NBA London 2011 -  New Jersey Nets v Toronto Raptors

Report: Mavericks saving cap space to make run at Deron Williams


Jason Kidd cannot play forever. I know, it already seemed like he has, but the fact is he will eventually need to walk away from the game. His contract is up after this season.

And the Mavericks want Deron Williams to replace him, according to Ken Berger at

That despite the fact Williams said Monday there was a 90 percent chance he remains with the Nets. Dallas is not bringing in big priced free agents — not even Tyson Chandler — because they want to preserve cap space to get D-Will, Berger says.

The Mavs are in no rush to pony up a max offer to retain Chandler, largely because they want to maintain flexibility for next summer’s free-agent class — which just happens to include Dallas’ own Williams, multiple sources told….

But if the Nets are unsuccessful in their efforts to land Dwight Howard — Brook Lopez, first-round picks and absorbing Hedo Turkoglu’s contract doesn’t figure to be enough — then Williams will have an interesting decision to make come July 1. And the buzz among front-office executives Monday was that Dallas owner Mark Cuban would be in a position to sell Williams on taking less money to play in his hometown.

Once Williams becomes a free agent, he could get a five-year, $100 million deal to stay with the Nets. Signing with Dallas would net Williams only a four-year, $74 million deal. How much playing in his hometown is worth to Williams would depend, in part, on what pieces the Nets surround him with between now and then.

As of right now, the Mavericks only have $44 million on the books for next summer as the Kidd and Jason Terry deals expire.

Still, there are a whole lot of “ifs” that have to fall into place for the Mavs to land D-Will.

But it gives you some insight into their thinking, that while this team won a title last year owner Mark Cuban does not want to just ink the entire gang to longer term deals and try to ride this out. He knows he has a veteran team and he wants to be ready to remold it next summer, when the best crop of potential free agents hits the market the league will see for a while.

Report: Pistons monitoring Markieff Morris situation

Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris
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Markieff Morris made a lot of noise this summer about being unhappy in Phoenix and wanting out, after the Suns traded his twin brother Marcus to the Pistons as part of a salary dump. He openly demanded a trade, and said on the record several times that his long-term future is not with the team. He’s changed his tune since training camp started, once he realized he has no choice but to play for the Suns unless they decide to trade him. But according to the Detroit Free Press‘ Vincent Ellis, there is interest from the one team he would be guaranteed to want to play for:

Markieff’s unhappiness with the Suns started when they traded his brother, so he would obviously jump at the chance to reunite with Marcus. And they don’t have much in the way of power forward depth beyond the other Morris twin and Ersan Ilyasova, so it would be a good fit from a basketball standpoint. But with the brothers’ felony assault charges pending, reuniting them on the same roster might not be the best idea, and it also opens up the possibility of having to trade one of them in the future and the other one being unhappy. So far, the Suns have shown no inclination to trade Markieff, but if that changes, the Pistons are an interesting destination to keep an eye on.

Popovich to Aldridge: “Welcome to the Spurs. Go sit” out practice.

LaMarcus Aldridge
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Gregg Popovich’s habit of resting key players at times has become the norm around the league as more and more studies have shown it helps players perform at higher levels plus helps reduce injury risk. Still, Popovich is the poster child.

New Spur LaMarcus Aldridge wasn’t used to this but got introduced to it in a very Popovich way, reports Jeff McDonald at the Express-News.

LaMarcus Aldridge missed his first workout of training camp today with leg tightness. Or rather, the Spurs — being the Spurs — held him out for precautionary reasons.

“We sat him out,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He didn’t want to do it. I said, ‘Welcome to the Spurs. Go sit.’”

He might as well have added “get used to this.” Aldridge is going to get some rest this season. Not as many as Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, but he’s going to get some nights off.

Remember, Aldridge is a guy who played through a torn ligament in his thumb last season because he thought the Blazers could make noise in the playoffs (and they might have had Wesley Matthews not gotten hurt). He’s not a guy used to being told to sit and rest.

It’s his “Welcome to the Spurs” moment.