Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle Talks Mavericks, Draft Process

Coach Rick Carlisle recently appeared on ESPN Dallas’ Dennis and Cowlishaw radio show (h/t The Dallas Morning News) to discuss the Mavericks‘ offseason and the pre-draft process. Here are some highlights from the discussion:

  • Dallas is currently slotted with the ninth pick, though the franchise has a 6.1% chance at landing a top-three pick in the draft, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors details. While Carlisle would certainly like to move up, he believes you can get a productive player anywhere within the top 10.  “I’ve been looking at it for about 10 days now,” Carlisle said. “It’s deep. It’s 13 or 14 deep with guys that are going to legitimately help teams; not only teams that are bad but teams that are good. It’s a good year to be in the top-10. We’ll take advantage of it. There’s a lot of work to do between now and draft night.”
  • The Mavericks don’t usually pick this high in the draft and Carlisle admits that it puts added pressure on the organization getting the selection right. “This is the kind of pressure you want, an opportunity,” the coach said. “And we know it’s big. We haven’t been even in the mid-first round very much.”
  • Many people within the front office will have input on who the team selects, but ultimately, it’ll be the owner the makes the final call, Carlisle explains. “Even if some guys are hired in GM positions and they say, ‘I have decision-making power in this job,’ not really. You’re always running it by your owner. And so ultimately Mark [Cuban] makes the final call and we’ll make a recommendation,” Carlisle said.
  • Carlisle added that he’s only involved in the draft process to inform the front office on what the team’s needs since he has the best idea of what they already have.
  • He added that the Mavericks won’t draft for need: “We gotta take the best player available.”
  • Be sure to check out the whole interview via The Dallas Morning News. It’s worth a read.

Mavericks Notes: Ferrell, Carlisle, Lottery

Yogi Ferrell is confident that he can be the Mavericks‘ starting point guard, though he’s willing to play whatever role is best for the team, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes.

“I feel like, yeah, I am a starting point guard, and I’m going to play whatever role coach decides to put me in,” Ferrell said. “I’m definitely just blessed to be here and glad to be here. I definitely want to be here for a very long time.”

Here’s more from Dallas:

  • Coach Rick Carlisle believes Ferrell has earned a place in the league, but he added that it’s unfair to project what kind of role the Indiana product will play going forward, Sefko adds in the same piece. “I do like Yogi in our franchise, on our roster,” Carlisle said. “He certainly has proven that he can be a rotation player in this league. We didn’t have a good record. At this point in time, projecting exactly where he’s going to be is not really fair. I love him as a competitor. He’s grown each and every day, each and every game. I’m just really thrilled we have him here.”
  • Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News can envision the Mavericks contending for the eighth seed next season, but he’s bearish on the team’s chances of rising any higher in the standings. The scribe adds that if unless Dallas moves up in the lottery, the team is a season or two away from 50 wins. Mark Cuban’s franchise has a 1.7% at the No. 1 overall selection and a 6.1% chance at a top-3 pick, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors details.

Mavs Notes: Curry, Noel, Hammons, Harris, Cuban

On the heels of a 33-49 season, the Mavericks will focus on improving their roster via free agency and the draft. Eddie Sefko of Dallas Morning News suggested two veteran FAs to provide an immediate boost: Serge Ibaka and J.J. Redick. Sefko explains that Ibaka is a “big-time rebounder” who is still relatively young, while Redick would help shore up the team’s mediocre shooting.

Sefko cautions against hoping for a point guard improvement through the draft. Unless the Mavs “get lucky” and secure one of the top two picks, they’re unlikely to obtain a top-shelf guard. In the event Dallas winds up with the 8, 9, or 10 pick, Sefko cites Jonathan Isaac, Miles Bridges, and Lauri Markkanen as potential fits.

