Dallas Mavericks: Rudy Fernandez

Pregame buzz: Corey Brewer will send ring size

December, 26, 2011
12/26/11
7:20
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DALLAS -- Corey Brewer wishes he was still in Dallas, but he's still smiling with the Denver Nuggets. Rudy Fernandez said his agent had found him a home ready to move into until the Dallas Mavericks traded him and Brewer to Denver a few days into training camp.

"I was surprised they got rid of both of us," Brewer said in the visitors locker room of the American Airlines Center Monday prior to facing his former team. "Not a bad package."

When the Mavs signed 34-year-old Vince Carter and then traded for Lamar Odom, Fernandez and Brewer, two of the Mavs' younger players, became expendable. Denver was taker for Fernandez, but wanted Brewer in the deal. The Mavs, who acquired the lanky, 6-foot-8 wing last season and signed him to a three-year deal, decided to make the move.

"I was surprised," Brewer said. "I was really looking forward to being here. Donnie [Nelson] called me and they decided they were going in another direction, which I respect that."

The Mavs received a 2016 second-round draft choice in return. Dallas has spun the trade as another step to create more cap space for next summer. Brewer, 25, will earn $3.1 million this season, so the Mavs save that amount, plus another $3.1 in luxury tax. Fernandez is in the final year of his deal and will make $2.2 million. Carter signed with the Mavs for $3 million, plus two more partially guaranteed seasons.

"From a basketball standpoint it's tough," coach Rick Carlisle said of losing Brewer, a player in which he invested a lot of one-of-one time. "From a business standpoint it's easy because it's, in luxury tax money, it's a $6 million contract instead of a $3 million contract, so I understood it. Corey got better. He was an important guy here, the minutes he had that one game against the Lakers (Game 1 of the West semifinals) may well have been the key game in the entire playoff run, you never know."

The deal could be a good one for Brewer and Fernandez. They join a young squad that will run the floor under coach George Karl. Both figure to receive solid minutes off the bench behind Aaron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari, and contribute to a team shifting out of an era that included Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith.

"I like the style of play," Brewer said. "It's a bunch of guys that like to get up and down, two good point guards, both of them like to push it, so you get a chance to run in this system."

As for Fernandez, he said he had already selected a home in Dallas and was prepared to join the defending champions despite reports out of Spain for much of the offseason that he was more interested in remaining in his home country and playing for Real Madrid.

"When Vince Carter signed with Dallas it probably meant less minutes for me," Fernandez said. "Right now Denver is really interested in me and Brewer and ... we have the opportunity to be an important part of this team."

Brewer got in a good look at the championship banner raised Sunday and at his name stitched around the border with his former teammates. But, there is one thing missing: Brewer, a two-time NCAA champion at Florida, didn't get sized for his championship ring before the trade.

"I've got two already," Brewer said, "so I can send them my size."

W2W4: Nene leads young Nuggets to town

December, 26, 2011
12/26/11
1:00
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The Dallas Mavericks have plenty to improve upon tonight as the Denver Nuggets -- with former Mavs forward Corey Brewer and former Mavs guard that never was Rudy Fernandez -- open their season at American Airlines Center.

The good news is the Nuggets aren't the Miami Heat, who outrebounded Dallas 51-31, scored 97 points through three quarters and drove to the rim with impunity. Still, a revamped Nuggets squad that is without the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler averaged 118.5 points in two preseason games and will look to run and gun and hand the defending champions consecutive losses for the first time since April 21 and 23 in the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers.

"The rebounding is a concern, turnovers are a concern, overall defense from a consistency standpoint is a concern," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Denver is going to come in here with a shot at the champs. It's a situation where we've got to work to make quantum leaps as often and as quickly as we can as a team.

