Dallas Mavericks: John Wall

The Dallas Mavericks are in superstar search mode, that's no secret. This summer's mission failed to reel in Deron Williams, and so the venture moves forward to 2013. The potential for three superstars -- Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Andrew Bynum -- to hit free agency in 11 months has been well-documented.

But, there's no guarantee any of the Big Three make it to free agency. That's the risk of the overhauled Mavs strategy under the new collective bargaining agreement. Or, take Paul as an example: He could opt to enter free agency solely to gain the extra fifth season and more money that he can't get by signing an extension and ultimately stay with Lob City partner Blake Griffin and the Clippers.

So what if next July rolls around and there's simply no superstars to chase?

Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson will have difficult decisions to make. This summer, they chose not to eat up next summer's cap space by not chasing players such as Goran Dragic (signed four-year, $34 million deal with Phoenix Suns). Instead, they loaded up one-year contracts that will expire and leave behind cap space to make a superstar pursuit possible in '13.

But if there are no superstars to pursue, then do the Mavs chase the next level of player who would, theoretically, snap up cap space in the summer of '14?

For instance, a tier below the Big Three next summer are potential free agents Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, David West, Al Jefferson, Monta Ellis and Andre Iguodala (the latter two have early termination options).

It will also be an intriguing summer for restricted free agents. Those players can seek and sign offers from other teams and then their current teams have three days to match. The new CBA can throw a wrench into the negotiations as seen with Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. Both players signed offer sheets from the Houston Rockets, who used the "poison pill" option to increase the players' salary three-fold in the third year of the deal, going from $5 million in the first two seasons for both players to $15 million in the third.

The offering team, the Rockets, is allowed to pay the average of the total contract ($25 million in the cases of Lin and Asek) over the three years, so just more than $8 million per season. Ultimately, the New York Knicks passed on Lin and the Chicago Bulls passed on Asek because of the third-year balloon payment that would wreak havoc with their payrolls and potentially carry unwanted luxury tax repercussions.

The Portland Trail Blazers offered Indiana Pacers free agent center Roy Hibbert a max offer sheet of four years at $58 million. The Pacers ultimately agreed to match to keep their big man, but those decisions can be difficult when looking at the bottom line.

The list of restricted free agents next summer is tantalizing: James Harden, Serge Ibaka, John Wall, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, and Tyreke Evans are the headliners. The Mavs' own Darren Collison will also be restricted.

If the Mavs don't land a superstar in '13, they'll have to decide if they value any of the unrestricted or restricted free agents enough to make an offer, knowing that if they do they could jeopardize their ability to continue their superstar search in the summer of '14.

W2W4: Mavs on high alert vs. Wizards

March, 13, 2012
DALLAS -- The praise for the 9-31 Washington Wizards was in full force Tuesday morning at the Mavericks shootaround.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: "We’ve got to be ready, this is a dangerous team we’re playing."

Shawn Marion: "They are very athletic, very talented and they push the ball."

Hey, the Mavs have little choice but to fully respect their opponent, any opponent, coming off what was witnessed over the last two weeks.

For review purposes, the Mavs lost to New Jersey, New Orleans, Phoenix, Sacramento and finally Golden State. Those teams will be battling for top ping-pong ball.

As Carlisle likes to say these days, that's where it's at.

At 23-20, there is no margin for error. The Mavs were not competitive in their last two losses and falling at home to Washington tonight or Charlotte on Thursday could have catastrophic consequences for a team already teetering.

"We’ve got to be precise with everything we’re doing," Carlisle said. "And I expect us to be ready to play and for our energy to be good."

Records: Wizards (9-31); Mavs (23-20)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center


Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: Energy and urgency, plain and simple. If the Mavs don't have to start this game, when will they ever have it?

Key matchup: John Wall vs. Shawn Marion
The Mavs' versatile forward seemingly will be given another tough matchup against Washington's speedy point guard. Carlisle pointed out that Wall leads the league in coast-to-coast baskets, which will require Marion to be on his toes, literally, to get back on defense.

Injuries: Wizards -- F Rashard Lewis (sore left knee) is out; F Ronny Turiaf (fractured left hand) is questionable. Mavs – G Delonte West (fractured right ring finger) is out, C/PF Brandan Wright (concussion) is probable, C Brendan Haywood (sprained left ankle) is probable.