More from Dallas…

  • Seth Curry, who missed the season’s final seven games due to a left shoulder injury, hopes to avoid undergoing surgery over the offseason. “It’s still a possibility, but I don’t think it’s necessary at this point,” Curry told Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
  • Former Purdue Boilermaker A.J. Hammons got his feet wet in the NBA this past season, scoring 43 points with 36 rebounds over 22 games. While Hammons’ contract is guaranteed over the next two seasons, Eddie Sefko of Dallas Morning News is skeptical of his role on the team in 2017/18. “I like the big guy, but I haven’t seen a passion for wanting to improve,” Sefko writes. “He loves to sit out there and launch jump shots. But I think his calling in this league has to be as a strong rebounder and rim protector. My bottom line: doubtful that he is here next season.”
  • While he appears set to enter the market as a restricted free agent, Nerlens Noel‘s recent remarks to Brad Townsend of Dallas Morning News imply he’d like another season in Dallas. “I love Dallas,” Noel said. “In my short time here, I’ve really enjoyed it. With the pieces that we have, and the opportunities we’ll be seeing in the near-future, I think there’s a lot to be excited for.” 
  • While Devin Harris isn’t a lock to start next season with Dallas, one thing is certain: the 34-year-old isn’t retiring. “Definitely not retiring,” Harris told Adam Grosbard of Dallas Morning News. The Mavs are unsure whether they will exercise Harris’ $4.4MM option for 2017/18. Harris averaged 16/7 minutes in 2016/17; the lowest total since his rookie season. “Ball’s in their court. I just let the chips fall where they may and try to make the best decision possible with the information that I have.”
  • In a 109-91 loss to the Nuggets- the Mavs’ penultimate game of the season- coach Rick Carlisle gave six players 25-years-old or younger significant playing time. Mark Cuban spoke to Adam Grosbard of Dallas Morning News, explaining the strategy of giving younger players minutes down the stretch. “When we were playing for it, we obviously had some bad games but it’s obvious our young guys are getting better. And that’s all you can ask for,” Cuban said. Dirk Nowtizki seconded Cuban’s remarks, adding “It’s been fun to watch these kids.”

Southwest Notes: Boogie, Davis, Curry, Anderson, Diallo

Having been eliminated from the playoffs, the Pelicans will regroup and focus on 2017/18, Justin Verrier of ESPN writes. As Alvin Gentry notes, the Pels will benefit from Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins having a full preseason to learn how to play off one another.

“You can see he [Davis] and DeMarcus are going to be fine together,” Gentry said. “You put them in a training camp and you’re able to really hone in on what you want to do and how they can play together. They can be very, very effective. I think we have a chance to move forward.”

Aside from questions surrounding Jrue Holiday‘s free agency, the Pelicans will also have to sort out a roster shuffled by the Cousins trade. Over the season’s remaining four games, Verrier points out, the Pels would be best served to showcase Cheick Diallo and Quinn Cook over their frontcourt veterans.

More from around the Southwest…

  • Mavs coach Rick Carlisle isn’t sure Seth Curry will return by the end of the regular season, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News reports. Depending on the condition of Curry’s left shoulder, the team could shut down the former Blue Devil. “Seth’s doing all right,” Carlisle said. “I’m not sure at this point (about him playing in the final three games). It’s not something that we just rubber stamp and send him back out there. I hope he can play a couple of games, but if it’s not the right thing, he won’t do it.”
  • Ryan Anderson will play limited minutes in tonight’s matchup with Detroit, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. An ankle injury had sidelined Anderson for Houston’s last six games. As the postseason nears, Anderson is eager to get back on track. “I’m going to play limited minutes, but that’s the plan,” Anderson told Feigen. “I’m excited about it. I feel strong. I feel good. I feel ready to go. It’s going to take a game or two to get back. That’s why we have these last few games to get ready and get mentally prepared for the playoffs, and physically.”
  • The Pelicans not having a designated D-League affiliate resulted in an “unorthodox” year of development for Diallo. A former Kansas Jayhawks standout, Cheick was assigned to the D-League seven times, playing for three different teams in 2016/17. “I just want to play, you know?” Diallo told Scott Kushner of The Advocate. “I go to any place and I don’t even know the coaches or the players on some of these D-League teams. Sometimes I didn’t even know where I was, whether in North Carolina or Texas or wherever. I just know the D-Leagues helped me a lot and it would help anyone a lot.”

