Sterling Brown

Mavs Notes: Doncic Extension, Dragic, Hardaway, Brown

The Mavericks recently traveled to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana to present star Luka Doncic with his five-year, $207MM extension, the most expensive rookie contract in NBA history, writes ESPN’s Royce Young.

According to team owner Mark Cuban, having the signing take place in Doncic’s home country was meant to send a message to the 22-year-old, two-time All-NBA guard:

Just to confirm to Luka how important he is to us and how this is just the beginning,” Cuban said. “We want him to know we’re there for him, whether that’s here in Slovenia, in Dallas, or anywhere in the world. Part of this process is not only getting to know him but getting to know what’s important to him. How he looks at things.”

Doncic, for his part, claims that his signing the Mavs’ offer was “never in doubt.”

We have more news from the Mavericks:

  • Tim Cato and Blake Murphy of The Athletic discuss why Goran Dragic remains a Raptor, rather than having being re-routed to Dallas. Murphy writes that the Raptors have no incentive to buy out Dragic, who could still return value in a trade. Cato adds that the Mavs would be more likely to include Dwight Powell in trade talks than Maxi Kleber, but Josh Green could be a candidate to be moved if he remains in a limited role and the team continues to struggle in its non-Doncic minutes.
  • Details have emerged on Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s $75MM contract with the Mavs. Tim MacMahon of ESPN breaks down the descending structure of Hardaway’s deal, which will start at $21.3MM and end in the 2024/25 season at $16.19MM.
  • Recently-signed Sterling Brown‘s contract is fully guaranteed at $6MM over two years, tweets ESPN’s Zach Lowe. The contract will come out of the Mavs’ bi-annual exception. Given Dallas’ lack of wing depth and his defensive ability at 6’5 and career 37.4% shooting from three, Brown will likely be counted on as an important bench contributor this season.

Mavs Add Sterling Brown, Re-Sign Boban Marjanović

AUGUST 9: The signings of both Brown and Marjanović are now official, per NBA.com’s transactions log. Marjanović’s new contract with Dallas is worth $7MM over two years, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).


AUGUST 2: The Mavericks are set to make a pair of bench signings as free agency begins in earnest.

As had been rumored, the Mavericks are opting to bring back center Boban Marjanović this summer. Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets that Dallas will be re-signing the reserve big man.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that the 7’4″ Marjanović will be signed to a one-year deal with the Mavericks, his third full season with the team. Dallas initially signed the big man to a two-year, $7MM deal in the 2019 offseason. The club will thus have the 32-year-old’s full Bird rights next summer, following three full seasons of service.

Marjanović made a big impact in limited this season, averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.9 RPG in just 8.2 MPG across 33 contests.

Charania also reports (via Twitter) that the Mavericks will also be signing a new addition, free agent guard Sterling Brown. Brown, 26, was most recently a reserve contributor for another Texas club, the Rockets, for the duration of the 2020/21 season.

Brown averaged 8.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 1.4 APG in 51 games for the rebuilding Rockets, with a solid shooting line of .448/.423/.806.

Brown’s agent Mark Bartelstein has indicated that the 6’5″ vet will sign a two-year, $6.2MM contract with the club, per Marc Stein of Substack (via Twitter). There is no word as to whether both seasons will be guaranteed in the deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Western Rumors: Lakers, Pelicans, McDermott, Ja. Green, Holmes, More

After agreeing to acquire Russell Westbrook from Washington, the Lakers won’t have a ton of cap flexibility to add outside free agents this offseason. Los Angeles will likely be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum-salary contracts, since acquiring a player via sign-and-trade would create a hard cap that the team wouldn’t be able to stay under.

However, even with limited resources, that doesn’t mean the Lakers will have to wait until the second or third wave of free agency to go bargain hunting. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, people around the NBA believe that several veterans in search of a championship ring could be willing to pass on more lucrative offers elsewhere to join the Lakers. Fischer identifies DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Carmelo Anthony as some players who may fit that bill.

