Dallas Mavericks: Dallas Mavericks

Cuban: Mavs might save $2.7M exception

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks are in discussions with a couple of candidates for their $2.7 million cap-room exception, but owner Mark Cuban made it clear that the team isn’t desperate to fill that slot this summer.

“We’re talking to a couple of players, but it’s one of those things that if we don’t get the right player, we’ll just hold it so that during the season when a player gets cut, we’ll have that opportunity to offer,” Cuban said during a Tuesday appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “Fitzsimmons and Friedo.”

There has been mutual interest between the Mavs and guard Mo Williams throughout the free-agency period. However, Williams has offers for more than the $2.7 million salary the Mavs can offer, sources said.

A source also told ESPNDallas.com recently that Williams wasn’t the Mavs’ top target for their $2.7 million exception, declining to elaborate on the player who is a higher priority. (Jameer Nelson?)

If the Mavs opt not to use the exception this summer, they’d be positioned to outbid many teams for veteran players who receive midseason buyouts. That is how the Mavs acquired swingman Corey Brewer during the 2011 title season.
Tyson ChandlerJoe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsTyson Chandler has been working hard this summer to improve physically and mentally.
Did the Dallas Mavericks trade for damaged goods in Tyson Chandler?

It’s a legitimate question, just like it was four years ago. The Mavs hope the evidence to the contrary is just as conclusive as it was during Chandler’s first stint in Dallas.

During his last season in New York, Chandler didn’t really resemble the center who was such a critical piece to the 2011 Mavs’ championship puzzle, much less the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year or 2013 All-Star. His production in an injury-plagued season (averages of 8.7 points and 9.6 rebounds in only 55 games) was his worst since his lone season in Charlotte, just before the Mavs acquired Chandler in a salary-dump deal.

Yet Chandler, who turns 32 in October, has no doubt he can be the big man Mavs fans remember from four seasons ago. He’s physically healthy -- and hopes to stay that way with the help of the Mavs’ outstanding medical staff -- and mentally rejuvenated after the dysfunctional Knicks traded him back to Dallas.

“I think I can be better.” Chandler said during his conference call with Dallas reporters last month. “I finished the season healthy, so this summer I was able to start earlier. I took a couple of weeks off and then I already started getting back in the gym and improving things. I want to get back to thinking and moving the way I moved. I started correcting things mentally and physically. I was already looking forward to this summer because I felt like there was so many things I could improve on.

“Then once I started in the gym, I’ve already seen in the six weeks or two months I’ve been working out so much improvement already that I’m truly excited. When this happened and I know I’m putting myself in a situation again to really have a shot at making a run, it just gives me more to work on and more excitement and more drive.”

(Read full post)

Mavericks summer league recap

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
GriffinGarrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty ImagesEric Griffin's Vegas high-wire act earned him a one-year deal with the Mavericks.

LAS VEGAS -- With 10 days in the desert now complete, here are some passing thoughts on players of intrigue who made noise one way or another for the Dallas Mavericks in Las Vegas during summer-league play.

Yuki Togashi
The 5-foot-8 Japanese guard is a perfect fit for the Texas Legends, Dallas' NBA Development League affiliate. The diminutive prospect certainly has game, but is clearly limited due to his small frame. He will have to fight an uphill battle, much like former Dallas point guard J.J. Barea did, if he wants any shot at making an NBA roster. Togashi made it clear after the Vegas finale that he will not play in Japan and hopes to be selected in the D-League draft. Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson is a co-owner of the Legends, so it's a relatively safe bet to assume that Togashi lands in Frisco, Texas.

Eric Griffin
The high-flying standout earned himself a non-guaranteed, one-year contract with the Mavs over the weekend after separating himself from the pack with his athletic play on both ends of the floor. In a sense, his athleticism is reminiscent of forward Shawn Marion; the comparison is particularly apt on offense in that a coach won't have to draw up plays for either forward. On the other end, Griffin is a solid help-side defender, closing up real estate to the opposition in a hurry. Griffin impressed the cast in Las Vegas; he'll have to do the same with the likes of owner Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle if he wants to make the 15-man roster. If he doesn't, he'll join the Texas Legends. Don't be surprised if forward Ivan Johnson also earns an invite to training camp.

