Tim Hardaway Jr.

Texas Notes: Mavericks, Hardaway, Irving, Rockets, Spurs

Despite falling below .500, the 36-37 Mavericks remain intent on competing for a title this season, writes Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com.

“The standings are going to change to the last game of the season,” head coach Jason Kidd said. “If we can get healthy and have everyone on the court, that gives us the best chance to win… We feel we have the pieces to be a championship team. We’re playing for a championship. But we just right now have to focus on the game that’s in front of us and that’s Charlotte.”

Over the past two weeks, Dallas has gone just 2-5, while slipping from the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference to No. 9. They have been without one or both of their two All-Star guards, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, in each of their past six games.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr. are both questionable to suit up for the Mavericks in their next game, Friday against the Hornets, the team has announced (Twitter link). Irving is dealing with a sore right foot, while Hardaway continues to struggle through a non-COVID illness.
  • Two Rockets players may not be available for Houston on Friday against the Grizzlies, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Small forward Jae’Sean Tate will miss another game due to his sore left knee, while center Frank Kaminsky is considered questionable to play due to migraines.
  • Several key Spurs players will be sidelined Friday night against the Wizards, as the team continues to tank. Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News reports (Twitter link) that rookie Jeremy Sochan will be shelved with a sore knee and guard Romeo Langford will miss the action with an adductor injury. The team’s second-leading scorer, Devin Vassell, is questionable with a knee injury, as is center Zach Collins, who is dealing with a biceps bruise.

Southwest Notes: Wood, Hardaway, Poeltl, Rockets, Pelicans

Despite being the subjects of trade rumors for weeks, Mavericks veterans Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr. remained with Dallas beyond this year’s trade deadline. Still, Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News notes that their futures with the club are somewhat unclear.

As Caplan writes, Hardaway’s inefficient play has made him and his remaining contract money tough to trade. Including this season, the veteran wing still has three years and $53.7MM left on his current deal.

Wood, meanwhile, is eligible for a four-year contract extension worth up to $77MM through the rest of the season, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent. A source tells Caplan that the Mavericks’ front office has not offered Wood an extension yet, in an effort to maximize the team’s flexibility this summer.

There’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Spurs opted to ship center Jakob Poeltl to the Raptors, rather than have to pay him in free agency this summer, in part because the team reportedly was not comfortable paying the rim-protecting center more than $65MM over four years, per LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk. Ellis says San Antonio believes the bidding price for Poeltl will go well north of that sum.
  • New veteran Rockets additions Danny Green, Justin Holiday and Frank Kaminsky could ultimately be retained by Houston, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The Rockets are set to assess if Green would like to remain on their roster, which has been their general policy with the veterans they’ve traded for in the recent past. Houston likes the possible fit of Holiday even past 2022/23, and Kaminsky has a connection with head coach Stephen Silas, thanks to their shared time on the Hornets.
  • The Pelicans made just one trade deadline deal, acquiring swingman Josh Richardson from the Spurs. William Guillory of The Athletic reveals that New Orleans hopes to bring Richardson, an unrestricted free agent this summer, back into the fold next season as well.

Trade Rumors: Reddish, Nuggets, Pistons, Bucks, Rose, Suns, More

The Nuggets are among the teams that have registered some interest in Knicks forward Cam Reddish, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, who says the Pistons and Knicks have also spoken recently about Reddish.

In passing along Begley’s latest reporting, SNY’s story notes that Begley has previously identified the Knicks as a team with interest in Pistons forward Saddiq Bey and suggests that perhaps there could be a match between the two teams on a deal involving Bey and Reddish. Bey’s trade value is significantly higher at this point than Reddish’s, however, so New York would need to attach a sweetener or two to make Detroit seriously consider that framework.

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Bucks have expressed trade interest in Knicks point guard Derrick Rose, league sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link). Milwaukee doesn’t have an obvious salary-matching piece for Rose, who has a $14.5MM salary and has been out of New York’s rotation for much of the season — it’s hard to imagine he’s near the top of the Bucks’ wish list. For what it’s worth, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said he’d like to keep Rose around, explaining that the former MVP “contributes in a lot of different ways to our club” despite not seeing much playing time this season (link via Peter Botte of The New York Post).
  • John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 shoots down a rumor suggesting that the Mavericks and Suns could make a deal centered around Deandre Ayton, Christian Wood, and Tim Hardaway Jr., tweeting that there’s “nothing” to that speculation. One recent report indicated that Dallas has interest in Ayton, but that report suggested he’d be more of a long-term trade target rather than a player the Suns would have interest in moving this week.
  • Suns veteran Dario Saric is among the power forwards on the Heat‘s radar, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link), though Jackson acknowledges that Miami doesn’t have a clear salary-matching piece to send out for Saric ($9.2MM). Jackson adds (via Twitter) that the Suns, under new ownership, are “very active” in the trade market, but still haven’t been intrigued by the assets Miami has put on the table for Jae Crowder.

