Dallas Mavericks: Texas Legends
Mekel averaged 9.3 points, 6.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game for the Legends, but he shot only 34.4 percent from the floor during his time in the D-League.
The 26-year-old Mekel has averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 assists in 9.6 minutes per game during his 30 appearances for the Mavs, shooting only 34.5 percent from the floor.
Mekel hasn’t played for the Mavs since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-January. He’s unlikely to get much playing time the rest of the season, as he’s buried beneath Jose Calderon, Devin Harris and Shane Larkin on the depth chart at point guard.
The plan is for Mekel, who averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 assists in 30 games for the Mavs, to play at least two games for the Legends.
“It’s time for him to get some game minutes to continue with his rehab,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I just want to be clear that this is an opportunity for him to continue his rehab and conditioning, and he’s done very well with that.”
Mekel will join fellow Mavs rookie Ricky Ledo, who has spent most of the season in the D-League, with the Legends.
Point guard Shane Larkin, small forward Jae Crowder and center Bernard James -- all of whom have gotten some D-League time recently -- will travel to Denver with the Mavs.
For the second time in two games with the Texas Legends, Crowder messed around and got a triple-double. He had 22 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in Saturday’s 137-126 win over the Los Angeles D-Fenders, following up his 23-point, 18-rebound, 10-assist performance in a victory over the same foe Thursday night.
Crowder, who is shuttling back and forth between the D-League and NBA to get minutes after falling out of the Mavs’ rotation, also had five steals and three blocks.
Some not-so-pretty stats in his box-score line included seven turnovers and 7-of-18 shooting.
Rookie point guard Shane Larkin, the Mavs’ first-round pick, had by far his best statistical outing in his three D-League games. Larkin scored 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. (But it’s worth noting that D-Fenders point guard Manny Harris, who has 89 games of NBA experience, had 30 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals.)
Mavs second-round pick Ricky Ledo, a D-League regular during his rookie season, had an off night with only five points on 2-of-8 shooting. Ledo is shooting less than 40 percent for the Legends this season.
That’s exactly what center Bernard James and small forward Jae Crowder did in their cameo appearance for the Texas Legends on Thursday, putting up monster numbers in a 121-103 win over the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
James’ line in the box score looks like it belongs in a video game. He scored 38 points on 18-of-20 shooting, grabbed 18 rebounds and blocked four shots. James had 28 points on 13-of-13 shooting and 11 rebounds by halftime.
Crowder’s stats are almost as impressive: a 23-point, 18-rebound, 10-assist triple-double with two steals and a block. There were a couple of blemishes in Crowder’s box score line -- 1-of-5 3-point shooting and five turnovers – but he was physically dominant against a lineup that featured former first-round picks Terrence Williams, Shawne Williams and Xavier Henry.
Point guard Shane Larkin, the Mavs’ first-round pick, had a so-so performance. He scored nine points on 4-of-12 shooting, dished out nine assists, grabbed five rebounds and committed five turnovers.
The Mavs sent the three young reserves to Frisco to get them some playing time since they aren’t in Dallas’ rotation right now. They’re expected to be recalled for Friday’s game against the Chicago Bulls.
Rookie point guard Shane Larkin, second-year forward Jae Crowder and second-year center Bernard James have been assigned to the Texas Legends. They are expected to play in Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles D-Fenders at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco and return to the Mavs for Friday morning’s shootaround.
Larkin, the first-round pick who was replaced in the Mavs’ rotation when Devin Harris got healthy, had a similar D-League stint earlier this month. He scored nine points and dished out seven assists in 33 minutes during the Legends’ Feb. 1 loss to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Crowder has fallen out of the Mavs’ rotation in favor of Wayne Ellington recently. James has played sparingly all season as the Mavs’ fourth-string center.
Rookie swingman Ricky Ledo was recalled from the Legends to make room for the other three Mavs on the D-League team’s roster. An NBA rule limits the number of players a team can assign to the D-League to three.
The Mavs recalled the rookie point guard from the Texas Legends on Sunday. Larkin scored nine points and dished out seven assists in the Legends' loss Saturday night to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Larkin was briefly assigned to the D-League because the Mavs wanted him to get some minutes. His playing time has been sporadic with Devin Harris serving as the backup point guard. Larkin played a total of only 11 minutes in the Mavs' last four games, failing to appear in two of them.
Larkin, the 18th overall pick, has averaged 3.6 points and 1.8 assists in 12.5 minutes in his 32 appearances for the Mavs.
Coach Rick Carlisle said Friday that Larkin will play for the Texas Legends, the Mavs' D-League affiliate, on Saturday night.
Larkin, the 18th overall pick in the 2013 draft, has fallen out of the rotation recently with Devin Harris serving as the backup point guard. Larkin has played a total of only 11 minutes in the Mavs' past four games, not getting off the bench for two of those games.
Larkin’s development was delayed by a fractured ankle he suffered the day the Mavericks' summer-league team left for Las Vegas. That sidelined him through the first two weeks of the regular season. He has averaged 3.6 points and 1.8 assists in 32 games for the Mavs.
The 6-foot-7 shooting guard has played in nine games for the Mavs, averaging 1.9 points and 3.3 minutes per game.