Up next: Charlotte Bobcats at Mavs, 7:30 p.m., Thursday

NBA players taking exhibition to Baylor?

November, 14, 2011
Now we know NBA players are getting really bored -- they're taking their talents to -- Waco?

No offense, Waco, of course.

Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, who made one trip to Baylor during his lone season with the Texas Longhorns is returning with his pals LaMarcus Aldridge, Josh Howard, John Wall, Jason Terry, Tracy McGrady and others for what's being called the Celebrity All-Star Basketball Game, according to a release sent out by the Baylor Bears basketball media relations office.

The game is scheduled for Dec. 1 at the Ferrell Center, the home of the Big 12's Bears, who sent Ekpe Udoh to the NBA last season as a top-six pick (he's not on the list of players expected to participate) and this season boast future first-round pick in sophomore Perry Jones III.

The release was distributed on the same day the NBPA walked away from the owners' latest proposal, leaving the state of the 2011-12 season in limbo.

The participants are mostly the same that were in Dallas on Saturday night for a game organized by Howard.

Tickets, which can be purchased for as low as $14 each, are available at the Baylor athletic ticket office.

Proceeds from the game will be donated to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and to Coach Carter’s Impact Academy.

For more information call 713-397-9618.

Locked-out players preach united front

November, 12, 2011

DALLAS -- Not surprisingly, the NBA players in town to play in the Josh Howard Celebrity All-Star Basketball Game stood together in their belief that if the owners' latest labor proposal is not palatable, they won't be afraid to walk away.

"I think so," New Orleans Hornets guard Jarrett Jack said. "If we were going to fold we would have folded a month or two ago."

Commissioner David Stern delivered a revised proposal to the union late Thursday night after two days of 12-hour meetings. The NBPA brass will meet with team player representatives Monday morning in New York to digest the deal and decide if it is worthy of taking back to the some 450 NBA players for a vote.

Kevin Durant, the biggest star at the game, said he doesn't believe the new proposal will meet the players' needs.

"From the vibe I'm getting, I don't think it's a deal we want," Durant said. "We can't take 50/50 and a bad system."

Since Stern offered the new deal, pessimism has seemed to be most prevalent among the players.

"We've given a lot," said Portland Trail Blazers star and player rep LaMarcus Aldridge, who grew up in nearby Seagoville before attending the University of Texas. "Both sides have to give now."

Aldridge will be in New York Monday morning along with Jason Terry, the Mavs' player rep who is coaching Howard's team in this charity event being held at the Cobb Athletic Complex in Fair Park. Terry was running late, but showed up just in time for player introductions.

On Friday, Terry also strongly stated that players will be ready to walk away from the proposal, knowing it could send this process into even murkier waters, including the owners reverting to a more punitive offer and the players taking the next step in a potential quest to decertify the union.

Other players, such as Washington Wizards guard John Wall, say they are trying to make arrangements to get to New York to hear the details for themselves. The owners' deal would get a 72-game season started on Dec. 15.

Overall, the players here were well-schooled in sticking to a uniform script, saying they will allow the 30 player reps to decide which direction they should go once briefed on the latest proposal.

Kevin Durant joins Josh Howard game

November, 11, 2011
Hold onto your hats because Kevin Durant is coming to town. The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar is a surprise late entrant for the Josh Howard Celebrity All-Star Game on Saturday night at the P.C. Cobb Center in Fair Park.

Durant adds considerable star power to a roster of players that includes LaMarcus Aldridge and John Wall.

Not so surprising is that Durant was added to Howard's White Team, which also includes Wall. Aldridge headlines the Blue Team, which will have to match up with a cast that includes Corey Brewer, Nick Young and Jarrett Jack.

Apparently some tickets are still available for the 6 p.m. tip. For ticket information go to joshhowardfoundation.com.

Josh Howard brings game, perspective

November, 11, 2011
Josh Howard is bringing basketball to Fair Park on Saturday night with his Celebrity All-Star Game at the Cobb Athletic Center (6 p.m.). At least there he knows he'll play for the White Team and his coach will be Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry.

That's about all that's clear with Howard's basketball future -- and that of other NBA free agents -- as the lockout grinds on (although perhaps crawling toward resolution).