Southwest Notes: Boogie/Brow, Randolph, Barea

The Pelicans still have a ways to go following their acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer writes. Anthony Davis won’t become a free agent until 2020, but if Pelicans ownership doesn’t build a better team around him by then, Davis could leave for greener pastures.

“Cousins is a talented, ball-dominant player, but his biggest talent diminishes Davis’s value,” O’Connor writes. “The Brow’s worst offensive skill is his 3-point shooting, yet when Cousins bulldozes defenders, all Davis can do is float around the arc.”

The ‘elephant in the room’ regarding the Cousins deal, O’Connor writes, is Boogie’s agent stating it is “highly unlikely” DeMarcus would sign an extension following a trade. Despite acquiring Cousins for excellent value, his departure would leave the Pelicans back at square one.

“Right now the Pelicans are a team with zero title hopes, clinging to 8-seed dreams,” O’Connor concludes. “Over league history, stars stuck in those spots don’t stick around too often. Maybe things will be different with Davis, but it won’t be unless the Pelicans make drastic changes before time’s up.”

More from around the Southwest…

  • Grizzlies vet Zach Randolph shared his memories of playing in the tournament with Michigan State. “When we went to the Final Four. Playing in front of our home crowd and having all the State fans being there in a big arena, it was a great experience,” Z-Bo told Grizzlies.com. Vince Carter also spoke about the experience of participating in March Madness, talking up the Final Four-bound Tar Heels. “I think they’ve established themselves as a one seed,” Carter said. “It’s all about luck and a little opportunity, but I think if they just stay disciplined and be who they are, they should be ok.”
  • Donatas Motiejunas spoke about the contract debacle he endured with the Rockets. “I try not to look at it. At the end, everything is going to be cleared up,” D-Mo told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle“It was a long time for me not playing basketball of course. There were a lot of options, I thought about playing in Europe, a lot of teams were offering me a contract.” A free agent-to-be, Montiejunas has accumulated four DNPs in New Orleans’ last seven games.
  • Mavs coach Rick Carlisle liked the aggression his team showed following J.J. Barea‘s altercation with Blake Griffin. “That was such a blatant flop, I mean how physical did you think it was?” Carlisle told Eddie Sefko of Dallas News. “The nature of that play was aggressive. It got our fans going. I think it got us going. And it was kind of one of those situations where you take a stand. And that’s how it’s got to be from here on out for our team.” While the original ruling on the court was a Flagrant-2 foul on Barea, Carlisle hopes the league can overturn the call.

And-Ones: Embiid, Noel, Monk, Hayward

The Sixers expect Joel Embiid, who underwent surgery on his left knee on Friday, to resume basketball activities this summer, Jessica Camerato of Comcast Sportsnet relays.

“Joel, his representatives and our medical staff conducted extensive research based on prioritizing the best possible treatment and recovery outcome for Joel’s knee injury resulting in today’s procedure by Dr. ElAttrache,” president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said. “We are very pleased with his post-surgical assessment and forecast for a healthy return to basketball activity.”

This was Embiid’s third surgery of his young career. He underwent two separate procedures on his foot, which forced him to miss his first two seasons in the league. He was only able to play 31 games this season before the Sixers shut him down for the year with the knee ailment.

Here’s more from around the league.

  • Coach Rick Carlisle believes Nerlens Noel deserves to be a starter in the league, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News passes along. “That’s why we traded for him,” Carlisle said. He added that the Mavericks will eventually work with Noel on expanding his range, though “it’s not a big priority for now.”
  • Steve Serby of the New York Post examines Kentucky’s backcourt and believes both Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox would be good fits for the Knicks. Both players are expected to be top-10 picks and New York currently owns the No. 5 spot in our Reverse Standings.
  • Gordon Hayward left tonight’s game against the Clippers with a knee injury, but the X-rays came back negative, Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News reports. Coach Quin Snyder said that the team’s All-Star will be “fine.” The Jazz currently own the fourth seed in the Western Conference, though Los Angeles sits just 0.5 games back of that spot.