Bernard James
Sources told ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon that the Mavs are expected to re-sign James. Nelson said he believes James' play in Vegas has garnered interest around the league and that the Mavs are at the top of the list. James did not play in the team's final game in Vegas, and Nelson was quick to note that it wasn't because the team had reached an agreement with the center. Rather, Nelson said, it was an opportunity for James to get a "well-deserved" break for his summer-league efforts. Assuming the sides reach a mutually beneficial deal, James should return to fill out the back end of the roster.

[+] EnlargeRick Ledo
Jack Arent/NBAE/Getty ImagesA 15-point, nine-assist summer-league finale showcased Ricky Ledo's developing chops.
Ricky Ledo
Ledo's summer-league performance had plenty of highs and lows. The swingman, 21, ended his run with an impressive all-around performance in the Mavs' Vegas finale, scoring 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting and adding a game-high nine assists. (The rest of the players on both teams combined for only 11 assists.) Ledo is still probably another season away from being a rotational player at the NBA level, but the coaching staff was pleased with his effort in Las Vegas. He will just need to continue trending in the right direction.

Gal Mekel
After dealing with a knee surgery and subsequent setback to his calf late last season, Mekel said his conditioning was much better by the end of his Vegas stint. His goal will be to continue adapting to the speed of the NBA game and working on his shooting mechanics. Mekel left the team over the weekend to be with his family in his native Israel. While there, he will join the Israeli national team, which has begun its training camp and will start international play in August. Mekel plans to stay there until early September, then return to Dallas to prepare for training camp.

Greg Smith
The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder will replace DeJuan Blair as the banging backup. The Mavs hope Smith can create some constructive chaos -- much as Blair did -- on the defensive end. Smith will have to prove that his knees are healthy and able to endure the beating of an 82-game season. If he's able to make it through, Dallas might have an intriguing big-man combination.

Richard Jefferson/Rashard Lewis
For the league minimum, you could certainly do a lot worse than acquiring both Jefferson and Lewis. Both are expected to provide perimeter shooting and bench depth for Dallas. The departures of Vince Carter, Blair and Wayne Ellington took a bite out of said depth, a Mavericks' strength in recent seasons. Based on Carlisle's reserve options going forward, there very well could be stretches of games in which either Jefferson or Lewis don't see time on the floor.

Devin Harris
The Mavs will hope that Harris doesn't suffer an injury setback like he did last summer, when he lost half of the regular season. Dallas will need Harris ready to go, because the team is still dealing with relative instability at the point-guard position. Given his chemistry with Brandan Wright, it's very possible that Harris will come off the bench, leaving Raymond Felton as the starting point guard.

Chandler Parsons
The Mavs were able to strike a deal with Parsons as the summer league was in its opening stages. Making his first address to the Dallas media last week, it's quite apparent that the forward has a chip on his shoulder after coming over from the Houston Rockets. It will be quite interesting to see how Carlisle decides to use the versatile Parsons. It's safe to assume that Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki will create a rather formidable two-man game. At 25, one must wonder whether, assuming he continues to mature and develop as a player, Parsons could become the new face of the Mavericks. Time will tell.

Dirk Nowitzki
Dallas' star continued to show that he is one of a kind by agreeing to a deal that was lower than expected -- three years, $25 million -- to remain in Dallas. The 36-year-old turned down max offers from the Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers to show how committed he is to the only NBA organization for which he has played.

Where are they now: Josh Howard

July, 19, 2014
Jul 19
This is a series focusing on Mavericks of the past and how they're using the Las Vegas Summer League to try to extend their careers.

LAS VEGAS -- You don’t always see players in their mid-30s running, jumping and diving around the basketball floor during the Las Vegas Summer League. Former Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Howard, 34, is an exception to the rule. After multiple ACL surgeries, Howard is not giving up on the dream.