Here are a few more rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans, Suns, and Nuggets are believed to be among the teams interested in pursuing Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott in free agency, according to Fischer. A recent report from The Indianapolis Star suggested Indiana may lose McDermott this summer.
  • A return to the Nuggets is a possibility for JaMychal Green, but the power forward is also expected to draw interest from the Pelicans and Timberwolves, says Fischer.
  • Following up on a Marc Stein report linking Daniel Theis to the Rockets, Fischer confirms Houston is eyeing the veteran big man and suggests the team’s $8.2MM trade exception could be used to land Theis in a sign-and-trade.
  • According to Fischer, sources expect Richaun Holmes to remain with the Kings. That’s a bit of a surprise — Sacramento only has Holmes’ Early Bird rights and has been linked to several other centers, having agreed on Friday to acquire Tristan Thompson. But the Hornets, one of Holmes’ presumed suitors, are no longer expected to go big for a free agent center after drafting Kai Jones and agreeing to trade for Mason Plumlee, per Fischer. The Raptors, Mavericks, and Knicks may still be possibilities for Holmes, Fischer adds.
  • The Mavericks are viewed as the favorites to sign Sterling Brown in free agency, league sources tell Fischer.

And-Ones: Brown, Bates, Afflalo, All-Underrated Team

The Milwaukee Common Council has approved a $750K settlement in a lawsuit brought by former Bucks player Sterling Brown over his 2018 arrest, according to an Associated Press report. Brown was taken to the ground and shocked with a Taser after he was approached by police over a parking violation.

As part of the settlement, Brown was given an apology from the city and Milwaukee police that “recognizes that the incident escalated in an unnecessary manner and despite Mr. Brown’s calm behavior.” It also requires the city to commit to changes in the police department’s standard operating procedures. Brown is currently playing for the Rockets.

We have more news and notes from around the basketball world:

  • High school star Emoni Bates decommitted from Michigan State and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeff Borzello take a look at where Bates might end up. Bates, who is currently attending a prep school created by his father, won’t be eligible for the draft until 2023. Numerous colleges have made offers to Bates after he decommitted but he still has another year to go before he pursue that route. He could take the G League route if he graduates this spring but would have to stay there for two years due to the NBA’s age limit.
  • Former NBA player Arron Afflalo was part of a group that tried to purchase the Timberwolves and Afflalo is continuing to seek other opportunities to become a part-owner of a franchise. The Athletic’s David Aldridge spoke with Afflalo about his conversations with the Timberwolves and other topics.
  • Rudy Gobert, Jrue Holiday and De’Anthony Melton top the list of players on John Hollinger’s All-Underrated Team. The Athletic columnist lists his top 10 in that category, plus another group of that made his Honorable Mention list.

Rockets’ Kevin Porter Jr. Fined $50,000

Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. has been fined $50,000 for violating the NBA’s health and safety Protocols, the league announced in a press release.

Porter, who will turn 21 next week, violated these rules when he attended a club in Miami on April 19. The NBA’s protocols prohibit players and staff from attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people, along with entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments.

The $50K fine is in line with what other players have received this season for protocol violations, though losing $50K will be more meaningful for Porter than for violators like James Harden and Kyrie Irving. The second-year Houston wing is making just $1.72MM this season, a fraction of what Harden and Irving are earning.

Porter has served as a key cog in the Rockets’ rotation this season, averaging 15.2 points, 6.2 assists and 31.8 minutes in 22 games (19 starts).

Sterling Brown, who was assaulted and severely injured in the incident, will not be fined, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. The NBA considers its investigation closed unless new information arises, Stein adds (via Twitter).

Health Updates: Rockets, Nance, Cavs, Hachimura, Clifford

After missing the Rockets‘ last three games while in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, second-year wing Kevin Porter Jr. has rejoined the team and will be ready to play on Tuesday, head coach Stephen Silas said today (Twitter link via Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston).

Rockets big man Christian Wood, who missed Saturday’s game with a minor ankle injury, is also in position to return on Tuesday, Silas said (Twitter link via Berman). The team should get further reinforcements prior to the end of the season, according to Silas, who expressed optimism that D.J. Augustin (ankle), Sterling Brown (knee), and Eric Gordon (groin) will also be back in the coming weeks.

