 20 points on Monday. They remain below the .500 mark and are in danger of falling completely out of the playoff picture with Davis expected to miss 1-2 weeks with a left finger sprain.

Dennis Smith Jr. To Return To Mavericks

Amidst reports of tension in the Mavericks‘ locker room between head coach Rick Carlisle and Dennis Smith Jr. – which led to reports that Smith was being put on the trading block – it appears that tension has subsided.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium is reporting (via Twitter) that Carlisle and Smith spoke on the phone and were able to have productive conversations. Smith will, in turn, report back to the team on Tuesday. Charania also tweeted that Carlisle apologized to Smith and expressed his remorse over the situation.

The Mavericks play the Clippers on Tuesday and the plan is for Smith to play in that game, which will be his first game since January 7.

For the season, Smith is averaging 12.6 points and 3.9 assists per game while shooting 37.5% on 3-pointers, a significant improvement from last season. While the Mavericks may continue to look for possible trades involving Smith, it appears tensions have calmed down for now.

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.

Southwest Notes: Mavericks, Conley, White

In what is a surprise to many, the Mavericks are the current kings of Texas, having jumped out to a strong 13-11 start. As Brad Townsend writes for SportsDay Dallas, the additions of Luka Doncic and DeAndre Jordan have helped boost the Mavericks from the lottery to the playoff picture.

Doncic has been sensational as a rookie, averaging 18.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while hitting several clutch shots down the stretch of games. Jordan has improved the Mavericks’ rebounding and has provided an interior presence that the team has lacked in recent years.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks’ bench has been very successful, as J.J. Barea and Dwight Powell have played well in their specified roles. With Rick Carlisle at the helm, the Mavericks appear to be a very competitive team this season that has a good chance of sneaking into the playoffs.

There’s more from the Southwest division:

  • Mike Conley is struggling with a dislocated finger, which hampered his play against the Lakers last week. As David Cobb reveals for Commercial Appeal, Conley had trouble holding the ball, which obviously isn’t a good thing for the Grizzlies‘ leading guard. Conley believes the swelling and discomfort will improve in the coming days.
  • Derrick White continues to work on regaining his confidence and comfort after coming back from injury earlier this season. Jabari Young of The Athletic details the support that White has received from the Spurs‘ coaching staff and some of his teammates as he looks to make his mark in the Spurs’ depleted backcourt.
  • A recent Southwest notes post detailed Dirk Nowitzki‘s upcoming return to action, how the addition of Joakim Noah impacts other bigs on the Grizzlies roster and much more.

Western Notes: Korver, Nowitzki, Rockets, Rose

Shooting guard Kyle Korver knew the Cavaliers’ front office might deal him early in the season and he listed the Jazz as one of his preferred destinations, Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News reports. Korver was traded for Alec Burks and two future second-round picks. “It feels like a good fit,” Korver told Woodyard. Korver is in his second stint with Utah, having played there from 2007-10. He has averaged 8.5 PPG in 19.5 MPG in his first two games since the deal.

We have more from around the Western Conference:

  • Dirk Nowitzki participated in a 3-on-3 scrimmage at the end of practice on Monday as he nears his return to action, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports. The longtime Mavericks power forward has not played this season due to a left ankle injury. Dallas is hopeful he can make his season debut sometime this month. “He’s got to keep working on strength, playing simulation games with some of our guys,” coach Rick Carlisle told Sefko. “Sprinting, moving and all that. It’s never going to be the same as running out there with real NBA players. But you got to do what you can do.”
  • Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni believes improved health will lead to better defense, as he told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The Rockets currently rank 26th in that department. Nene and Chris (Paul) coming back, first of all, that’s two of the better defenders in the league, so that helps,” D’Antoni said. “That’s going to take minutes off Clint (Capela) and P.J. (Tucker). So they’ll be better defensively because they won’t be as tired. … We know we need to be in the top 10 to be a real contender.”
  • D’Antoni has high praise for the Timberwolves’ Derrick Rose, who has reinvented himself as a shooting guard, Feigen writes in a separate story. Rose is averaging 19.3 PPG despite starting just five of 21 games. “Accepting new roles is tough. Some guys can do it. Some guys just can’t do it,” D’Antoni said. “They can try to shoot threes all they want. When they can do it, for the team, obviously, it’s beneficial. The league has changed. If you want to be effective, you have to change sometimes.”

Rick Carlisle Denies Interest In Bucks’ Job

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle issued a statement to the media denying that he’s a candidate for the head coaching vacancy in Milwaukee, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

“Rumors that I have interest in the Milwaukee Bucks’ job are completely inaccurate,” he wrote. “I work for Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks.”

Carlisle is responding to a report from Gery Woelfel this week suggesting that the Mavs coach might have interest in coaching the Bucks, Stein adds (Twitter link). Woelfel identified Mike Budenholzer and Monty Williams as the top two candidates for the job.

Carlisle just completed the first year of a five-year extension in Dallas that runs through the 2021/22 season. He has a 437-367 record in 10 seasons with the Mavericks.

Mavericks Notes: Matthews, Randle, Carlisle, Draft Pick

Wesley Matthews expects to get full medical clearance when he undergoes an MRI tomorrow, relays Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Matthews is recovering from a stress fracture in his right fibula that forced him to miss the final 16 games of the season. Except for a torn Achilles in 2014/15, this is the only time Matthews has missed an extended stretch because of injury.

“By the end of the week, I should be good to go,” he said.