Cavs Rumors: Small Forward, Reddish, Hart, G. Williams, LeVert, Love

Although the Cavaliers remain on the lookout for an upgrade on the wing, there’s a “growing sense” that they don’t love the options available to them on the trade market and would be comfortable standing pat if no deal comes to fruition, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscriber link).

Isaac Okoro has been impressive since becoming the full-time starter at small forward, averaging 9.2 points per game with a .500 3PT% in his last 18 games. Given how strong a defender Okoro is, he may be the Cavaliers’ best option at that spot even if his offensive game doesn’t continue to develop, according to Fedor.

Still, Fedor runs through several of the options available to Cleveland, identifying Malik Beasley, Tim Hardaway Jr., Doug McDermott, Luke Kennard, Royce O’Neale, and Hamidou Diallo as some potential players of interest, though most of them come with some caveats.

Sources tell Cleveland.com that there are mixed feelings within the Cavaliers’ front office about Knicks forward Cam Reddish, who is considered more of a fall-back option. Reddish has talent and untapped potential, but he’ll be a free agent in a matter of months and isn’t a clear upgrade on what the team already has at small forward, Fedor explains.

Fedor adds that Trail Blazers forward Josh Hart is one player who is high on the Cavaliers’ list of targets, writing that he has “plenty of fans” within the organization and that Cleveland explored a possible sign-and-trade for him two years ago before pivoting to Lauri Markkanen.

There’s a belief around the NBA that Hart will be on the move this week, according to Fedor, who notes that the Blazer has a similar skill set to Okoro but would bring a level of experience and consistency that the former No. 5 overall pick lacks.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • Sources tell Cleveland.com that the Cavaliers checked in with the Celtics about forward Grant Williams, but got the sense that he’s unavailable — or would at least cost much more than the Cavs are in position to offer.
  • Veteran wing Caris LeVert tells Fedor that he expects to remain a Cavalier through Thursday’s trade deadline. If LeVert does stick around, Cleveland would be interested in signing him beyond this season, assuming the price isn’t exorbitant, Fedor writes.
  • Although there’s no indication that he’s on the trade block, it’s worth noting that veteran forward Kevin Love has fallen out of the Cavs’ rotation as of late to make room for Dean Wade. Love, who hasn’t played since January 24, had a conversation about his role with head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, tweets Fedor.

Christian Wood Hopes To Remain With Mavericks

Mavericks big man Christian Wood, who has missed the team’s last eight games with a fractured left thumb, will return to action for Monday’s game in Utah, the team confirmed (via Twitter). The forward/center sustained the injury on January 18 against Atlanta after getting swiped by Hawks forward John Collins.

That’s when I hurt it the first time,” Wood said, per Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. “Then I tried to go for a dunk later in the game and I re-hurt it again, making it 10 times worse.”

Wood’s name has popped up in trade rumors — Dallas reportedly tried to include him in the Kyrie Irving deal, which has yet to be finalized. He discussed the rumors with media members, including Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News, during Monday’s shootaround.

You try and stay off social media as much as possible, try and lock in, stay with the team,” Wood said. “Talking to (head coach) Jason Kidd, (general manager) Nico (Harrison) as much as possible, see what their plans are for the future. Go from there.”

When asked what Kidd and Harrison have communicated to him, Wood said they hadn’t.

Nothing,” Wood said with a smile. “I hope I’m not traded.”

According to Caplan, Tim Hardaway Jr. also discussed his name coming up in trade rumors. He says he loves being a part of the team and tries to block out the distractions.

Control what you can control — plain and simple,” Hardaway said. “That’s all I really can say. I don’t really want to elaborate on that. As far as I know, I’m a Dallas Maverick. I’m going to ride with my guys and do whatever I can to compete and do our best to win ballgames while I’m here. Everybody knows I love it here. Everybody knows that, but like I said, control what you can control.”

