Spencer Dinwiddie

Western Notes: Nowell, KAT, Dinwiddie, Jazz

Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell is hoping to take advantage of a more consistent role in 2022/23 after the Rudy Gobert trade created the potential for additional playing time off the bench, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

With the trade that happened, it definitely opened up a lot of opportunity for me,” Nowell said. “It’s my job to make sure I don’t take that for granted, I continue to get better as a player, and whenever I get on that court just be the best version of myself.”

Nowell, 23, averaged 8.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG and 2.1 APG on .475/.394/.783 shooting in 62 games (15.7 MPG) in ’21/22. He’s entering the final season of his non-guaranteed contract, which will pay him $1,930,681. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2023, but he says he’s not focused on that.

I definitely just try to keep that to the side,” Nowell said, per Hine. “Because I think if I’m focusing on that, I’m not doing my part as a teammate. So, you know, obviously it’s coming up. It’s just part of this business, but at the end of the day I’m focused on this year and how good we can be this year. I just want to be the best teammate and be the best player I can be so we can all succeed.”

Here are a few more notes from the Western Conference:

  • Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch is hopeful Karl-Anthony Towns will be able to start “low-level” basketball activities early next week after missing training camp practices with a non-COVID illness, Hine relays in the same story. The three-time All-Star will slide down to power forward this season with Gobert’s addition, though he’ll almost certainly play some center when Gobert rests. Minnesota will feature one of the biggest starting lineups in the NBA in ’22/23.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie says he’s no longer worried about his ACL injury, which he suffered in late December 2020, per Dwain Price of Mavs.com. “It’s a normal offseason, full training mode, not worried about swelling or taking a break, or two days on and one day off,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s let’s get to it.” After starting seven of his 23 games with the Mavericks last season, the 29-year-old will replace Jalen Brunson as a full-time starter in ’22/23, Price notes. “I don’t really see myself filling Jalen’s role per se,” Dinwiddie said. “There were a lot of games (last season) I finished games, there were games I played without Luka (Doncic) and without JB, and where I started games as well. But in terms of the mentality, green means go. Go make plays and try to win the game.”
  • Fourth-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker and a trio of rookies — Ochai Agbaji, Walker Kessler and Simone Fontecchio — are impressing the Jazz during training camp, writes Sarah Todd of The Desert News. “Nickeil is a very, very skilled, diverse offensive player,” head coach Will Hardy said. “He has good size, is a very good passer, he can put the ball in the basket. When he’s open and he shoots, I think it’s going in. He’s just really shown a confidence throughout open gym and training camp that I think has been really, really great for our group. His presence when he has the ball, sort of settles everybody down and he has been awesome.”

Mavs Notes: Wood, McGee, THJ, Ntilikina, Green, Dinwiddie, More

Christian Wood, the biggest addition of the Mavericks‘ offseason, is expected to primarily play a sixth man role in Dallas, head coach Jason Kidd told reporters today (Twitter link via Tim MacMahon of ESPN).

This is my first time hearing about it,” Wood said during his own media session (Twitter link via MacMahon). However, he said that his focus with his new team will be on winning and he’s not overly concerned about whether he starts or comes off the bench.

While it may come as a bit of a surprise that Dallas wants Wood to come off the bench, MacMahon notes (via Twitter) that – as he reported at the time – the Mavs told JaVale McGee when they recruited him in free agency that they envisioned him as their starting center. It seems that plan remains on course.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • During his Monday media session, Tim Hardaway Jr. pronounced himself “100%” healthy after missing most of last season due to foot surgery, as Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News relays (video link via Twitter). Kidd confirmed that Hardaway has been back in Dallas playing pick-up games for the last week and said the forward is “ready to go,” tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News.
  • Frank Ntilikina and Josh Green are candidates to be Dallas’ third ball-handler behind Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie, Kidd said today (Twitter link via Landon Thomas). Speaking of Dinwiddie, he’s feeling good as he enters his first full season as a Maverick and concludes his first full healthy offseason following his ACL injury. “It’s night and day,” Dinwiddie said of his ACL now compared to last year (Twitter link via Caplan). “Not even close.”
  • New Bulls guard Goran Dragic confirmed today that he talked with the Mavericks as a free agent this summer, but said he was “never close” to a deal with Dallas (Twitter link via Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic).
  • Dorian Finney-Smith joked today that he would’ve been upset if Jalen Brunson had remained in Dallas instead of accepting the Knicks’ four-year, $104MM offer. “Man, you see how much money they gave him?” Finney-Smith said (Twitter link via Caplan). “I would’ve been mad if he stayed here.”