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center

TV: FSSW

Radio: 103.3 FM ESPN/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: So, who starts at shooting guard? Vince Carter started Sunday, but Delonte West got the call to start the second half against the Heat because Carlisle said he was looking for playmaking. Carlisle also said the starter at two-guard could change from game to game depending on matchups. The Nuggets start veteran Andre Miller at point guard and the 6-foot-5 Aaron Afflalo is expected to start at shooting guard. This would seem to favor Carter starting with West coming off the bench to back up Jason Kidd and check Denver reserve Ty Lawson. ... Look for the Mavs to involve Lamar Odom early in the offensive sets. He swished his first shot on his first possession entering the game midway through the first quarter, but he missed all of his next five shots and was saddled with early foul trouble before ejected in the third quarter for arguing a charging call.

Key matchup: Brendan Haywood vs. Nene
Haywood had little offensive impact Sunday and defensively he finished up Sunday's opener with no blocked shots and one defensive rebound in 13:38 of playing time. The Heat don't have much of a low-post game, instead using their All-NBA wings to attack the rim. Tonight Haywood gets a chance to bang with skilled and agile big man Nene, who spurned lucrative free-agent offers elsewhere to return to a young and intriguing Nuggets team. Haywood was plagued by foul trouble Sunday, picking up two quickies before the end of the first half for three and then another quick one to start the second half for a fourth. On the surface, this is a difficult matchup for Haywood, but asking Ian Mahinmi or Brandan Wright to stick with Nene for long stretches could be a dangerous proposition.

Injuries: Nuggets - None. Mavs - Shawn Marion (fractured left pinkie finger) is probable.

Up next: Mavs at Oklahoma City Thunder, 7 p.m., Thursday
DALLAS -- Rodrigue Beaubois got characterized last week by coach Rick Carlisle as a "depth player," which means more or less a guy at the end of the bench that will pick up scrap minutes when afforded.

That was before Dallas traded Rudy Fernandez (and Corey Brewer) to the Denver Nuggets. Beaubois still remains behind a couple of quality players in Vince Carter and Jason Terry, but after coming a second surgery on his left foot in as many summers, he will get opportunities -- as long as he's healthy -- at shooting guard and behind Jason Kidd and Delonte West at point guard.

The compacted 66-game schedule will afford that as Carlisle will look to spread playing time as far down the bench as he possibly can. So far in training camp, Beaubois seems to have his quickness working for him as he regains the confidence he showed as a rookie.

"The thing with him, we've all seen the flashes of brilliance," Carlisle said. "But we're looking for consistency. We're looking for consistency in terms of concentration and in terms of him utilizing his abilities. And, I believe he's getting better. He had a really solid day [of practice Saturday]. We really need him and Dominique [Jones] and Ian [Mahinmi] and our young guys to be ready because we're going to need them."

Carlisle said that Beaubois is physically sound to play and he could see his first action in tonight's home preseason game (6:30 p.m.) against the Oklahoma City Thunder since re-injuring the left foot in last year's regular-season finale.

Prior to the start of training camp on Dec. 9, Beaubois said he wasn't quite 100 percent and wasn't certain if he'd be ready for the Christmas Day opener in one week against the Miami Heat. Exhibition games Sunday and Tuesday (at OKC) will start to give us a better idea.

"So far, so good," Beaubois said after Friday night's scrimmage in front a crowd of more than 6,0oo at the American Airlines Center. I just need to get the leg stronger because I was out for so long. I just need to keep pushing on it. I'll be OK."

Carlisle on Corey Brewer: Only so many minutes

December, 14, 2011
12/14/11
3:21
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DALLAS -- Tuesday's trade that sent Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer to the Denver Nuggets for a second-round pick in the 2016 draft and two small trade exceptions the Dallas Mavericks will probably never use amounted to a salary dump.

"Those are guys we liked, but at this point looking at the roster, it’s a huge money savings, and there are only so many minutes," coach Rick Carlisle said after Wednesday's morning practice. "Truthfully, we’re looking at those two major factors, and it helps our flexibility this year and next year to be able to unload those contracts. But make no mistake, those are both players we like and will play very well at the place that they’re going."

Dallas was done dealing with the petulant Fernandez, who saw the writing on the wall when the team signed Vince Carter to a roster that already had Jason Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois, who also need to get minutes. But Denver wanted the long and lanky youthfulness of Brewer, a player the Mavs really like. But realistically, Brewers wasn't going to get much run this season after the team's surprise trade for Lamar Odom.