"It's just hard work, consistent prayer," Howard said on what has allowed him to keep going. "There's a lot of trainers who have been pushing me. I've still got the motor, and I want to keep playing."


Which former Maverick would you like to have back?


Discuss (Total votes: 13,280)

Howard is part of the draft class that brought the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh into the league. While those players have had sustained success, the No. 29 pick of that draft has gone down a different path. He spent his first six and a half season with Dallas, before being traded around the league multiple times.

Howard is a former NBA All-Star, but the surgeries and inconsistent play of recent seasons left him the Austin Toros last season in the D-League. Looking to impress teams into giving him a shot, Howard joined the New Orleans Pelicans' summer league squad.

The Pelicans don’t have a lot of money to spend and could use help off the bench at the small forward position. Theoretically, Howard fits their need, if he can still show that the can play at the NBA level and, more importantly, stay healthy.

Howard looked impressive in his first game of the summer league as he scored 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting. His game hit a wall of sorts as he scored just six points in the remaining two games he played during the summer league.

The veteran forward is hoping the Hornets will give him a shot. If not, he'll keep trying to find a team that will get him back into the league. If that door shuts, Howard intends to pursue another avenue to stay in the game.

"I've never been a quitter. I want to try to snowball my career into coaching or scouting," Howard explained. "I have a good feel on watching guys and how they play. Even if I don't make a team, maybe someone will offer me a job in that area because I've been around, I know the game."

Howard still lives in Dallas and runs his annual basketball camps in the area. He still keeps in communication with some of the people in the organization and knows some of the newer players they have brought in. Forward Dirk Nowitzki is still someone Howard interacts with. Howard couldn't be any happier to see that his former teammate is in a great place in life, on and off the floor.

"Just to see my guy happy, to see him get a ring, I was happy for him," Howard said. "When I came in as a rookie, I watched his work ethic, and he's one of the guys who had a big impact on my career."

Howard is hoping that his motor and drive will connect to general managers around the league and he can earn one more shot in the league. If he gets it, it's likely his final one.

Rapid Reaction: Mavs 88, Suns 62

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
LAS VEGAS -- The Dallas Mavericks Dallas Mavericks fell into an early 11-1 hole to start the game but ran the Suns out of the gym from that point on in the consolation round of the Las Vegas Summer League playoffs. Dallas ended the summer league with a record of 3-2 after Friday's 88-62 win. Phoenix ended up 2-3.

How it happened: Fresh off signing a non-guaranteed, one-year deal with the Mavs, high-flying forward Eric Griffin delivered a 20-point performance, finishing 9-of-13 from the field and adding three rebounds and three blocks. Griffin ends his run in Vegas as one of the more impressive and athletic players to play in the desert.

Griffin has essentially earned himself an invite to Dallas' training camp. If he does not make the Dallas roster, Griffin’s D-League rights will be owned by the Texas Legends, the Mavs' D-League affiliate.

Yuki Togashi played more minutes at point guard with Gal Mekel sitting out the final game and departing for Israel. The 5-foot-8 Japanese guard showed flashes of his aggressive game as he attacked the lane within the flow of the team's offense. Togashi could be a prospect for the Texas Legends.

The Suns were led by forward Elias Harris and second-year guard Archie Goodwin, as they combined to score 28 points.

What it means: The Mavs end the summer league on a high note. The team will depart Saturday morning. Most of them will go on their own way after that, with some preparing for Mavs training camp early in the fall.

Mavs player of the game: After a rough performance in their one-point loss to the New Orleans Hornets, swingman Ricky Ledo bounced back with an impressive all-around performance. Ledo scored only nine points on 2-of-16 shooting in the team's loss to the Hornets, but responded friday with a 15-point performance on 6-of-13 shooting.

Showing his playmaking skills, Ledo added a game-high nine assists. The rest of the players on both teams combined for only 11 assists.

Stat of the day: Dallas struggled to shoot with consistency and turned the ball over in their summer league losses. But in their victory over the Suns, the Mavs shot 49.3 percent from the field and committed only 13 turnovers.