Southwest Notes: Bullock, Dinwiddie, Clarke, Davis

Mavericks swingman Reggie Bullock has been named this year’s recipient of the 2021/22 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, Bullock announced in a recent Instagram story (hat tip to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News).

“Super honored to have won this award,” Bullock said in his Instagram story, which also included two photos of an engraved trophy. “My platform isn’t taken for granted and I’ll keep inspiring and doing what’s right for my ppl ‼️”

The league has not yet officially revealed the identity of this year’s victor, chose by a committee featuring several social justice leaders. The NBA is supposed to make the announcement at some point during Sunday’s TNT broadcast of the Western Conference Finals.

Aside from Bullock, other finalists for the honor this season include All-Star Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, All-Star Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet, Grizzlies All-Defensive Team power forward Jaren Jackson Jr., and Bucks All-Defensive Team point guard Jrue Holiday.

The league is set to make a $100K donation to a charitable social justice organization of Bullock’s choosing. The Dallas Morning News reports that Bullock has selected his hometown Kinston Teens to receive the donation. The other finalists will all be given a $25K league donation for their chosen social justice groups.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Mavericks reserve guard Spencer Dinwiddie has enjoyed a particularly lucrative playoff run for Dallas thus far, Marc Stein notes at Substack. The structure of the contract Dinwiddie signed during the 2021 offseason with the Wizards is laden with bonuses that incentivize postseason success. Dinwiddie earned $100K when the Mavericks made the second round of the playoffs and $571,427 when the club advanced to the Western Conference Finals. Should Dallas move on to the Finals, Dinwiddie would earn an additional $400K bonus.
  • Grizzlies big man Brandon Clarke is hoping to improve his three-point game in time for the 2022/23 season, writes Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Clarke, 25, is eligible for a rookie contract extension this summer. “It’s pretty high up on the list,” Clarke said of improving his long-range shooting. “I kind of proved this year I’m not somebody who… needs to be shooting the ball to be playing well, but that’s definitely something very high up on the list that I want to work on more.” Cole opines that the addition of a three-point shot to Clarke’s repertoire could impact how the Memphis front office views his long-term fit. Clarke is a career 29.4% three-point shooter on 0.9 attempts a night, though he did convert 35.9% of his 1.1 looks per game during his rookie season in 2019/20.
  • The Spurs, owners of the ninth pick in the 2022 draft, are one of several clubs who took a look at top prospect Johnny Davis, a 6’5″ wing out of Wisconsin, during the 2022 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. Davis’s NCAA tenure has him well-versed with rebuilding teams, per Tom Orsbron of the San Antonio Express-News. “We lost six or seven seniors from my freshman year, so it was a very limited roster on the team,” Davis said of the Badgers’ 2021/22 squad. “Guys were looking left and right, (thinking), ‘Who is going to be the next ‘guy’ on the team?’ So I figured, ‘Why not me?’ It was a great opportunity to go out and play freely.” Davis averaged just 7.0 PPG during his freshman season, but took a leap as a sophomore. The 20-year-old put up 19.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.1 APG and 1.2 APG for the 25-8 Badgers this past season, while being named a consensus first-team All-American and the Big Ten Player of the Year. The Spurs also possess the No. 20, 25, and 38 picks in the 2022 draft.

Mavericks Notes: Roster, Kidd, Bullock, Doncic

Letting a 19-point lead slip away Friday night was a reminder that the Mavericks still have work to do on their roster, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic. Dallas controlled much of Game 2 after building an early 26-10 lead, but couldn’t stop the Warriors when it mattered and now faces a 2-0 deficit in the Western Conference Finals.