Here are a few more health-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr., who injured his right thumb on Sunday, has been diagnosed with a fracture in that thumb, according to a team press release. Nance has been ruled out for Monday’s game vs. Toronto and will be re-evaluated daily as he undergoes treatment and rehab. Sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com that Nance will probably miss at least a week or two. With less than three weeks left in the regular season, there’s no guarantee we’ll see him again in 2020/21.
  • Within the same release, the Cavaliers provided updates on several more players, announcing that Matthew Dellavedova (neck strain), Isaiah Hartenstein (concussion symptoms), and Lamar Stevens (concussion symptoms) have also hit the injured list and will miss tonight’s game.
  • Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (knee) is set to return on Monday after missing the last four games, the team announced (via Twitter).
  • Magic head coach Steve Clifford, who registered a positive COVID-19 test, will remain out for Monday’s game vs. the Lakers, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who tweets that Tyrone Corbin will once again act as the club’s interim head coach. Clifford continues to be asymptomatic, Robbins notes.

Rockets Notes: Brown, Porter, Silas, House

The incident in which Rockets guard Sterling Brown was assaulted in Miami was more serious than first reported and could get several players in trouble for violating the league’s health and safety protocols, The Athletic’s Kelly Iko and Shams Charania report. Brown was beaten up by several assailants and was hit over the head with a bottle, leaving him woozy. The assault occurred after Brown after he entered the wrong “sprinter van” while exiting a strip club.

Brown required stitching in multiple areas for his facial injuries and underwent several tests. The team initially feared he might be in critical condition.

Five or more Rockets went to the strip club early Monday, which would violate NBA protocols that prohibit players from going to bars, lounges or clubs. The league has opened up an investigation into the incident.

There’s more on the Rockets:

  • Kevin Porter Jr. stepped in to protect Brown during the incident and suffered minor injuries, Charania tweets. Porter won’t be able to play until Sunday, as he has been placed on the NBA’s health and safety protocols list.
  • The altercation is the latest off-court distraction that first-year coach Stephen Silas has dealt with this season. He says it comes with the territory, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets“I’m dealing as well as I can,” he said. “It’s not an easy situation, but that’s the job. That’s what I’m here for. My job is to lead us through these choppy waters.”
  • There’s still no timetable for Danuel House‘s return from a sprained right ankle, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. He suffered the injury on April 5. “We’re doing a good job of rehabbing and taking our time and making sure it is handled in the right way,” House said. “The medical staff hasn’t really given me a precise date. I’m just going by rehabilitation and movements day-by-day until they give me the OK.”

Southwest Notes: S. Brown, Mavs, Louzada, Eubanks

Rockets wing Sterling Brown was jumped outside of a club in Miami late on Sunday night, according to Shams Charania and Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who say Brown was hit in the head with a bottle and required medical attention into Monday. Brown, who was admitted to a local hospital early Monday morning, suffered facial lacerations in the incident and was discharged later in the day, per Charania and Iko. The 26-year-old didn’t know the assailants.

While Brown was ruled out of the Rockets’ game on Monday in Miami, that was the fifth straight game he has missed due to left knee soreness, unrelated to Sunday’s incident. It’s not clear whether the attack will push back his potential return date at all.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Mavericks have fired director of player personnel Tony Ronzone, sources tell Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. It’s unclear when the dismissal occurred, per Townsend. However, Ronzone was accused of sexual assault in 2019 and that allegation became public last year. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the Mavs fired Ronzone after learning new information related to that allegation.
  • While signing draft-and-stash prospect Didi Louzada to a rest-of-season contract will benefit the Pelicans from a cap perspective, allowing them to fill their 14th spot while remaining out of tax territory, John Hollinger of The Athletic questions whether the 2019 second-rounder is ready for the NBA. Louzada, 21, has struggled with his shot in Australia’s NBL and signing him now will make him a little more expensive in 2021/22, when New Orleans will likely be up against the tax line once again.
  • Several members of the Spurs‘ young core are thrilled to see big man Drew Eubanks thriving in an increased role lately, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Eubanks has averaged 10.6 PPG and 9.2 RPG in just 19.8 MPG in his last five games, including his first career start on Saturday. “He’s out there killing it,” Keldon Johnson said after Eubanks put up 13 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday’s win. “I can’t be any happier for Drew. He works so hard.”