"I’m just hoping to get the opportunity to continue where I left off at when I left Dallas, and that’s starting and contributing to whatever team and whatever they need me to do," Howard said in a phone conversation earlier this week. "I haven’t really thought about who I would fit in well with. I’m just going out there for the love of the game and, hopefully, I’ll get on the right team with the right players that will accept me."

Josh Howard sounds like a man -- and he is 31 now and he turns giddy talking about his 3-year-old son Bryson, aka B.J. -- who gained a measure of perspective during a difficult year-and-a-half dominated by rehabbing from an ACL injury. In fact, he said he did broaden his outlook during that time as he prepares for a comeback in his -- believe it -- ninth NBA season.

Here's one bit of perspective that Howard shared:

"For me, it’s just about playing the game and having fun. The money is not an aspect for me," said Howard, who still resides in Dallas when not in his native North Carolina. "I’ve been blessed. [Mavs owner Mark] Cuban signed a deal for me, so that was just a blessing in itself, so now I just want to go out there and have fun with the game and get back to that point we were at in ’06 when I was here, just try to get to the Finals."

That is one form of perspective.

But so was his juvenile final two seasons with the Mavs, followed by a career-changing injury. The Mavs finally traded Howard in February 2010 to the Washington Wizards for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson. Four games into his Washington stint, Howard blew out his left knee and missed the rest of the season.

He didn't return until December of last season, missed a month, and then never could get things going. He played just 18 games last season and 53 in the last two seasons. Along with his rehab, Howard did a lot of watching from the bench and he began to analyze the game more and take an interest in talented, young Wizards, two which -- John Wall and Nick Young -- will be in action Saturday night.

"It was just frustrating knowing I couldn’t contribute like I wanted to," Howard said. "Overall, it helped me out just thinking the game mentally, from a coach’s aspect. I’ve been watching a lot of the young guys that are going to be the next talents in the NBA and coaching those guys, actually using some advice that I got from the guys when I first got to Dallas from like Dirk [Nowitzki], [Michael] Finley, [Steve] Nash and even Jason Kidd before I left.

"It helped me grow, I guess as a player-coach and even venture off into things I want to do after basketball, which is coaching. I had the opportunity to expand and it was cool, even though the season wasn’t as great as I would have liked it to be."

If that's the case, good for Josh Howard.

Rosters revealed for Josh Howard game

November, 9, 2011
The NBA lockout might be grinding to an uncertain place as commissioner David Stern's deadline for players to accept the league's latest proposal looms later today, but Josh Howard has finalized the rosters for his self-titled Celebrity All-Star Game that is set for 6 p.m. Saturday night at the Cobb Athletic Complex at Fair Park in Dallas.

Surely it will be a fun-filled evening for all and proceeds will benefit the Josh Howard Foundation. However, with the exception of Seagoville's own LaMarcus Aldridge, the victim of a serious All-Star snub this past season, the rosters are rather thin of such pedigrees.

Nonetheless, there are some exciting, young guns coming to town.

Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry will coach Howard's squad -- the White team -- which, barring any late cancellations, will include: John Wall, Reggie Evans, Marquis Daniels, Quinton Ross, DeSagana Diop, Anthony Randolph, Damon Jones and Jeremy Evans.

The other squad -- the Blue team -- will be coached by Trevor Booker, and will include: Aldridge, Andray Blatche, Hamady N'diaye, Nick Young, Corey Brewer, Damion James, Isaiah Thomas, Jarrett Jack, Jason Maxiell and Damien Wilkins.

Tickets are available at JoshHowardFoundation.com,The Fade Shop and Ten Sports Grill. Ticket prices are $15 in advance, $25 on-site and $50 for floor seats.

And, if you can't be there, but are starving for some hoops, fans can watch the game via web-stream on TheBasketballChannel.net for $1.99.

Jason Terry to stick to coaching for now

October, 24, 2011
Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry is billed as a headliner in next month's Josh Howard Celebrity All-Star Basketball Game, an exhibition that the former Mavs forward is bringing to Dallas on Nov. 12.

But, Terry said he won't be in uniform. He will be there, but he said he's planning on coaching up some of the NBA young guns that will take the court at the P.C. Cobb Athletic Complex. The exhibition game is being organized by the Josh Howard Foundation and follows the lead of other NBA players that have organized recent exhibition games in various cities to pass the time during the lockout.