Coach Jason Kidd only has six players that he can trust for significant minutes, Cato notes. Frank Ntilikina played just four minutes in Game 2 and didn’t score. Kidd tried Josh Green in the second half, but he missed the only shot he took in five minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie had four points and four turnovers as the Mavs’ bench was outscored by Golden State’s 36-13.

Having a healthy Tim Hardaway Jr. might ease the problem, but he’s still recovering after having foot surgery in February. Cato adds that Dallas needs another two-way wing who can match up with the Warriors’ collection of talent at that position, but the team doesn’t have a good option currently on the roster.

There’s more on the Mavericks:

  • Kidd believes his team helped Golden State by taking too many three-point shots, per Tim McMahon of ESPN. Friday’s game turned around in the third quarter as the Mavs scored just 13 points and shot 2-of-13 from long distance. “If you make [threes], that’s great, but you just have to understand, if you miss four in a row, you can’t take the fifth,” Kidd said. “You’ve got to make it. That just puts too much stress on yourself and on your team because, if you’re not getting stops on the other end, it turns into a blowout.”
  • The Warriors won by controlling the area near the basket on both ends of the court, according to Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. Dallas was outscored in the paint, 62-30, and was out-rebounded by a 43-30 margin. “Small, small-ball,” Kidd said. “When you say the overall playoffs, we did start off without Luka (Doncic), who is our best rebounder. But just being small. Sometimes, we’ll give up the rebound to take advantage of the offensive side. But when we do win, we rebound the ball, and we have to do a better job of that.”
  • Hardaway is the only player listed on the Mavs’ injury report for Game 3, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News, who adds that the stitches Reggie Bullock received in his right eyebrow and the lingering pain in Doncic’s right shoulder don’t appear to be serious concerns.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans Pick, Kidd, Rockets Draft, Dinwiddie

The Pelicans already have the look of perennial playoff contender and now they’re armed with the No. 8 pick. Who will they take? Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune takes a closer look at five potential targets, including Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin, Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis and Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks were fined $50K by the league for bench decorum violations during Game 7 at Phoenix, which baffled coach Jason Kidd, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. “I know about the fine. Just trying to figure out what we did wrong to get the fine,’ he said. “Who complained? It was a blowout, so I don’t think the fans complained.”
  • Who will the Rockets target with the No. 3 pick? GM Rafael Stone is more concerned about what a player can’t do than what he can do, as he told Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “You can only play five guys, and the league is moving towards less positionality. It’s fine to have players with redundant strengths,” Stone said. “I do think it’s hard if they have redundant weaknesses. And players aren’t perfect, you know, so you’re definitely going to have players with weaknesses. I think that is something that you have to be careful with.”
  • One of the reasons why the Mavericks have reached the Western Conference Finals is the mid-season acquisition of guard Spencer Dinwiddie in the Kristaps Porzingis deal with Washington. Luka Doncic doesn’t downplay its significance, Marc J. Spears of Andscape writes. “He is amazing with the ball,” Dončić said. “He can do a lot of things. He’s a baller. That’s the best way to describe him. We’re glad to have him.”

Mavs Notes: Carlisle, Doncic, Dinwiddie, Harrison

Former Mavericks coach and current Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said in a radio interview with 105.3 The FAN that Luka Doncic is destined for multiple Most Valuable Player awards (hat tip to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News).

“I don’t have any question in my mind that there will be multiple MVPs in his future,” Carlisle said. “There will be championships in his future. He has a real, great, natural sense for the moment.”

We have more on the Mavs:

  • Doncic and the Mavericks have advanced their timetables, Tim Cato of The Athletic writes. Doncic has solidified his place as one of the league’s premier players with his playoff dominance and the Mavericks have become a true title contender in the process.
  • Spencer Dinwiddie benefited financially from the team advancing to the Western Conference Finals. He collected a $571,427 bonus, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.
  • Mavs president of basketball operations and general manager Nico Harrison said it’s not time to get complacent after knocking out the top-seeded Suns from the playoffs, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. “I can sit back and think about it in August. Heck, I want to keep playing,” Harrison said. “This is time to get greedy. It’s not time to be complacent and kind of look back at your accomplishments. This is the time to be focused. When you make it to this point, it’s time to take it to another level.”