So Dallas made the deal and will take the some $10 million in savings -- payroll and luxury tax -- this season. Plus, the team will add about $3 million (Brewer's 2012-13 salary) to the growing cap space for the summer of 2012.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets needed a wing player with a couple of players stuck playing in China. Brewer didn't play much for the Mavs last season after signing mid-season to a three-year contract. He worked hard with Carlisle on his jumper, and Dallas had hopes of him contributing this season while playing behind Shawn Marion.

That all changed when Odom, possibly a one-and-done player with the Mavs, arrived.

Accolades aside, Vince Carter wants to win

December, 14, 2011
12/14/11
2:33
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DALLAS -- Vince Carter didn't earn the nickname "Vinsanity" for nothing. The guy could put together an aerial highlight reel that was absolute pure insanity.

Now nearing 35, Carter doesn't reach the same altitude as he once did and, frankly, he's not trying to.

"I’m not really into trying to jump over people anymore," Carter said during his Dallas debut at Tuesday's media day. "Over the years, with experience, you don’t really realize the risk of doing some of that stuff. And, it takes a toll on your body. So, I save it for special moments, whenever that is. I can still do it. Just, I think now, particularly some of the young guys in here now, they feel like, ‘Hey, I’ve got to get there first. I don’t want to be on the poster of an old guy.’ I get that, so now I just figure, when you get there, two points is two points."

And no longer is Carter, who took part in his first full practice Wednesday morning with Dallas, trying to be the superstar. He's been on eight All-Star teams and won a dunk contest, but rarely has he played on a team that did much damage in the postseason and he wants that to change.

Carter said that's all he's about right -- winning -- and fitting into whatever role is necessary to help make that happen. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said owner Mark Cuban compared Carter to Jerry Stackhouse when he arrived in Dallas after years of putting up gaudy scoring numbers, but with little postseason satisfaction.

"I don’t think that that’s a bad comparison at all," Carlisle said. "It’s just going to be a matter of what the exact role is going to be -- whether he’s going to start or whether he’s going to come off the bench. At this point I would expect that he probably would be a starter, but we’ll have to see. We have a ways to go before we determine that."

Carter's odds of starting drastically increased with Tuesday's trade that sent Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer to the Denver Nuggets. Fernandez's departure allows the 6-foot-6 Carter to start at shooting guard next to his former New Jersey teammate Jason Kidd (who Carter said he did not speak to in the process of joining the Mavs), with Jason Terry in his familiar sixth man role.

Rodrigue Beaubois, who Carlisle described as a depth player Tuesday, would pick up whatever playing time afforded -- and, again, in this compacted schedule Carlisle plans to utilize his depth.

“You kind of get an idea with this team it’s just to make plays, knock down shots,” Carter said. “There’s going to be a lot of opportunity with the attention that Dirk Nowitzki demands when he has the ball in the middle of the floor. So you have to play within the flow of the offense and you go from there.

“I think as they learn me and I kind of fit in to the offense and see how to get your opportunity, that’s when it’ll become more defined.”

For Carter, entering his 14th season, he said it's no longer about the dunks or the number of points he scores of the amount of minutes he plays.

"Winning," Carter said when asked what's most important to him now. "And playing on a team that wants to win and knows how to win. They’ve shown all of that. It’s my goal to come in just to fit in with what they’ve accomplished and who they are."

Youth takes back seat in Denver deal

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
5:19
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Youth? Who needs youth?

The Dallas Mavericks are in win-now mode for this season and will transfer to hot-pursuit mode this summer when Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard can become free agents.

Any notion that the Mavs care at this moment about developing young talent was tossed aside with the just-completed trade that will send shooting guard Rudy Fernandez, an apparent unhappy camper anyway who will likely resume his career next season in Spain, but also lanky, small forward Corey Brewer to the Denver Nuggets for a 2016 second-round pick, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

Brewer, entering just his fourth NBA season, joined the Mavs in mid-season and signed a three-year contract, and did so with some fanfare. He's a highly likable young player with boundless energy, a long and effective defender, but whose game still needs to develop a jump shot for him to be considered a complete player, especially on a veteran-laden club on a quest for a repeat.