Nelson talks Dirk, Devin, what's next for Mavs

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
LAS VEGAS -- President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson spent a few minutes with ESPN Dallas on Friday to talk about Dirk Nowitzki's new deal, Devin Harris being back with the club, the summer league in Las Vegas and what other moves the Mavs may make.

Dirk's deal: When Dirk Nowitzki said he'd re-sign with the Mavs early in free agency, sources would only say that Nowitzki had accepted a three-year deal similar in structure to the last contract signed by San Antonio's Tim Duncan, which was a three-year, $30 million deal. After the dust settled in regards to the restricted free-agency window with Chandler Parsons, Nowitzki's three-year deal ended up being for $25 million.

"We’re just blessed. Dirk is a better human being than he is a basketball player," Nelson said. "He’s a very special man. It’s a sign that he’s willing to sacrifice anything, playing time, financial or whatever, to make us a better team and put us in a position to championship. You can count those kind of guys on one hand."

Nowitzki consented to such a steep pay reduction to give his team the necessary flexibility to strengthen the supporting cast around him.

Harris' return: Sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein that Devin Harris would re-resign with the Mavs and that the four-year deal is worth $16.55 million, with the fourth season partially guaranteed. The guaranteed figure for the fourth year is $1.3 million. Nelson commented that the veteran point guard followed the lead of Dallas' face of the franchise.

"Devin is another guy that sacrificed for the betterment of the team. He was flexible and patient," Nelson said. "We really appreciate that because every penny counts in free agency.The difference of having a little flexibility here and there can mean the difference of you getting a significant player or not."

Dallas now has a trio of point guards as Harris joins Raymond Felton and Gal Mekel. The Mavs have shown over the years that they will often bring some of their best players off of the bench. That likely leaves a touch of doubt in regards who will actually be the starting point guard once the season begins.

Summer league standout: Small forward Eric Griffin signed a non-guaranteed, one-year contract Friday.

"Griffin is one of the real surprises of the summer league," Nelson said. "Here’s a guy that did it the old fashion way, playing overseas. He got cut a couple of times, but he didn’t lose his focus and he’s put himself in a great position.

"I think he’s a guy that, with time, coaching and development, can be a special small forward that might be able to swing to a power forward."

Prior to their final game Friday, the 6-foot-8 high-flying forward averaged 9.8 points in 19.3 minutes during four games with the Mavs’ team in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Mavs' flexibility: The Mavs still have their $2.7 million cap-room exception at their disposal. While there's still a need for perimeter shooting, particularly from the guard position, Nelson said that they will keep all of their options open.

"Nothing new there (to report)," Nelson said. "We’ve got a number of conversations going. Stay tuned."

They will keep their options open, including the idea of leaving an open roster spot and not using their exception.

"We like that. Philosophically, we like leaving roster spots open," Nelson explained. "If there’s something really good, we’ll pull the trigger. If not, we’ll stay flexible."
The Dallas Mavericks signed high-flying forward Eric Griffin to a nonguaranteed contract Friday.

"It's been a long time coming, but it's a blessing at the same time," Griffin said. "I'm just happy to be part of a team that wants me."

The 6-foot-8, 194-pound Griffin averaged 9.8 points in 19.3 minutes during four games with the Mavs’ team in the Las Vegas Summer League. He had several highlight-worthy slam dunks during the summer league.

Griffin has played professionally in Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Italy in addition to spending the 2013 preseason with the Miami Heat. If he does not make the Dallas roster, Griffin’s D-League rights will be owned by the Mavs affiliate Texas Legends.

"It's definitely not over," Griffin said of his dream of playing in the NBA. "I've got to prove myself to the team and the organization."

The Mavs still have their $2.7 million cap-room exception and a minimum-salary slot available to fill out their roster.

Bryan Gutierrez contributed to this report.

Are Mavs really much better?

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
The kudos have come from far and wide for the work of the Dallas Mavericks’ front office this summer.

The popular belief is that the two major moves the Mavs made this summer -- the trade for center Tyson Chandler and signing of small forward Chandler Parsons in restricted free agency -- could push Dallas from fighting for an eighth seed to the middle of the West playoff pack.

