Winderman: Mavs moves about next year, too

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butler2.jpgConsidering the way Josh Howard had fallen out of favor and how Drew Gooden has never been more than a flavor of the month at any of his NBA stops, an argument could be made that Dallas made its move for Caron Butler and Brandan Haywood with the present in mind.

Arguably, the Mavericks are stronger now that all parties have signed off on the deal that sends Howard, Gooden, Quinton Ross and James Singleton to Washington for Butler, Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson.

But working from the self-propagated perspective the Mark Cuban is a genius, this is a move that could be just as much about the future.

Committed to $83 million in payroll for 2010-11 before this deal, Dallas never was going to be part of the 2010 free-agent space race.

Instead, Dallas has added an additional chip it can put in play this coming summer, just in case Chris Bosh decides a homecoming wouldn’t be such a bad thing, after all.

Had Dallas attempted to work out a sign-and-trade with either Howard, assuming his team option would not have been picked up in advance, or Gooden, either could have said, ‘Toronto or Memphis? Nah, no deal.”

But now, should the Mavericks try to make a move for Bosh or, say, Rudy Gay, Butler is essentially held hostage on any sort of sign-and-trade, with another year left on his contract. If the Mavericks tell him he is going somewhere, with the additional year on his contract, he has to go.

And by gaining Haywood’s Bird Rights, it means Erik Dampier could be more in play than ever.

Plus, with Butler around, Shawn Marion could yet again find himself on the move, which seemingly has become an annual occurrence.

While the rest of the league seemingly is cashing out when it comes to issues such as the luxury tax, Cuban has upped the ante.

No, Dallas won’t have the cap space of a Miami, New Jersey or New York next summer.

But it will have a spot at the same table, with plenty of assets to put into play.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah to be suspended 20 games for violating league drug policy

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Joakim Noah hasn’t set foot on an NBA court since Feb. 4, and his season was all but ended when he had knee surgery at the end of February. It was a $72 million gamble that has not worked, and left New York with an anchor o a

Tomorrow it will be official he is done for the season, but not because of the Knicks or his injury.

During his recovery, Noah violated the NBA’s drug policy and will pay for a 20-game suspension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

Noah tested positive for an over-the-counter supplement that is prohibited under the outgoing Collective Bargaining Agreement, league sources said.

Noah, 32, is expected to serve 10 games of the suspension to finish out the 2016-17 regular season and 10 games to start the 2017-18 season, league sources said.

The National Basketball Players Association’s investigation concluded that Noah hadn’t “knowingly or willingly” violated the policy and cooperated fully with the league’s probe, league sources said.

Over-the-counter supplements could be something put in his regular workout recovery drinks that he was unaware of, although we are unsure of the details.

Traditionally, the player has to be healthy enough to play before the league starts the suspension. Noah has been out for more than a month, but if a league doctor says he is healthy enough to play the then the clock on the suspension can start. But that is interesting.

 

 

Devin Booker drops 70 points for Suns in loss to Celtics (VIDEO)

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.

His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.

Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)