Brewer got caught in a numbers crunch with the addition of veteran wings Vince Carter and Lamar Odom. Carter will likely take over as the starting shooting guard with Odom possibly coming off the bench as a tag-team with small forward Shawn Marion.

The move wipes about $5.2 million off the books for this season -- double that including luxury-tax savings. Those deductions leave the Mavs just over the $70.3 million luxury tax threshold. It also leaves them with two roster spaces open to target two more veterans on minimum deals, perhaps a center such as still available free-agent big man Joel Przybilla, or others. Center is Dallas' top position of need.

In the process, the Mavs continue to create additional cap space -- about $3 million with Brewer off the books -- for next summer's highly anticipated free agency.

Dallas' only players below the age of 30 are Delonte West (28), Rodrigue Beaubois (23), Dominique Jones (23), Ian Mahinmi (25) and Brandan Wright.

The average age of a projected starting lineup that would include Jason Kidd, Carter, Marion, Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood is 34. It will require coach Rick Carlisle to be creative with his rotations during a 66-game season to be played over 123 days. But, the Mavs believe they have the depth to handle it.

As for that youth, the Mavs will look to address that issue in the summer with a rarity around here, a potential abundance of cap space.
DALLAS – With his visa issue settled, Rudy Fernandez will arrive in Dallas soon. It remains to be seen how long the swingman will stay.

Spanish media outlet Marca.com reports that Fernandez will try to negotiate a buyout for the final season of his contract if he doesn’t have a clearly defined role with the Mavericks.

There isn’t likely to be a clearly defined role for Fernandez. Vince Carter and Jason Terry will probably play the vast majority of minutes at shooting guard. Shawn Marion and Lamar Odom are likely to split the small forward duties.

Fernandez, who averaged 8.6 points on 37-percent shooting and 2.5 assists for the Trail Blazers last season, would probably be competing against Rodrigue Beaubois, Delonte West, Corey Brewer and Dominique Jones for reserve minutes.

“We’ll have to see,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “That’s why we’re competing.”

Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of a buyout for Fernandez, who is due a $2.18 million salary from the Mavs and has a more lucrative contract awaiting him with Real Madrid in his home country.

“Right now, we’re trying to get him to Dallas ASAP, get him with the guys and then we’ll see what the future holds,” Nelson said.

With visa, Rudy Fernandez ready to roll

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
9:10
AM CT
Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Rudy Fernandez finally has resolved the visa issues that had him stranded in his home country of Spain where he was playing for Real Madrid during the lockout.

Fernandez announced a few hours ago his intention to leave for Dallas on Wednesday via his Twitter account: "Finally I have my visa, tomorrow I'll will be on my way to Dallas."

The Mavs acquired Fernandez in a draft-night trade. When he arrives he will find that an already deep position got even deeper with the Mavs' Monday signing of eight-time All-Star Vince Carter joining Jason Terry, plus developing youngsters Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones.

Countdown: Best-case scenario

December, 13, 2011
12/13/11
12:01
AM CT


Picture this: A quarter of a million people cram into downtown Dallas. The Mavericks ride through the streets on floats and wave to the screaming masses. Dirk Nowitzki and his teammates emerge onto the balcony overlooking the American Airlines Center's South Plaza and the 7-foot German belts out as best he can, "We are the Champions."

Christmas Countdown
Oh, you've seen this picture before?

Exactly.

Repeat.

Just a few days ago as it became apparent that Tyson Chandler and the rest of the Mavs' free agents -- excluding Brian Cardinal -- were hitting the streets, the doomsayers railed on a lost season to come. The closest the Mavs would come to back-to-back, many thought, was the 20 they'd play during this rapid-fire, 66-game regular season.

Then came a flurry of activity -- Vince Carter, Lamar Odom, Delonte West to spice things up. And suddenly, not only has hope risen for this season's championship hopes, but next summer now promises to be must-see as Dallas will be positioned well below the salary cap and as well as any team to nab one of the big three potential free agents -- Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard.