Well, according to a loose application of one advanced statistic, the Mavs have actually taken a significant step back with their summer remodeling. The total win shares from last season’s Dallas roster equaled 48.3, just a fraction of a win shy of their actual total of 49. Last season’s total win shares from the 13 players on the Mavs’ roster right now: 43.7.

Just the stats:
Dirk Nowitzki: 10.9
Jose Calderon: 6.3
Brandan Wright: 5.1
Monta Ellis: 4.9
Samuel Dalembert: 4.9
Shawn Marion: 4.3
Vince Carter: 4.3
DeJuan Blair: 3.4
Jae Crowder: 2.3
Wayne Ellington: 0.7
Bernard James: 0.1
Ricky Ledo: 0.0
Shane Larkin: -0.1
Gal Mekel: -0.4
Total: 48.3

Dirk Nowitzki: 10.9
Chandler Parsons: 7.6
Brandan Wright: 5.1
Tyson Chandler: 4.9
Monta Ellis: 4.9
Richard Jefferson: 2.7
Jae Crowder: 2.3
Raymond Felton: 2.2
Rashard Lewis: 1.7
Devin Harris: 1.6
Greg Smith: 0.2
Ricky Ledo: 0.0
Gal Mekel: -0.4
Total: 43.7

Some things to consider that aren’t reflected in those win share totals:

*The Mavs still have their $2.7 million cap-room exception at their disposal. The player they sign with that slot is likely to have been worth at least two win shares last season.

*Dallas is counting on Chandler’s performance last season with the New York Knicks being the exception, not the beginning of a steep decline. He had at least 9.3 win shares in each of the previous three seasons, including 9.4 with the Mavs in 2010-11.

*The Mavs are also banking on a bounce-back year from Felton, who had the second lowest win share total of his career last season. Felton had more than four win shares in four of the previous five seasons.

*A knee injury limited Smith to 11 games last season. He had four win shares as a 16-minute-per-game role player the previous season.

*It stands to reason that Harris can at least double his win shares from last season, when he sat out the first half of the year while recovering from complicated toe surgery.

Mavs find value with 'Merry Minimums'

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
The Dallas Mavericks pride themselves on finding value in the NBA bargain bins.

The “Merry Minimums,” as the Mavs’ brass often refers to the minimum-salary veterans that fill out the roster, included significant contributors Devin Harris and DeJuan Blair last season.

The Mavs filled three of their minimum slots this summer with players who should at least factor into Rick Carlisle’s rotation, if not play every night. Swingman Richard Jefferson, small forward Rashard Lewis and center Greg Smith are all good bang-for-buck additions.

A look at how the three new members of the Merry Minimums can help the Mavs:


Which "Merry Minimum" will have the biggest impact on the Mavs this season?


Discuss (Total votes: 1,994)

Jefferson: He’s no longer the guy who averaged 22.6 points per game one season for the New Jersey Nets, but Jefferson can still shoot the 3, a skill the Mavs needed after the departures of Vince Carter and Jose Calderon. The 34-year-old made 40.9 percent of his long-distance attempts for the Utah Jazz last season, the third time in four years that he shot better than 40 percent from 3. He averaged 10.1 points in 27 minutes per game as a starter for the Jazz, but the Mavs won’t ask nearly that much from him.

Lewis: At 34, Lewis hardly resembles the scoring threat the Mavs tried to steal from Seattle long ago. The two-time All-Star is a role player now who has the experience of playing in three NBA Finals, including the last two seasons with the Miami Heat. “We’re always looking for veteran players who are pros and know how to win playoff games,” Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “He definitely fits that mold.” Lewis also fits the mold of a stretch 4, allowing the Mavs the luxury of having a legitimate backup for Dirk Nowitzki that doesn’t require completely changing the offensive scheme. The 6-foot-10 Lewis is a career 38.6 percent 3-point shooter and a quality defender, especially in pick-and-roll and isolation situations.