Mavericks Notes: Game 7, Ntilikina, Kidd, Crowder

The Mavericks were relaxed at Saturday’s practice ahead of tonight’s Game 7 in Phoenix, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Coach Jason Kidd, who had plenty of experience with pivotal playoff games during his playing career, is urging his team to enjoy the opportunity and “stay in character” the way it has done all season.

In NBA history, road teams only have a 23.2% success rate in seventh games, and the challenge is particularly daunting for Dallas, which has lost all three games of the series in Phoenix and was destroyed by 30 points in Game 5. But the Mavs are optimistic after responding with a dominant performance of their own Thursday night.

“It’s an emotional lift for us,” Spencer Dinwiddie said. “Obviously Phoenix was the best team in the league in the regular season. Obviously they’re at home, hostile environment. But you know, they also say a Game 7 typically goes to the best player and I believe we have that in this series. It’s going to be an exciting clash of styles.”

There’s more from Dallas:

  • Frank Ntilikina missed the Mavericks’ first-round series with Utah following a tonsillectomy, but he has been an important contributor against Phoenix, notes Chuck Carlton of The Dallas Morning News. Ntilikina was barely used by the Knicks in last year’s playoffs and had a disappointing four-year run in New York. He’s thankful to get a second chance with Dallas, which signed him in September without requiring him to work out. “Definitely it was stress and tension back then,” Ntilikina said, referring to his time with the Knicks. “But I stayed with it like every player should do and stayed confident in my work. Now I’m just glad to be here preparing for a Game 7, preparing for [Sunday].”
  • Kidd wasn’t with the Mavericks when they lost Game 7 to the Clippers last season, but he believes being in that environment will benefit them today, Carlton states in the same story. “Guys who participated in it understand what it means so you don’t have to explain what Game 7 means,” Kidd said. “It’s about us executing the game plan and giving us a chance.”
  • Suns forward Jae Crowder has strong memories of his first Game 7, which happened when he played for the Mavericks in 2014, Carlton adds. “Yeah, I had a lot of vets on my team. I had Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki,” Crowder said. “Those guys just talked about the atmosphere, how it was going to be enhanced, how much emotion was going to be in the game. Still, whatever they told me wasn’t enough. It didn’t put in what’s at stake and the emotions behind it. Obviously going through it helped me a lot.”

Mavs Notes: Doncic, Brunson, Dinwiddie, Scoring, Future

Mavericks All-Star guard Luka Doncic turned in a masterful performance in Dallas’ 121-114 Game 1 loss to the Suns on Monday. Doncic scored 45 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and notched eight assists. However, Phoenix’s significant edge in athleticism could remain an issue going forward in the series for Dallas, opines Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

Young, lengthy, springy players like Deandre Ayton, Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges and Devin Booker have already exposed the vulnerability of the Mavericks. Goodwill also cites the Mavs’ size disadvantage as the reason the team was out-rebounded 51-36 by Phoenix.

There’s more out of Dallas:

  • Beyond Doncic’s big night, the team’s other two main ball-handling guards failed to rise to the occasion in Game 1, writes Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie scored a combined 21 points on 9-of-24 shooting from the floor. Townsend points out that Brunson averaged 27.8 PPG during the Mavericks’ 4-2 first-round victory against the Jazz, while Dinwiddie averaged 15.3 PPG in that series. Of course, as Townsend notes, both players received significantly more opportunities in part because the team played those first three contests with Doncic sidelined.
  • Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd is hoping that more Dallas players will be able to contribute to a more well-rounded scoring approach, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “[Doncic] got whatever he wanted, when you look at the shots in the paint, behind the arc, midrange, and then also I thought he got his teammates some great looks that we normally had made,” Kidd said. “We’ve just got to get someone to join the party.”
  • The Mavericks are in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they won the NBA title. The team clearly is trending in the right direction, though Tim Cato of The Athletic still has some questions about the club’s core roster surrounding Doncic. Cato notes that the team offloaded center Kristaps Porzingis to the Wizards for future roster-building flexibility, not to improve the team’s current postseason chances — the latter outcome occurred anyway. Cato wonders about the efficacy of Brunson and Dinwiddie against the Suns’ swarming perimeter defense. Cato also expressed curiosity about how the team would defend the midrange-centric offense of the Suns, after clamping down against the Jazz in the first round.