Mavs Don’t Plan To Offer Irving In-Season Extension

Kyrie Irving demanded a trade when he couldn’t reach an extension agreement with the Nets. Some may assume the Mavericks, who agreed to acquire Irving on Sunday, have given the temperamental star guard some assurances that they’d sign him beyond this season.

That would be a false assumption, according to Marc Stein in his latest Substack post. League sources told Stein that Dallas has not promised Irving a new contract, since the team wants to see how Irving will mesh with franchise player Luka Doncic before making a long-term commitment.

It’s an obvious risk for the Mavericks to take that approach, even though The Athletic reported that Irving now prefers to head into unrestricted free agency with the hope that his new team, which also gains his Bird rights, will sign him to a four-year, $198MM maximum salary deal.

Dallas is counting on Irving’s relationships with coach Jason Kidd and president of basketball operations Nico Harrison, a former Nike executive, to facilitate a fruitful partnership. The Mavericks are also looking to make other moves with the aim of making a serious run at the title this season.

If the Irving gamble doesn’t pan out for Dallas, the club would have to strike gold in free agency to minimize the trade’s impact. The Mavs are giving up two solid rotation players in Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected 2029 first-round pick, a 2027 second-round pick, and a 2029 second-round pick. The Nets threw forward Markieff Morris into the deal.

Stein also offers up some other interesting tidbits:

  • The Mavericks initially attempted to send the Nets Christian Wood‘s expiring contract or one of their two burdensome long-term contracts — Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dāvis Bertāns. Wood, who is headed to free agency unless he signs an extension, could still be moved before the trade deadline.
  • A source suggests to Stein that one of the presumed objectives of Nets owner Joe Tsai was to not trade Irving to the Lakers — his preferred destination.
  • Doncic signed off on the deal, not only because he was intrigued by the prospects of playing with another star but also because he’ll no longer have to shoulder the offensive load.
  • As Stein previously reported, the Clippers have shown some interest in Wood, along with Timberwolves point guard D’Angelo Russell, who is also on an expiring contract.

Mavericks Exploring More Deals To Upgrade Roster

The Mavericks have reached an agreement to trade for disgruntled Nets star Kyrie Irving but they’re not through wheeling and dealing, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News reports.

According to a source familiar with the front office’s thinking, the Mavericks are exploring more trade possibilities to upgrade the roster around superstar Luka Doncic.

Dallas wants to shed Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s contract, feeling that his inconsistent contributions are not worth the long-term investment, Caplan writes. Hardaway is in the second year of a four-year, $75MM deal, though the contract is front-loaded.

The Mavericks would also like to move the contracts of Davis Bertans’and JaVale McGee, both of whom are signed through the 2024/25 season. They have some expiring contracts (Christian Wood, Dwight Powell), though Wood is also the team’s second-leading scorer.

They also have some young talent in third-year swingman Josh Green and rookie Jaden Hardy.

Trade Rumors: Irving, Lakers, Walker, Rozier, Mavs, More

Many around the league believe Kyrie Irving‘s preferred landing spot is the Lakers, according to reports from Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports and Marc Stein at Substack, among others.

Count Lakers legend Magic Johnson, formerly the team’s president of basketball operations, as a supporter of acquiring Irving.

Personally, I’d love to see Kyrie in the purple and gold,” he said (via Twitter).

Irving, of course, won a championship with LeBron James while the two were on the Cavaliers in 2015/16. James also acknowledged Irving’s trade request, cryptically tweeting out an eye emoji and a crown.

However, the Nets are expected to be a buyer at the deadline, which could complicate matters, Stein notes. It’s hard to imagine getting equal value for Irving considering the market for him is reportedly pretty thin.

The Lakers do indeed have interest in Irving, sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic. The likely framework would be Russell Westbrook and their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in exchange for Irving and Joe Harris, per Buha’s sources.

L.A. would push to lottery-protect at least one of those picks, according to Buha, who suggests a third team might have to be involved, depending on Brooklyn’s goals. The Lakers don’t have interest in trading Austin Reaves or Max Christie in a potential Irving package, sources tell Buha.

