“He’s inching closer all the time,” Carlisle said. “Again, there’s no setbacks that I’m aware of. He hasn’t participated in live practice, per se. There’s been simulated live situations — stuff with coaches where you have a defender or an offensive player. But it’s very set up so as not to create risk. But he’s working at it. He wants to be back. But it’s just got to happen at the right time.”
The Mavericks are unlikely to pursue DeAndre Jordan again, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. Jordan was listed among the big men Dallas would seek out in free agency in a story from The Ringer. Sefko cannot imagine owner Mark Cuban going after the Clippers center after Jordan backed out on a verbal agreement with the Mavs three summers ago.
Seth Curry‘s return to the Mavericks seems less likely than it did late in the season, Sefko adds, speculating that the Warriors or another legitimate contender will secure the guard’s services. Curry will be an unrestricted free agent in July.
In other developments around the Southwest Division:
- Ryan Anderson continues to be the odd man out in the Rockets‘ rotation, Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle reports. The high-priced power forward has only played 14 minutes during the first three games of the Western Conference Finals and his status is unlikely to change. “Ryan’s ready to go, but it’s a different type of series,” coach Mike D’Antoni told the media. “So he’ll just have to wait until his time.”
- Kawhi Leonard‘s image has taken a big hit but it won’t be difficult to repair, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News. Marketing experts believe Leonard can patch things up with Spurs fans if he remains with the team and tells them that his past issues with the staff and front office are behind him. Doing charitable work in the community would also hel mend fences, Orsborn adds. Leonard only played nine games this past season due to a quad injury, even though the team’s medical staff cleared him to play the second half of the season.
- The Mavericks are in a tricky spot in the lottery, Sefko writes in a separate piece. Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley III and Jaren Jackson are likely to be drafted ahead of Dallas’ pick at No. 5, Sefko continues. If that’s the way the draft it unfolds, there’s no obvious choice at No. 5 and Dallas doesn’t have the assets to move up, Sefko adds.