Smith: The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder, who was sent to Dallas in a salary-dump deal from Chicago, will replace Blair as the Mavs’ bargain-priced banger. “Our front line really needs a DeJuan-type presence,” Nelson said. “[Smith] is a thick-body rebounder and enforcer.” Smith, 23, had season-ending knee surgery in February, which the Mavs anticipate will be a “maintenance issue” this season. But there is hope that Smith can get back to his form from 2012-13, when he averaged 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game for the Houston Rockets.

Where are they now: Rodrigue Beaubois

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
This is a series focusing on Mavericks of the past and how they're using the Las Vegas Summer League to try to extend their careers.

LAS VEGAS -- The summer league springs hope for those looking to get into the league and those looking to get back into the league. Former Dallas Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois fits into the latter group. After going through the entire 2013-14 season without an NBA deal, Beaubois joined the Los Angeles Lakers summer league squad. Simply put, Beaubois had to start over.

"Nobody wants to go through all of that (having to fight to get back into the league), but injuries happen,” Beaubois said. "I just need to keep working so I can get back into the league.”

Beaubois showed plenty of promise as a rookie, but he has since seen his career marred by a series of nagging injuries. His time in Dallas ultimately ended as the Mavs decided to go in a different direction in the summer of 2013. The Mavs bid adieu to Beaubois and went on to reload the guard position with the likes of Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis and Devin Harris, leaving Beaubois without an NBA home.

"Things happen. I just need to bounce back, keep working and try to come back,” Beaubois said. "That’s my goal. My hand (his last major injury) is good, so I just need to keep going.”

Beaubois has many eyes on him in Vegas. But the enigmatic guard has struggled to find traction. Stats in the summer league are often irrelevant, but Beaubois hasn’t really delivered consistent play in the games he’s played in, averaging 3.5 points on 29.4 percent shooting in 12.3 minutes per game.

While he’s struggling to re-establish his NBA career, he doesn’t hold any grudges with the organization that brought him into the league and ultimately sent him out of it.

"It was a great experience in Dallas,” Beaubois said. "I would have loved for it to keep going on. I can only control what I can control. I just need to get into the best shape possible, find a team and get better.”

Goals and perspectives are varied amongs those who are participating in the Vegas summer league. With a level of success achieved early in his career, Beaubois understands that he has ability and potential to play at the highest level, but there’s something that is still holding him back.

"It's the health thing,” Beaubois explained. "I’ve had a few injuries that have kept me off the court for a long time. I need to do what I have to do to stay healthy. Whether it is staying with the trainers longer, I need to do it. I just need to keep working on my body."

We will have to see if Beaubois can run free once again in the NBA. It might take more than his time in Las Vegas to garner some consideration.
The Dallas Mavericks believe they can sign a quality player with their $2.7 million cap-room exception. They just don't want to drop many hints about who that might be at the moment.

[+] EnlargeMo Williams
Troy Taormina/USA TODAY SportsMo Williams may not be the Mavs' top target for their cap-room exception after all.
Mo Williams, the veteran guard who the Mavs had flirted with throughout the free agency process, has better offers on the table, sources confirmed. Agent Mark Bartelstein declined to discuss which teams are bidding on Williams, saying only that they are looking at several scenarios, many of which are fluid due to a variety of factors. Bartelstein did not rule out the possibility of Williams signing with the Mavs.

However, a source said that there is one target for the $2.7 million slot who the Mavs have higher on their board than Williams.

Who is that target? Mum is the word from the Mavs.

Here are a few educated guesses, none of which Mavs sources would independently confirm or deny:


Who would be the best fit for the Mavs with their $2.7 million exception?


Discuss (Total votes: 4,837)

Evan Turner: This would be an awfully low price for a player four years removed from being the second overall pick in the draft, but Turner certainly didn’t help his stock after a midseason trade to the Indiana Pacers, averaging only 3.3 points as a bit player during the playoffs. A short-term deal in Dallas might allow Turner to showcase his skills as a sixth man and give the Mavs a high-upside replacement for Vince Carter with scoring and ball-handling ability. The 6-foot-7 Turner averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game as a starter for the 34-48 76ers in 2012-13.