"I'm just coaching," Terry said via text message. "I'm ready to play a real game, but I will be there to support a good cause. Now, if J-Kidd and Dirk play, I'm in all day."

Mavs point guard Jason Kidd and NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki are not on the billing. NBA players who will suit up include Washington Wizards former first round-pick John Wall, plus Howard's other Wizards teammates Nick Young and Andray Blatche, Mavs forward Corey Brewer, plus former Mavs DeSagana Diop and Marquis Daniels and Seagoville's own LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers, among others.

As for when Terry will finally get to lace up his sneakers for a real NBA game and begin the defense of Dallas' title, well, the Mavs' player representative is only sure of one thing when it comes to the lockout.

"Can't wait for the season to start," Terry said.

For now, he'll just have to stick to coaching.

The game starts at 6 p.m. Tickets can purchased at www.joshhowardfoundation.com or by calling 214-466-9983.

DoJo to Vegas & Rudy Fernandez update

September, 9, 2011
The NBA lockout ruined a summer of supervised development for Dallas Mavericks guard Dominique Jones. With the Summer League canceled and Jones prohibited from training at the American Airlines Center with coaches, the 6-foot-4 second-year shooting guard out of South Florida will finally get a chance to put his game on the floor in a controlled and competitive environment.

Jones is one of 70 NBA players that will participate in the Impact Basketball League, a two-week competitive training series that some are calling the “Lockout League.” They'll train and play games from Sept. 12-23 at Impact Basketball's facility in Las Vegas. Impact Basketball is run by Joe Abunassar, considered the the world's top basketball trainer and "Trainer to the pros."

Impact Basketball released the roster of players expected to attend. Jones is the only Mavs player, but he'll be joined by pretty solid NBA company, including veterans like Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, Zach Randolph and Jermaine O'Neal, to a slew of young guys like John Wall, Texas ex's Jordan Hamilton (Denver Nuggets) and Avery Bradley (Boston Celtics), former Oklahoma State guard James Anderson (San Antonio Spurs) and Baylor center Ekpe Udoh (Golden State Warriors).

Jones is coming off a fractured foot during a rookie season in which he found minimal playing time and was never active during the playoffs. He's staring at a crowded shooting guard position with Jason Terry, Rudy Fernandez and Rodrigue Beaubois under contract, plus the possibility of free agent DeShawn Stevenson returning.

* The Mavs have three players currently involved Olympic qualifying tournaments. J.J. Barea has the Puerto Rico into the semifinals in the FIBA Americas tournament in Argentina. Dirk Nowitzki is trying to keep Germany alive in its quest for a 2012 Olympic bid and Rudy Fernandez is playing for a powerful Spain team.

* Fernandez, at this moment, appears to be the lone Mavs player to have agreed to a contract to play overseas if the lockout continues. That's according to reports out of Spain last month. Those reports also say Fernandez has signed a four-year contract with Real Madrid. While he would return to the Mavs when the lockout ends, according to those reports he would apparently resume his career in Spain after this season. However, a source with knowledge of Fernandez's thinking says nothing has been set in stone. It is certainly a possibility that Fernandez could play in Spain during a prolonged lockout and return to his home country permanently after this season. The source said Fernandez will likely meet with representatives early next week in Lithuania and that a definitive plan could be reached in a couple weeks. Fernandez played his first three NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers and was acquired by the Mavs in June in a draft-night trade.

* Barea has said throughout the summer that he will play in Spain during a lockout, but it is not believed that he has a deal in place as of yet. His agent, Dan Fegan, has not returned repeated phone calls.

* Corey Brewer was in talks to play overseas, possibly in Spain, but his agent, Happy Walters, said earlier this week that deals have not worked out for various reasons. He said they are exploring other options as they monitor progress made in labor negotiations.

* Nowitzki told ESPN.com's Marc Stein prior to the European Championship that he would make a decision about playing overseas after the tournament.

John Wall, Derrick Rose on preseason schedule

August, 16, 2010
The Dallas Mavericks will play eight preseason games, four at the American Airlines Center and one outdoor game against the Phoenix Suns in Palm Springs, Calif.