Ledo will join the Legends and be available for tonight’s game against the Austin Toros at 7 p.m. at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco.
Ledo has averaged 1.2 points in 2.6 minutes in six appearances for the Mavs.
The Mavs selected Ledo with the 43rd overall pick as a developmental project. He did not play in his lone season at Providence because the NCAA did not clear him academically.
Sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com that the Mavericks will next sign guard Justin Dentmon from their own D-League affiliate to a 10-day deal, most likely finalizing a contract with the Texas Legends' leading scorer Monday.
The team on Friday notified Chris Wright -- who now ranks as the only player in NBA history known to have multiple sclerosis -- that he would not be receiving a second 10-day deal. In the wake of Beaubois' injury, Dallas has decided to use its 15th roster spot to get to know various young players for potential down-the-road signings.
That means, sources say, Dallas is likely to bring in another player on a 10-day basis after Dentmon's trial. Dentmon is averaging 26.0 points through 22 games with the Legends and was the D-League's MVP last season while playing for the San Antonio Spurs' affiliate in Austin, earning callups from both the Spurs and Toronto Raptors.
West, waived by the Mavericks in late October after a rocky training camp, committed to join the Legends in late January but didn't actually report to the team -- coached by former Mavs forward Eduardo Najera -- until this month.
The New York Knicks, according to league sources, are among the teams that will be monitoring West, who instantly becomes the most accomplished point guard in the NBA's developmental league and will be trying to earn a 10-day callup as quickly as possible.
The Legends play Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State's D-League affiliate) and Sunday at 3 p.m. against the Maine Red Claws (Boston's affiliate) at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco. Ticket information is available at 214-469-0822.
Who knows where it goes from here?
West, the colorful journeyman guard who has been out of basketball since his detrimental conduct caused the Mavericks to release him just before the season opened, has left the D-League’s Texas Legends in limbo. The Legends claimed West on Jan. 25 after he put his name in the D-League player pool, but he has yet to report to Frisco.
A source said it’s up to West whether he will play for the Legends, who are still open to having him on the team and continue to list him on the roster on the team’s website. West has complicated the process by parting ways with agent Dan Fegan.
West, 29, a valuable role player during his lone campaign in Dallas last season, had hoped to earn another chance with the Mavs via his performance and behavior with their D-League affiliate. However, Mavs owner Mark Cuban publicly declared that wasn’t a possibility hours after the Legends acquired West’s rights.
West, who has also played for the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers and Seattle Supersonics during his eight-year career, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. While he’s been a productive player, his career has been pockmarked by off-court issues.
The odds of West returning to the NBA without a stint in the D-League or overseas are extremely slim.
It will be the first-round pick's second stint in the D-League. Cunningham averaged 18.1 points, 3.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 37.0 minutes in seven games with the Legends earlier this season.
Cunningham has played sparingly for the Mavs, averaging 2.0 points in 3.3 minutes in eight games. His assignment to the D-League means the Oregon State product and Oakland, Calif., native won't make a homecoming trip when the Mavs play the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors this week.
Legends coach Eduardo Najera will have to split point guard minutes between Cunningham and Delonte West, who joined the team this week.
|Rick Carlisle joins Galloway & Company to talk about the Mavericks' four-day break and Delonte West signing with the Texas Legends.
Cuban apparently isn’t willing to risk experimenting with the chemistry that it took the Mavs almost half a season to establish.
The Mavs waived West, a quality role player during his lone season in Dallas, just before the season opener after suspending him twice for conduct detrimental to the team in October. There was concern about West -- who wasn’t pleased to have signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract for the second consecutive season -- negatively influencing younger players on the Mavs’ roster.
“It’s not worth talking about at this point in time,” Cuban said. “It is what it is.”
The Mavs are comfortable with their backup point guard situation. Mike James, the 37-year-old whom the Mavs signed after his two-game stint with the Legends, is manning the position as he nears the end of his second 10-day contract. At this point, the Mavs’ plan is to sign James for the rest of the season when his deal expires Sunday night.
“So far, so good,” Cuban said. “No reason to think otherwise at this point.”
|Rick Carlisle joins Galloway & Company to talk about the Mavericks' four-day break and Delonte West signing with the Texas Legends.
The Texas Legends announced the acquisition of the colorful former Mavericks guard Friday. West made himself eligible for the D-League player pool this week, and Donnie Nelson’s Legends were at the front of the waiver line. West is expected to join the Legends within a few days.
The Mavs released West just before this season opened after twice suspending him during training camp for conduct detrimental to the team. The 29-year-old West was a valuable role player during his lone season in Dallas, averaging 9.6 points and 3.2 assists while playing tenacious defense at both guard spots.
However, that isn’t likely to happen with the Mavs, who dismissed West in large part due to concerns about the influence he could have on the team’s younger players. All indications are the Mavs intend to keep Mike James for the rest of the season after his second 10-day contract expires. The Mavs signed the 37-year-old point guard after his two-game stint with the Frisco-based Legends.
UPDATE: Mark Cuban ruled out West returning to the Mavs. "Not gonna happen," Cuban said Friday night.
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