Jordan Crawford: He’s a 25-year-old gunner who has bounced around the league, already playing for four teams. The 6-foot-4 Crawford, who can only play shooting guard, is a streaky shooter who has averaged 12.2 points per game during his career, hitting only 40.5 percent of his field-goal attempts and 30.6 from long range. But his last two games against the Mavs might have left a pretty good impression. He had a pair of 19-point performances in Warriors wins over Dallas in March and April, going 15-of-22 from the floor in those two games.

Jameer Nelson: Nelson, who spent his entire 10-year career with the Orlando Magic before the rebuilding team recently released him, might be the best point guard on the roster if he signed with the Mavs. He averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 assists last seasons, numbers pretty similar to his career stats, and he is a better spot-up 3-point shooter than Raymond Felton or Devin Harris. His 44 games of playoff experience could also be attractive to the Mavs. Then again, a point guard with his credentials might be able to get significantly more than $2.7 million.
The down-to-the-dollar details on Dirk Nowitzki’s discount deal, via ShamSports.com’s salary database:

2014-15 salary: $7,974,482
2015-16 salary: $8,333,334
2016-17 salary: $8,692,184

The three-year, $25 million contract includes a player option for the third season.

Nowitzki will be the fourth-highest paid player on the Mavs’ roster this season behind Tyson Chandler ($14,846,888), Chandler Parsons ($14,700,000) and Monta Ellis ($8,360,000).

Where are they now: Delonte West

July, 17, 2014
Jul 17
This is a series focusing on Dallas Mavericks of the past and how they're using the Las Vegas Summer League to try to extend their careers.

LAS VEGAS -- Now with a clear mind, a positive outlook on life and a new baby, former Dallas Mavericks guard Delonte West is playing in the Las Vegas Summer League.

West, who turns 31 this month, doesn't look at the time in Vegas as hitting the restart button. He's using it as an opportunity to do the thing he loves and to help young players as they try to chase their dream.

[+] EnlargeDelonte West
Jack Arent/NBAE/Getty ImagesDelonte West is playing for the Clippers' summer league team in hopes of creating a path back to the NBA.
"It should be a celebration for these young fellas. They're trying to compete for a jobs and trying to make a roster," West said. "This is a big step. Summer league is just one step closer. I know how important it is to be confident and comfortable out there to display your skill level. This isn't a big fraternity. I'm helping all of the young guys out if I can."

West said his conditioning and weight have been an issue, but he gained a "good five pounds" with a good steak thanks to some per diem from the Los Angeles Clippers, the team he's playing for during the summer league, earlier in the week. West said summer league is an opportunity for anyone who is geared toward playing in the NBA, even the veterans, as long as they have the right perspective.

"It's basketball, man," West said with a laugh. "Summer league could be so much bigger than it already it is if some of the veteran guys came out and played. A lot of veteran guys or guys who are lined up with a contract don't want to shoot themselves in the foot out there, but it's great basketball.

"Take your shades off, take your chain off, put your car in the garage and come play some basketball."

Clippers coach Doc Rivers gave West another chance with the summer league invitation and said that it has been great to see him out playing basketball again.

"It wasn't hard," Rivers said on the process of having West come to Las Vegas. "He called me, and I said yes. That's how it happened. He called me up and asked if I had any problem playing on the summer league team, because it would help. I said yes.

"He's a good guy. We know all the personal stuff that he's gone through. I just think it's good for everybody."

(Read full post)

Greg Smith 'happy' to play for Mavs

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16
LAS VEGAS -- After completing the team physical, center Greg Smith joined the Dallas Mavericks' summer league team in Las Vegas.

Smith, who is coming off knee surgery in February, will not participate in the team's final game in the summer league. He is healthy, but the team wants him to focus on getting in shape and preparing for training camp. Smith said he's ready to prove he's 100 percent healthy once he gets to training camp.