Here's the schedule:

Oct. 5 vs. Washington
Oct. 7 vs. Chicago
Oct. 9 at Phoenix (Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Palm Springs, Calif. TNT)
Oct. 11 vs. Cleveland
Oct. 13 at Detroit (Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Oct. 15 at Chicago
Oct. 20 at Orlando
Oct. 22 vs. Houston

Beaubois' mounting fouls a concern

July, 16, 2010
LAS VEGAS -- Roddy Beaubois said he has been more cavalier regarding fouls than he would be in the regular season because summer-league affords players 10 personal fouls before they're out.

But, Beaubois has picked fouls up in bunches and it is a concern. In Thursday night's game against John Wall and the Washington Wizards, Beaubois registered four fouls in six minutes and five in nine. Many are unnecessary fouls with him flailing his long arms and drawing contact or putting his hands on players when he doesn't need to.

If Beaubois is going to play 25 or more minutes a game next season, he's going to have to learn how to defend without fouling. So far in summer league, he has 22 fouls in four games, including eight in the team's third game.

"It can always be a concern with him because he loves to reach, he loves to touch and sometimes he gets in a bad habit of doing that, especially if I yell out, 'Press, get up and press,'" Mavs assistant coach Darrell Armstrong said. "He right away thinks that means to reach, that it means to put my arms and my hands on him when it doesn't. Pressure means to turn your man, make him work. That's something he as well is learning. But, he'll learn it."

Armstrong said there's one sure way he'll learn during the season.

"The more you sit your [rear] on the sideline and you're watching when you're supposed to be playing," Armstrong said, "you'll learn how to start defending without touching people and putting forearms and everything on guys."

D. Jones holds his own against John Wall

July, 15, 2010
LAS VEGAS -- In a showcase of talented rookie point guards, it was the Dallas Mavericks' shooting guard, Dominique Jones, who took control Thursday night in an 88-82 loss to John Wall and the Washington Wizards.

On a strange night when Roddy Beaubois went scoreless and played just 16 minutes because of an ankle tweak, Jones put some heavy defense on the high-scoring Washington rookie and took anyone who tried to guard him hard to the hole. Jones finished with a game-high 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting (10-of-12 from the free throw line), plus four assists and four rebounds.

"Every game I'm getting more comfortable, being better, learning different angles, different speeds, you know, how to get my shot off here and just getting my floater back. I'm just getting back in tip-top [shape]. I took a lot of time off because I worked out with 20 teams and I've been exhausted from practice so I'm just really getting in my game feeling."

More impressive than his strong drives, was his defense on Wall. With Beaubois' time limited, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Jones muscled Wall on the defensive end, holding him to 4-of-19 shooting.

"He guarded John Wall better than John Wall has probably ever been guarded," Mavs assistant coach Darrell Armstrong said.

D. Jones bringing Mavs back with hustle

July, 15, 2010
LAS VEGAS -- First-round pick Dominique Jones has a steal and a block and is carrying the Mavericks back into this game with 13 points, already surpassing his Summer League average.

He's 5-of-6 from the field because he's taken everything to the rim, lately a couple of transition buckets after turnovers. He's shot just 32.3 percent from the field in the first three games.

Tough first quarter for Roddy and the Mavs

July, 15, 2010
LAS VEGAS -- Not even six minutes into the game, Roddy Beaubois had to take a seat because in a game that allows 10 personal fouls, he picked up his fourth -- a block trying to stop John Wall's path to the basket.

At the other end, Beaubois wasn't having much luck either as the Mavs got down by double-digits in the first couple minutes of the game. They trail 30-21 after the first quarter (you know how Rick Carlisle hates giving up those 30-point quarters). Harvard man Jeremy Lin was actually the one drawing oohs and ahhs from the crowd with some daredevil drives to the bucket, although he converted just one.

To go with his four fouls in the first quarter, Beaubois missed his lone shot, a 3-pointer, had no assists and a couple of turnovers. Wall, Washington's No. 1 overall pick last month, had two points, both free throws, four assists and a turnover.

Former Kansas State star Cartier Martin, playing for the Wizards, got off to a hot start with a game-high 11 points on 3-of-3 shooting, including nailing two 3-pointers.

Dominique Jones led the Mavs with seven points in the opening quarter, three coming at the free throw line.

Roddy B on The Ben & Skin Show

July, 15, 2010
Mavericks point guard Rodrigue Beaubois joins the show from Summer League play in Las Vegas as he gears up for his battle against the Wizard's John Wall.

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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