But let's keep things focused on the here and now. Job No. 1 for the Mavs' front office was to give coach Rick Carlisle another deep team. They've done that. Carlisle has the necessary bodies to navigate through the regular season and, barring injury, he should be able to steer this ship into the playoffs with a roster that's ready to roll.

"It’s going to be really a matter in my mind," Carlisle said, "of the deepest team that can stay healthy and stay together is going to be the team that’s going to have the best chance of coming out of the West."

On paper, there is no team is deeper than the Mavs. Consider that two of the last three NBA sixth men of the year will be coming off the Mavs' bench in the ultra-versatile, 6-foot-10 Odom and gunner Jason Terry. West, a veteran with a needed edginess, will back up Jason Kidd. Shooting guard is loaded with Carter, Terry and a finally healthy Rodrigue Beaubois. Center is the lone question mark, but after Dallas dealt wings Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, it now has roster space to go after depth in the middle.

There's no such thing as paper champions, but just days ago despair had set in among the fandom. Now, the Mavs suddenly look like bona fide contenders in the Western Conference. It's a conference that boasts some dangerous young squads like the Oklahoma City Thunder and the rising Memphis Grizzlies, as well as the old guard in the San Antonio Spurs team that's a year older and made no moves of consequence, and the Los Angeles Lakers, who lost Odom to Dallas, but still can't be counted out simply because of Kobe Bryant (and a Paul deal that's apparently not dead yet).

Still, no dominant team exists to overcome. That only benefits these quickly retooled Mavs who, best-case scenario, will have a June to remember as they repeat.

Mavs have 15, but is it the final 15?

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
7:50
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Monday's interesting signing of Delonte West seems to have solidified the Dallas Mavericks' issue at backup point guard, but they might not be particularly thrilled heading into the season with a center tandem of Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahinmi.

Before the Mavs scooped up Lamar Odom Saturday night from the smoldering ashes of the collapsed Lakers-Hornets-Rockets deal involving Chris Paul, Dallas was looking to use the trade exception acquired from the New York Knicks to get Sacramento Kings free agent center Samuel Dalembert.

The Mavs have assets that can potentially be moved. The wing positions are loaded: Vince Carter, Rudy Fernandez, Jason Terry, Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones, Shawn Marion, Odom and Corey Brewer.

That's more than half the roster.
A source with knowledge of the situation said that teams are calling Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson about Brewer, the lanky small forward that Dallas acquired last season after he was waived by the Knicks and then signed a three-year deal with the Mavs, as well as Fernandez, who is on the final year of his deal and, as of now, still stuck in Spain with visa problems.

The Mavs are said to be happy with their two young players on a roster that just added soon-to-be 35 Vince Carter and Lamar Odom, 32. However, as Nelson and owner Mark Cuban have displayed over the past 72 hours, they are ready to pounce when a deal presents itself.

Vince Carter coming soon, then Lamar Odom

December, 11, 2011
12/11/11
12:06
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DALLAS -- Vince Carter, the Dallas Mavericks are hoping, could be a participant in the second practice Sunday. Meanwhile, Lamar Odom, acquired in a lightning-quick trade late Saturday night is likely to arrive Monday or Tuesday. He has 48 hours to report after the trade.

The Mavs wrapped up a morning workout moments ago on the first day that teams can hold two-a-day practices. Along with missing Carter and Odom, Rudy Fernandez remains a no-show (apparently stuck in Spain with visa issues) and Brian Cardinal is en route to re-sign with the champs.

Coach Rick Carlisle said it won't take a player like Odom long to pick things up. The regular-season opener is two weeks away against the Miami Heat.

"I don't expect Lamar today,'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's got 48 hours to report, so he certain has the right to report when he wants to within those provisions. But, when he gets here it won't take an hour to get him acclimated. He has a very high basketball IQ. He'll pick our stuff up very quickly.''

With one roster spot, a backup PG or C?

December, 11, 2011
12/11/11
1:14
AM CT
The Dallas Mavericks acted swiftly Saturday night to scoop up Lamar Odom, and Vince Carter is expected to sign perhaps as early as later today. It would leave one spot vacant on the 15-man roster with the obvious positions of need being a backup point guard and a backup center.