[+] EnlargeGreg Smith
Brett Davis/USA TODAY SportsGreg Smith says he will bring defense to the Mavs as he backs up Tyson Chandler.
"I'm happy. It's like going home," Smith said. "I'm happy to be in this situation. ... Playing for a team like the Dallas Mavericks, their organization is just wonderful. I'm happy to be there."

Smith's grandparents, mother and uncle all live in Dallas. Smith said he was pleased to hear that the Mavs were trying to acquire him for the past two seasons via trade.

"It's great to go somewhere that they want you," he said.

The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Smith averaged 5.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game over the past three seasons with the Houston Rockets. The Bulls signed him through next season after Houston waived him in April.

"He's got a skill set that we need in our front line," Donnie Nelson, the Mavs' general manager and president of basketball operations, said earlier this week. "He's thicker and he's got the right combination of experience and youth. With Chicago it was kind of more of a salary dump to do a bigger deal. It didn't cost us anything.

"We think we got a really good young player that can provide us punch in our front line."

Mavs owner Mark Cuban had previously said Smith was someone the team has been trying to acquire for the past two seasons. Smith is slated to play more center than power forward and will back up Tyson Chandler.

"I'll bring a lot of defense," Smith said of his role. "I love playing defense. I'm going to learn being next to Tyson, and I'm excited to play with Tyson. I'll be a banger.

"I'll be that guy who is a stopper that won't allow anything inside."

Playing for Houston, Smith was teammates with Chandler Parsons. Smith is excited to be reunited with Parsons and says he believes Dallas will be pleased with what the versatile forward can bring to the team.

"He's going to bring so much to the team," Smith said. "People don't understand what he gave to the Rockets. He means a lot, and he'll bring a lot to the Mavericks."

The experience in Houston allowed Smith to bang and work alongside the likes of Dwight Howard and Omer Asik, two of the league's best defensive centers. Smith said that was a huge learning experience for him, and he plans to take what he learned from his time with the Rockets and expand on it in Dallas.

"I feel like I can showcase what they taught me and be able to play defense against anyone in the league," Smith said.

Mavs fall in Vegas playoff round

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16

LAS VEGAS -- The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Charlotte Hornets in the team's opening round game of the Las Vegas Summer League playoffs. Charlotte had lost its first three games in the preliminary round.

How it happened: Dallas fell behind by as many as 17 points in the first half but was able to tie the score at 77-77 with 3:19 left in the fourth quarter. The Mavs regained the lead with just over two minutes to go, but Gal Mekel split a pair of free throws with 7.9 seconds left. Hornets guard Robert Nelson hit a contested 3-point basket at the buzzer for the win. It appeared that Nelson had a foot on the line, but instant replay is not used during the summer league.

Japanese guard Yuki Togashi kept the team afloat in the first half with his eight points. The 5-foot-8 guard was an irritant on defense and did a nice job creating offense for himself and others. He finished the game with 12 points, but his scoring productivity in the first half proved to be instrumental in the comeback attempt.
Ricky Ledo struggled from the field as he went just 2-of-16 for only nine points. He never could gain any traction with his shot in the game.

Mavs forward Ivan Johnson was ejected from the game during the third quarter. He got tangled with a Hornets player and tripped and fell. He argued the call, was given a technical foul and ejected. It's not known if he will be available for the team's next game.

The Hornets were led by rookie P.J. Hairston as he scored 18 points in the victory. The 26th pick of this year's draft spent time with the Texas Legends, Dallas' D-League affiliate in Frisco, last season.

What it means: Dallas will now move on to the consolation bracket of the tournament. The Mavs will face the Phoenix Suns on Friday at 1 p.m. PT. That will be their final game in Las Vegas.

Mavs player of the game: Mekel asserted himself as Dallas' offense struggled to generate baskets. He finished with 17 points, five rebounds and six assists. Mekel will not play in the team's finale as he will head back to Israel to be back with his family and prep to play with the Israeli national team.

Stat of the day: Dallas struggled from the field, starting the game missing nine of its first 12 shots. The Mavs' execution ultimately got them into a major deficit in the first half. They finished the game shooting just 36.8 percent from the field.



Dirk Nowitzki
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9