Rockets Notes: Olynyk, Bradley, Martin, Brown

The qualifying tournaments to determine the final four men’s basketball teams that will participate in the Tokyo Olympics will begin on June 29, about a month before the NBA’s free agent period gets underway.

Rockets big man Kelly Olynyk will be a free agent this summer, but he’s not planning to skip those qualifiers to avoid risking an injury before signing a new contract. As Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details, Olynyk acknowledged that he’ll take his impending free agency into account as he considers his decision, but he wants to represent his home country as Team Canada looks to secure an Olympic berth.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to play in the Olympics and represent Canada on the highest stage. Hopefully, we can this summer,” Olynyk said. “… Usually, your free agency is done July 1 and the Olympics are the beginning of August and you’re good to go. Now, the Olympics are the end of July and free agency is the beginning of August, so it’s kind of flip-flopped. Obviously, that plays a role and you have to think about it, whether it’s insurance or what the best route to go is. We’ll cross those bridges when they come but my goal is to go out there and play and represent my country.”

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • Since the Rockets don’t project to be able to open up much cap room this offseason, John Hollinger and Kelly Iko of The Athletic wonder if the team might opt to remain over the cap, perhaps bringing back Olynyk and Avery Bradley on short-term deals as possible 2022 trade chips.
  • In a separate story for The Athletic, Iko takes a deep dive into Kenyon Martin Jr.‘s development as a rookie this season, exploring the strides he has made and how he fits into Houston’s long-term plans. Martin pointed to improving his shot off the dribble as something he intends to work on before his second season.
  • Rockets wing Sterling Brown has missed the team’s last two games with left knee soreness, but head coach Stephen Silas doesn’t expect the injury to be a “long-time thing,” predicting that Brown will return soon, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Silas also offered high praise for Brown’s play this season: “He’s shooting the ball consistently for us, shooting the ball extremely well, having a career season. He’s someone I can put on the floor whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, he will produce on both ends of the floor.”

Rockets Notes: Olynyk, Stone, Wall, Brown

The Rockets are experimenting with Kelly Olynyk playing alongside Christian Wood before facing a decision on Olynyk this offseason, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Acquired from the Heat in the Victor Oladipo trade last month, Olynyk has a $12.5MM expiring contract. He has been playing well since coming to Houston and may be raising his value on the free agent market. Iko suggests the Rockets have a limited figure in mind to offer Olynyk and want to take a long look at how his game meshes with Wood’s.

“It seems like they’re getting better every game,” coach Stephen Silas said of his frontcourt combination. “They’re both getting their opportunities, obviously. … They’re starting to play well together and figure it out. There’s a lot I could tell them as far as where they need to be on the floor, but when you play five-out basketball, it’s hard to tell a guy where they should be all the time. They’re both two smart guys; they’re figuring it out. It’s a work in progress, but I like what I see so far.”

There’s more from Houston:

  • In a radio appearance today on SportsTalk 790, Rockets general manager Rafael Stone promised the organization will be “aggressive” on the trade and free agent markets this summer, but his goal remains to “build really smart,” relays Ben DuBose of USA Today’s RocketsWire. “We do think we can be competitive very quickly. We would hope to field a much more competitive team next year,” Stone said. “But in terms of how long the rebuild takes, a lot of that depends on how long it takes us to acquire a player or two who have the ability to be truly elite. Maybe we even have one or two of those guys on our roster. But it’s not a one-day process.”
  • John Wall returned to the court tonight after missing the past four games with hip, hamstring and knee issues, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Silas said Wall’s minutes will be limited, but he didn’t provide a specific number.
  • Sterling Brown has earned Silas’ faith in any role, Feigen writes in a full story. Brown signed a one-year deal in the offseason and will be back on the market this summer. “I trust Sterling as a starter (or) coming off the bench,” Silas said. “He’s been super, super consistent for us this season. Him as a starter, him coming off the bench, he’s very steady.”