Before the Odom deal sparked from the ashes of the collapsed Chris Paul deal, Dallas had sought to use the trade exception it acquired on Saturday for Sacramento Kings free agent center Samuel Dalembert. That, obviously will not happen (Dallas used the trade exception to nab Odom), which leaves the Mavs with the center tandem of Brendan Haywood, an unspectacular, but solid career starter until last season, and Ian Mahinmi, a fourth-year developing player that has never been more than a third-stringer.

The additions of lanky, 6-foot-10 power forward Brandan Wright, who coach Rick Carlisle said Saturday he views more as a center than a power forward, will presumably battle Mahinmi for minutes. The 6-10 Odom, who has averaged 8.9 rebounds over his 12 seasons, will provide help on the boards at either forward position. Still, Dallas could be on the look out for another big body.

However, trumping a backup center could be a veteran point guard to play behind Jason Kidd. With the departure of J.J. Barea, who has yet to sign with another team, but is reportedly still in play to land in New York, Dallas desperately needs a dependable hand behind Kidd, who turns 39 in March.

The plan heading into the season was to continue to reduce Kidd's minutes. He dropped from 36 a game in 2009-10 to closer to 33 last season in large part because of Barea's continued improvement. This season's shortened and compacted 66-game schedule over 123 days will make pacing Kidd mandatory.

Jason Terry likely will see minutes at the point. Youngsters Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones are obvious candidates to win the job on a consistent, Barea-like basis.

After Beaubois' successful rookie season, the plan was to fully convert the 6-foot-2 shooting guard into a point guard. Injuries last season slowed the process and he has not appeared comfortable in the short stints in which he has played the position. Jones spent time in the D-League last season.

Here's a look at the 14 players on the Mavs' roster, including Odom and Carter, who could sign a deal Sunday.

PG: Jason Kidd, Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones

SG: Vince Carter, Rudy Fernandez, Jason Terry

SF: Lamar Odom, Shawn Marion, Corey Brewer

PF: Dirk Nowitzki, Brandan Wright, Brian Cardinal

C: Brendan Haywood, Ian Mahinmi

Different look for champs in camp opener

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
6:03
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DALLAS -- The defense of the 2011 championship officially hit the hardwood Friday afternoon as the Dallas Mavericks returned to the practice floor for the first time since winning the title, and with a noticeably thinner cast.

Ten players worked out with newly signed forward Brandan Wright the only newcomer to this point. Shooting guard Rudy Fernandez is still stuck in Spain waiting out visa issues. Jason Kidd looked to be in fit condition after a long offseason of playing some of this country's top golf courses and Rodrigue Beaubois took part in the full practice as he looks to make his way all the back this time from a second surgery on his troublesome left foot.

But, the bigger story Friday was who wasn't at camp. Tyson Chandler is gone, a free-agent signee with the New York Knicks. Caron Butler is with Los Angeles Clippers. J.J. Barea, DeShawn Stevenson, Brian Cardinal and Peja Stojakovic were all no-shows as they explore their free-agent options. At least Barea and Stevenson are not expected to re-sign.

It made for an interesting feel at the undermanned practice as the team leaves behind some big contributors and bigger personalities, and moves forward in this accelerated training camp period with the season opening in two weeks.

"We've got to worry about what’s in this locker room right now and wish them guys the best of luck wherever free agency is leading them," forward Shawn Marion said. "But, we’ve got to get ready for Dallas Mavericks basketball."

Coach Rick Carlisle said the roster is not complete. Currently 11 players are under contract. The Mavs will need to fill two more spots to reach the league minimum of 13 on the 15-man roster. A veteran point guard could be at the top of the list.

Carlisle, who kept the tone of the day forward-thinking, announced several obvious adjustments, starting with Brendan Haywood taking over as the starting center with Ian Mahinmi sliding in as a true No. 2 for the first time in his brief NBA career. Beaubois and Dominique Jones will both get plenty of work at point guard with the loss of Barea. The backup position will be critical this season to allow Kidd the rest he will be need to navigate through a 66-game schedule in 123 days, and with the playoffs starting on the 125th day.