Southwest Notes: Parker, Pelicans, Selden, Mavs

Tony Parker spoke about his role on the Spurs with Jabari Young of MySanAntonio.com, saying he’s “blessed” to still have fun playing the game.

“Guys have worse (injuries); you know? Knees, Achilles, stuff like that,” Parker said. “I’ve been playing for 16 years. All season long for the Spurs, and then all summer internationally. And the way I play, with speed and going into the trees (the paint), getting hit so many times and going to the ground so many times, I feel very blessed to still be out there.”

Parker realizes his limitations at 34 years old, unable to fill the stat sheet the way he did in 2008/09, when he averaged 22 PPG with 6.9 APG. Nevertheless, Parker occupies an important spot in Gregg Popovich‘s rotation, and will be relied upon as San Antonio continues its march toward the postseason.

“It obviously helps if I play well,” said Parker. “I love it. I think the evolution in anybody’s career is, as you get older, you have to adjust to who is the main guys on your team. Try to be a factor just like Manu (Ginobili) did. Just like Timmy (Duncan] did. I just try and do the same thing.”

More from around the Southwest…

  • Having now won four of their last five, the Pelicans are starting to gel offensively, William Guillory of NOLA.com writes. The Pels have reason for optimism following their winning stretch, but must keep up their pace with only 12 games left in the regular season. “When all three of us are playing well like that, we’re tough to beat,” said Anthony Davis, referring to himself, DeMarcus Cousins, and Jrue Holiday. “Guys are stepping up and making big plays, especially at the right time. Guys are doing things that we need them to do. I just feel like we’re gelling and clicking at the right time.”
  • Grizzlies coach David Fizdale told Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal that Memphis’ signing of Wayne Selden was a result of Chandler Parsons‘ season-ending injury. Selden, who had most recently received NBA minutes with the Pelicans, was signed to a multiyear contract.
  • While there’s no “magic wand” to fix the Mavericks‘ problems, there are adjustments Rick Carlisle can make, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas News writes. “Philly’s a team you can learn from,” Carlisle said of Dallas’ recent blowout loss to the Sixers. “They win their games on sheer persistence and hard play. And that’s what’s gotten us wins when we’ve been successful over the last two months. We took a pretty significant step back last night. We watched film. We saw the nightmare of last night. It’s pretty clear we’ve got to adjust our disposition. And we’ve got to move the ball better.”

Sefko’s Latest: Point Guard A “Priority” For Mavs In Offseason

Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News discussed the Mavs‘ offseason plans during a live chat Monday, labeling point guard the team’s “No. 1 priority” in the upcoming draft.

“Somebody who can snag rebounds will help,” Sefko explained. “But an athletic wing player is always in demand. Still, Point guard is the No. 1 priority in the offseason. We all think highly of Yogi Ferrell, but he needs help at the position. If Seth Curry‘s handles get a little better…”

Sefko acknowledged Dallas’ minimal playoff chances, citing the Mavs’ upcoming schedule as problematic. Rick Carlisle‘s squad dropped three of four in a recent stretch (including defeats to the Suns and 76ers), putting the Mavs in an unenviable position as the postseason nears. Still, Sefko writes, there’s reason for optimism in 2017/18:

“This franchise still is recovering from the DeAndre Jordan nightmare. But this summer, if they can connect on another solid double like Harrison Barnes or Curry or Wesley Matthews, then they are positioned to have enough young talent to get the attention of star free agents.”

Veteran point guard J.J. Barea was among Sefko’s talking points. While Barea has two guaranteed seasons left his contract, Sefko predicts J.J. will be coaching before too long. With that in mind, it would behoove Barea to act as a mentor to Ferrell and Curry.