Matthews has to decide soon whether to exercise an $18.6MM player option for next season. He offered a clue today when asked about participating in community events over the summer, saying, “Yeah, I mean, I’m going to be here, so I’d love to.” 

There’s more today out of Dallas:

  • The Mavericks should aggressively target Lakers forward Julius Randle in free agency, writes NBC5’s Newy Scruggs in The Dallas Morning News. Randle, who grew up in Texas, is coming off his best NBA season, averaging 16.1 points and 8.0 rebounds in 82 games. Dallas will have at least $20MM in cap room, and possibly much more depending on what happens with Matthews and several non-guaranteed contracts. Randle is a restricted free agent, but the Lakers will be seeking bigger names, so he could be available if the Mavericks strike quickly.
  • Expect Rick Carlisle to remain the coach in Dallas for at least another three to four seasons, Scruggs adds in the same piece. Many Mavericks fans have turned on Carlisle as the losses piled up, Scruggs notes, but GMs still consider him one of the best coaches in the league.
  • Don’t bet on the Mavericks trading their first-round pick, Sefko states in a separate story. Dallas goes into next month’s lottery with the third-best odds at the No. 1 choice after winning a tiebreaker with Atlanta. The Mavs seem committed to taking their time in rebuilding, Sefko adds, and are seeking another cornerstone player to go with last year’s top pick, Dennis Smith Jr.

Mavericks Notes: Noel, McDermott, Carlisle, Motley, Offseason Plans

The Mavericks may have dodged a bullet when Nerlens Noel rejected the team’s four-year, $70MM offer last summer, Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News writes. Noel will hit the open market this summer and the type of role and deal he will secure is up in the air.

Noel, still just 23 years old, was limited by injuries this season as he played in just 30 games. Noel averaged 4.4 PPG and 5.6 RPG. After his recent five-game suspension, Noel’s tenure in Dallas is likely over and Cowlishaw writes that while the talent is there, Noel will likely face a challenge to find a consistent role.

“I don’t see him as a starting center on a good team. He’s not enough of a post threat to scare anyone and he certainly can’t drift out to the perimeter and shoot 3’s like so many big men can in today’s league,” the scribe notes. “He’s a decent defender when he’s willing and not a lot beyond that.”

Check out more Mavericks news and notes below:

  • Doug McDermott is a more-than-capable three-point shooter, which makes it likely that the Mavericks will try to retain him beyond the current season. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News speculates that McDermott could search for a deal in the $6MM-$8MM range, which would be a fair deal for both him and the Mavericks.
  • Rick Carlisle will complete his 10th season as the Mavericks head coach amid a rebuilding phase. While it may be a frustrating process to coach a losing team, Carlisle thinks the team has made progress, Sefko writes in a separate story. “This is a challenge I have not taken on as a head coach. So from that standpoint, I welcome it,” he said. “And I understand that there’s going to be difficult periods. But we are making progress.”
  • With just a few games left, Carlisle gave an indication as to what the team’s rotation will look like, Mavs.com reporter Dwain Price tweets. “We know what the guys that have been playing heavy minutes all year can do. We want to see what (Kyle) Collinsworth and Jalen Jones and (Johnathan) Motley — of course — and these other guys can do. And Aaron Harrison, Carlisle said.
  • Sefko writes in another piece that the Mavericks are more likely to improve the team via free agency rather than the trade market.
  • The Mavericks’ sole focus for the rest of the season is to audition players for next season. Sefko writes that Johnathan Motley has impressed with his play recently and will be looked at as a potential player for next season.

Mavericks Notes: Noel, Carlisle, Matthews, Tanking

Injuries have limited Nerlens Noel to just 24 games and six starts this season, leaving his impending unrestricted free agency as a major question mark. The former sixth overall pick will be able to sign with any team this upcoming offseason and he intends to approach the process in the best shape of his life, Isaac Harris of NBA.com writes.

“Once this summer ends I’ll be working harder than I’ve ever worked,” Noel said. “Just growing in this league and being older. Getting the priorities right and evolving. My mindset has only grown stronger in what I really want in life and want from this game. Right when the season ends I will strictly be working on my game and staying to myself and just letting things play out.”

Noel is still just 23 years old and his status as a former lottery pick with upside on defense and rebounding will likely attract a fair amount of suitors. Noel said he is open to a reunion with the Mavericks but will enter the summer with an “open mind” when it comes to signing his next deal.

Check out more Mavericks notes below:

  • The Mavericks’ recent win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden was proof that head coach Rick Carlisle is still taking his job seriously, despite the team’s poor record, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. Carlisle is owed a sizeable $7MM annual salary and has job security through 2022 but he does not want to concede in any way. “Competing just takes on a different form in our situation,” Carlisle said. “I have chosen to be here. I have a long deal. I knew we were probably going to hit a lower point. It’s just part of the cycle of the NBA.”
  • With Wesley Matthews out for the remainder of the season with a stress fracture, several Mavericks players stand to see increased minutes. Sefko writes that players such as Dorian Finney-Smith, Doug McDermott, and Jalen Jones will likely see the most increased minutes.
  • After the Mavericks’ win over the Knicks, Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki addressed the topic of tanking in the NBA. Nowitzki said it’s clear which teams are purposely trying to lose and which ones are trying to win despite their record. “We keep playing hard,” Nowitzki said, per Sefko. “There obviously are some teams that are going for some losses now. We’re one of the teams that still wants to win and see where we end up in the draft.”