"I’m big on what’s going on today and right now and getting our guys geared up to make our situation right now the best that it can be and we’re going to do that," said Carlisle, who enters his fourth season as Dallas' head coach. "We had some guys that did some great things for us here that are probably not going to be back, but that’s part of the circle of life in the NBA. And, we’re all going to adjust, guys are going to step up into some opportunistic situations and we plan on defending our crown with a lot of pride."

Will new bench meet schedule's demands?

December, 8, 2011
12/08/11
8:00
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The Dallas Mavericks delivered an NBA championship with a team-first ethos and tremendous bench contributions all the way from fearless sixth man Jason Terry to fearsome 12th man Brian Cardinal.

"That was the biggest reason for our success," forward Shawn Marion said. "You only go as far as your bench goes."

That was true during an 82-game season spanning 5 1/2 months, and it will be especially so during a 66-game schedule spanning 123 days that will include 20 back-to-backs and one back-to-back-to-back set that closes a seven-games-in-nine-nights stretch. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle knows he's going to need a deep bench and a creative rotation through stretches of the season.

"Everybody’s going to be dealing with it and we’ll have to manage it," Carlisle said Wednesday during his first basketball-related session with the media since the lockout to effect July 1. "As always, depth and bench are going to be really critical this season. They’re important every year, but in a season where you have less spacing between games, your depth is going to be at an all-time premium."

Especially for a team whose point guard, Jason Kidd, turns 39 in March and overall is one of the oldest teams in the league.

Yet, just as Carlisle is preaching bench depth, he is preparing for life possibly without several players he leaned on heavily last season. Center Tyson Chandler could be gone and that would flip reserve Brendan Haywood into a starter. J.J. Barea could be gone and that would leave backup point guard to inexperienced youngsters Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones, both being combo guards at best.

Caron Butler is all but gone, which could hand Corey Brewer a key role behind Marion. DeShawn Stevenson? Possibly gone, leaving the Mavs placing faith in newcomer Rudy Fernandez to play tough minutes at both ends.

"The hope is that we can manage our rotation so that we can keep everybody at reasonable minutes throughout the year and avoid those situations," Carlisle said. "But, you never know. Anything’s possible."

Carlisle often went 10-deep last season. Three reserves averaged between 18.5 minutes and 31.3 minutes, and that doesn't include Marion, who came off the bench in 53 games and averaged 26.9 minutes. In the postseason, when coaches typically shorten their bench, Carlisle expanded his.

With changes afoot, will Carlisle be able to count on his bench for key minutes that will allow Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry to be at least semi-fresh at the end of April when the quest for the repeat truly begins?

"That’s why you’ve got to be a resilient, resourceful franchise and that’s why you’ve got to have some youth that’s ready to take a step up if and when you lose guys," Carlisle said. "We’ve got some guys on our roster that bided their time last year and put in a lot of work and there may be more opportunity for them this year. We’ll see."

Soon. Players and sign contracts beginning Friday.

Mavs hope Rudy Fernandez here by Saturday

December, 7, 2011
12/07/11
2:32
PM CT
Visa issues are indeed keeping Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Rudy Fernandez in Spain for the moment, but Mavs assistant general manager Keith Grant said the necessary paperwork is being processed and the hope is that Fernandez will be on a plane bound for Dallas on Friday and at practice Saturday.

The problem is with Fernandez's P1 entertainment visa, which is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals who are athletes, artists and entertainers to enter into the U.S. for a specific event, competition or performance -- or in this case, the NBA season. Fernandez's visa still listed his employer as the Portland Trail Blazers, the team in which he spent his first three seasons in the league before the Mavs traded for him in the June draft.

Once Fernandez's revised visa is approved, he'll pick it up at the consulate and be on his way to Dallas, Grant said. The Spaniard has been playing for Real Madrid during the lockout.

The Mavs open training camp Friday.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
19.9 4.5 1.8 33.8
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 12.2
AssistsR. Rondo 7.1
StealsM. Ellis 1.8
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4