When asked about potential draft picks for the Mavs, Sefko pointed out Donovan Mitchell of Louisville, as well as Jonathan Isaac of Florida State.

Mark Cuban: “We’ve Gone Through A Rebuild In One Season”

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban discussed his team in a Q&A with Shaun Powell of NBA.com. The interview spanned a variety of subjects- even touching on politics toward the end- but Cuban was sure to praise the “reinvigorated” Dirk Nowitzki, as well as scrappy guards Yogi Ferrell and Seth Curry.

“This has reinvigorated Dirk. He sees the big picture,” Cuban said of Nowitzki’s choice to ‘ride it out’ in Dallas. “We’re in a win-win situation. We lose, we get a better draft pick, we win we get into the playoffs. It’s fun. It feels a lot more like 2000 when I first brought the team. All this young energy, exciting, fun to watch, we’re at a place where we’re not supposed to be.”

Cuban has reason to be pleased with Dallas’ season. Having gotten off to a 5-18 start in 2016/17, it looked as though the Mavs were in for a lost season. Several key contributors have helped right the ship, however. Ferrell and Curry have supplanted J.J. Barea and Devin Harris as Rick Carlisle‘s primary guards, Harrison Barnes has overcome a shaky start to the season, and Nerlens Noel looks like a stellar trade deadline pick-up.

“He has the most understated swag I’ve ever seen. His brother [Stephen] likes to dance. Seth will just kill you and then give you a little hand motion. He’s so non-demonstrative,” Cuban said. “To me, the more of a show you put on when you do something, the less swag you have. He doesn’t tell you, he scoreboards you, and to me, that’s the ultimate swag. We want him to be here forever. He’s our kind of guy.”

In Cuban’s mind, the team’s abbreviated rebuilding period has been a group effort.

“We’ve basically gone through a rebuild in one season. It’s a credit to Rick (Carlisle, the Mavericks coach) but also everyone on this team,” Cuban said. “There’s still a lot more to do. Nobody’s writing us in for The Finals this year. Our guys really worked hard, as hard or harder than any team in the league. Look at Miami. They’ve undergone a lot of changes too, much like we have, and they just play harder. I remember the Celtics after they traded off Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and they tried to find themselves and they did that by playing their asses off. That’s who we are now. Teams kind of look at our talent and don’t know what to expect but it’s hard to keep up with us when you go 15 deep with guys playing hard. It’s our calling card. I love it.”

Mavs Working On Buyout Agreement With Deron Williams

2:57 PM: Dallas has told Williams that the team will pay him the full remaining amount of his $9MM salary if he would like to become a free agent, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).

2:37 PM: The Mavericks are working with Deron Williams to come to an agreement on a buyout, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). The scribe adds that the Cavs, Jazz, and Hawks expressed interest in the point guard via trade. There would presumably be more teams interested in him should he hit the open market.

Williams sat out practice over the last two days with what coach Rick Carlisle is calling a “pending situation,” Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). Williams is making $9MM this season after signing a one-year deal to return the Mavs during the offseason.

Dallas will be thin at the point guard position if it cuts ties with Williams. J.J. Barea remains out with a calf injury and he’s expected to miss at least three more contests. MacMahon (Twitter link) notes that the team could look to add a player via another 10-day deal.

The ESPN scribe adds that the team is preparing to give its top point guard spot to rookie Yogi Ferrell. Ferrell got his chance in Dallas after signing a 10-day contract earlier this season. He thrived in the starting role and helped the team get back into the playoff picture, as the Mavs sit just three games behind the Nuggets in the Western Conference’s eighth seed race.

Pierre Jackson is a player to keep an eye on later in the season, though that’s merely my speculation. Jackson was playing well for Dallas before straining his hamstring, an event that led the team to sign Ferrell. The injury was nearly a month ago and if Jackson is healthy enough to play, he could be a candidate to come to the team. However, it’s worth noting that a deal would have to be for the remainder of the season since Dallas already signed him to two 10-day deals.

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