Interestingly, Lonnie Walker and Patrick Beverley could be involved in an Irving deal or in another trade in order to upgrade the rotation, Buha reports. Beverley’s inclusion is no surprise, but this is the first time this season I’ve seen Walker’s name involved in trade rumors.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Lakers have reportedly had preliminary talks with the Jazz regarding Westbrook, but they remain interested in Hornets guard Terry Rozier, sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.
  • Executives with knowledge of Dallas’ plans tell Goodwill that the Mavericks would definitely take Irving, the question is at what cost. Head coach Jason Kidd is a proponent of acquiring the star point guard, according to Fischer’s sources. Dallas has “confidence in Kidd’s coaching ability to connect with Irving,” Stein writes.
  • There isn’t universal agreement within the Mavericks‘ organization about adding Irving, however. Some front office members have concerns about Irving’s long-term fit with Luka Doncic, according to sources Tim Cato of The Athletic spoke to. The concern is centered on how they’d mesh in the locker room, as they have “drastically different off-court personas.”
  • According to Stein, the Nets are believed to be interested Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith in a potential Irving deal, but the Mavericks “would surely insist” on trying to shed the contract of either Tim Hardaway Jr. or Davis Bertans. Dinwiddie played for the Nets from 2016-2021, so they’re very familiar with him as a person and player.
  • The Mavericks are also interested in Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, as “they’re desperate and determined” to get help for Doncic, says Goodwill.

Mavs’ Finney-Smith, Green Likely To Return Wednesday

Starting forward Dorian Finney-Smith and key reserve Josh Green are likely to return to action for the Mavericks on Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Finney-Smith, who has been recovering from a right adductor strain, and Green, who’s been dealing with a right elbow sprain, are officially listed as questionable, according to the team’s PR department (Twitter link). Finney-Smith, a key part of the team’s defense, has been sidelined for 14 games, while Green has missed the last 20 games.

Both players participated in Tuesday’s practice in preparation for the game against Atlanta and will likely face minutes restrictions upon returning.

“I felt good today – first time going through a full practice,” Finney-Smith told Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. “Been playing one-on-one and three-on-three. But it felt good and I’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Right now, I feel like I’m going to (play). I don’t like sitting. It’s been awhile. This is probably the most games I’ve missed since COVID.”

Finney-Smith sat out nine games last season due to a bout with COVID-19.

“I’ll probably be out of shape, but I’m going to be loud,” Finney-Smith said to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “Me being loud will help the team. I gotta be that talkative guy on defense.”

With that duo sidelined, the Mavericks have fallen to 25th in defensive efficiency.

“It gave guys an opportunity to play,” coach Jason Kidd said. “Numbers-wise, not very nice. The 25th defense isn’t what we want. To win in this league, we have to be better.”

The Mavericks will be without starting shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (left ankle sprain) on Wednesday.

Scotto’s Latest: Burks, Reddish, Quickley, Cavs, Hardaway

Pistons guard Alec Burks is receiving interest from a number of playoff-caliber clubs, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Burks is having one of his best seasons as a pro off the bench for the Pistons, averaging 14.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 2.2 APG in just 22.0 minutes per contest (30 games). His 44.7% three-point rate is a career high, as is his 46.4% mark on shots from the floor.

Burks is earning approximately $10MM this season and has a $10.49MM team option on his contract for 2023/24. According to Scotto, the Pistons are a pretty safe bet to exercise that option if Burks remains with the team for the rest of the season, since it’s a team-friendly price based on his production and his veteran presence. With that in mind, Detroit could always trade Burks in the offseason or even at the 2024 trade deadline, so the club won’t have to simply settle for the best offer in the coming weeks.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • The Knicks‘ asking price for Cam Reddish is a pair of second-round picks, league sources tell Scotto. The Lakers and Bucks are among the teams who have inquired on the fourth-year forward, Scotto adds.
  • The Bucks are also one of the clubs to inquire on Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley, along with the Mavericks, Wizards, and others, says Scotto. However, Quickley has been playing some of his best basketball as of late and New York’s asking price is significant (at least a first-round pick), reducing the odds that he’s moved.
  • Addressing the possibility of a Caris LeVert/Tim Hardaway Jr. swap between the Mavericks and Cavaliers, Scotto confirms a couple of concerns from Cleveland’s side first voiced by Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The Cavs would be hesitant to take on Hardaway’s contract, which has two years left beyond this season, according to Scotto, and may be seeking extra compensation in any deal due to a belief that LeVert is a better overall player.