Dallas Mavericks: 2010 NBA Summer League
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard, a long-distance sniper at Vanderbilt, is about to finish up his second summer with the Mavs in Las Vegas with the hope the club will want him back in Dallas when training camp starts in October. The Mavs are undecided. The club retains his rights until he comes to a training camp and the Mavs either release him or rescind his rights outright.
"I think I've improved a lot such as ballhandling, improved my shooting, being able to score off the dribble, seeing the floor, especially defensively as well," Foster said. "I really don't know what the future holds. I know I want to be playing in the NBA and I've worked hard to get there, and hopefully I'll be going to training camp to fight for a spot."
Foster has averaged just 15.3 minutes in the first four games and he hasn't shot well, just 42.9 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from beyond the arc. He's averaged 4.8 points and 1.0 rebounds. He hasn't scored more than six points in a game this summer, but he hasn't taken more than four shots in any game.
In Turkey last season, Foster averaged 9.1 points and shot 39 percent from 3-point range, but his season was cut short due to an ankle injury.
It is hard to figure where Foster would fit with the Mavs. Dallas is well-stocked at shooting guard. Caron Butler started there after last season's trade and Roddy Beaubois is expected to see a significant jump in playing time. Of course, there's Jason Terry and first-round draft pick Dominique Jones.
Foster said he wouldn't be particularly interested in playing for the Texas Legends, the Mavs' new affiliate in the D-League that will play this fall in Frisco unless there's some assurance that he's on track to make the big squad. The gap in salary from the European leagues is just too great. As of now, Foster does not have a deal to play overseas.
"If that's where my career leads me this year, then I'm sure opportunities will open up," Foster said. "But, right now I'm just focused on playing well in this last game and landing in training camp somewhere."
The Mavs wrap the five-game summer schedule at 7 tonight against Sacramento.
Samhan, who made a name for himself with a tremendous NCAA tournament with little-known Saint Mary's, and a light-hearted, self-promotional media blitz, signed, a two-year deal with a club in Lithuania.
"I've been Googling [Lithuania] for the last two days. It's actually not that much different," Samhan said. "They have a lot of similar foods and stuff like that, but definitely language is going to be a barrier and communication with coaches and teammates will be hard, but our point guard is American, so that will help."
Mavs owner Mark Cuban reached out to Samhan via Facebook to invite him on the team's summer squad and he's had a nice run in Las Vegas, averaging 10.5 points on 52.8 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots in 25.8 minutes a game through four summer-league games.
Samhan will play for the Mavs in Sunday's summer finale despite his new club asking him to sit it out. Samhan said he owed it to the Mavs to see through his commitment. Samhan said he's traveled to Australia once with Saint Mary's teammates who hail from there, but he's never voyaged to Europe. Mavs president Donnie Nelson, who has long-time relationships in Lithuania, assured Samhan it is the best move for his career.
"It's a little overwhelming," the 6-foot-11, 265-pounder said. "But, I'm excited."
Samhan leaves for his new home on Aug. 15. His contract has a buy out after the first year in case an NBA team comes calling. He said he's calling next season his red-shirt year.
"I didn't have any offers for guaranteed money [in the NBA]. A lot of people wanted me to come to training camp, but they couldn’t guarantee anything. And, if I did make a team, I wouldn't get playing time, I wouldn't get a chance to develop a ton," Samhan said. "So, it's going to give me a chance to go over there for a year or two and really develop as a player. I plan on coming back and being an NBA player for the next 10 years."
"When you look at young prospects of the future, whether it's Dominique Jones or second-round picks or undrafted guys, you have to give them a path of development," Nelson, a Legends co-owner, said. "One of the worst things you can do is throw unrealistic expectations on those guys."
Who else might join the Legends off the Mavs' roster? Well, it would seem probable that with four centers on board that young projects Ian Mahinmi and Alexis Ajinca would be prime candidates. But, that's not the case.
Players entering their third season in the NBA are ineligible for assignment in the D-League, so both French 7-footers would have to stay on the Mavs' roster. Dallas is hoping to trade Ajinca, but Nelson said there's been little movement on that front so far.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard from South Florida was originally the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. Mavs owner Mark Cuban paid $3 million to purchase the pick from the Grizzlies on draft night.
Jones is playing on the Mavs' Summer League team in Las Vegas. Through three games, he's averaging 12.7 points on 32.3 percent shooting, but he's doing a good job of drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line, the quality that attracted him to the Mavs.
The Lake Wales , Fla. , native finished his three-year career at South Florida ranked fifth in career scoring (1,797 points), first in free throws attempted (615) and fifth in both field goals made (592) and attempted (1,339). He was named First Team All-Big East as a junior when he averaged 21.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
Jones led the Bulls in scoring in each of his three years. He was an honorable mention All-American and a finalist for both the Wooden Award and Naismith Award as a junior and was the only player in the nation to average at least 21 points, six rebounds and three assists per contest. He ranked second in the Big East (15th in the nation) in scoring in his final season with South Florida.
*The Mavs also officially signed free-agent center Ian Mahinmi to a veteran's minimum contract.
The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.com and televised on NBA TV.
Beaubois is expected to get heavy minutes at point guard, while first-round draft pick Dominique Jones will be the prime shooting guard. But, make no mistake, this summer is all about the development of Beaubois. The Mavs have significant hopes that the young Frenchman will add an explosive offensive dynamic the team has been missing for years.
In fact, coach Rick Carlisle said Thursday on ESPN 103.3 FM that Beaubois could be inserted into the starting lineup.
It's a lot to ask from a 22-year-old, who only two years ago was playing in a low-level league in France and barely spoke English. To his credit, Beaubois said he's ready for the expectations and the scrutiny.
"For sure, I can see that people really want me to do good things, so I really appreciate it," Beaubois said. "I just have to work. I need to work and try to get better every day. It is a process."
Beaubois will match up today against Denver's second-year guard Ty Lawson, who had a terrific rookie season, as well as Nuggets shooting guard Aaron Afflalo. Unlike last year in Vegas, when Beaubois was a total unknown, he will be a prime motivator this time around for his competition.
Mavs assistant coach Darrell Armstrong, who will coach the summer team with Monte Mathis, said Beaubois has the proper approach to handle the pressure.
"I always looked at him and I watched him -- I watch guys -- he don't have no fear. He don't have no fear of who he's playing against and that started probably with Gilbert Arenas up in Washington in a preseason game [last year]," Armstrong said. "Coach [Rick Carlisle] threw him in in the beginning of the second half. I know he knows who Agent Zero is, but I tell you what, he got up in Gilbert and I don't give a damn if a veteran don't want to play in the preseason, he made Agent Zero play.
"He was stealing the ball, he was scoring. That showed me that his courage is good, his challenge is good, he likes that opportunity and he likes a challenge and he'll have no fear. He's not scared. He wants that pressure and everybody don't want that. They might say they want it, but put him in that situation and he can respond and he's been doing it. That's what I like about him."
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