Western Notes: Prince, Dinwiddie, Nance, Kings

Timberwolves forward Taurean Prince will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but he said on Friday that he “plans to return” to Minnesota for next season, as Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News relays (video link).

Prince told reporters that the strong camaraderie in the Wolves’ locker room is something he hasn’t experienced since college and praised head coach Chris Finch, comparing him to Mike Budenholzer, who coached Prince in Atlanta at the start of his NBA career. The 28-year-old added that he hopes Minnesota reciprocates his interest.

Prince averaged 7.3 PPG and 2.5 RPG on .454/.376/.756 shooting in 69 regular season games (17.1 MPG) during his first year in Minnesota. The Wolves will hold his Bird rights this summer, so they would be able to go over the cap to re-sign him without using any of their mid-level exception.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie earned a $100K bonus on Thursday when Dallas beat Utah to advance to the second round, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Dinwiddie would receive another $571K if the Mavs get past Phoenix and earn a spot in the Western Conference Finals.
  • Having played for four teams and eight head coaches since entering the NBA in 2015, Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. would welcome some stability and said on Friday that he’d like to make New Orleans his permanent home, tweets William Guillory of The Athletic. Nance has just one year left on his current contract, but will be extension-eligible this offseason.
  • With Monte McNair believed to be entering the final guaranteed year of his contract with the Kings, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee wonders if the general manager will feel pressure to hire a veteran head coach such as Mike D’Antoni instead of a candidate without any head coaching experience.

Wizards Notes: Porzingis Trade, Satoransky, Special Someone

With the Wizards set to face the Mavericks on Friday night for the first time since the trade deadline, Tim Cato and Josh Robbins of The Athletic reassessed the deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis and a protected 2022 second-round pick to Washington in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.

Cato and Robbins agree that it was a win-win trade for the two teams. Porzingis’ time in Dallas had clearly run its course, but he has been productive with Washington, averaging 21.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.1 APG, and 1.6 BPG on .472/.305/.866 shooting in 13 games. He has been a willing passer and aggressive in the post, averaging 7.5 free throw attempts.

In addition to his production, Robbins writes that the Wizards are happy with Porzingis’ approach and toughness — the 7’3″ big man played through a couple of ankle sprains in recent games.

Dinwiddie, meanwhile, has thrived in a complementary role in Dallas, where his role is more clearly defined. Through 18 games with his new club, he is averaging 17.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 4.2 APG on .498/.386/.720 shooting.

Dinwiddie has been able to spot-up for threes and drive-and-kick as a secondary or tertiary ball-handler next to Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson. Bertans is still struggling to convert shots, but the team is holding out hope that might change over time.

Here’s more on the Wizards:

  • Porzingis doesn’t expect the game against the Mavs to be as wild as when he played the Knicks for the first time after being dealt to Dallas, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “I think it’s going to be a good game. It’s not going to be like my first game with Dallas in New York. That one was just crazy. This one is going to be a bit more just me competing against my old team. We’ll see,” he said.
  • Tomas Satoransky had a uniquely historic night on Wednesday, as Hughes relays in a separate story. Satoransky had a double-double without scoring a point, becoming just the third player in league history to accomplish the feat. The unselfish guard finished with 10 rebounds and 13 assists against just two turnovers, while shooting 0-of-2 from the field in the team’s 127-110 win over Orlando. “I don’t know if it’s good or bad, you know? I don’t know,” Satoransky joked. “I just let the game come to be a little bit. I was trying to be aggressive, but every time I would drive or was aggressive to the basket, it opened up space for my teammates. So, I tried to push the tempo from the beginning and I got some rebounds.” The 30-year-old veteran will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
  • The Wizards lack a “special someone” to set the team on the path to becoming a consistently winning franchise, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic. Washington definitely has some talented players, but no clear leader or catalyst.