Vince Carter, Victor Claver, LaMarcus Aldridge

Mavericks assure Vince Carter he will not be traded


There were times you could count on Dallas to be a player at the trade deadline — at Mark Cuban’s urging the Mavericks have been aggressive in team building.

But the long-term plan in Dallas now is to maintain their cap space for next summer and go after big-time free agents with a max deal (they have to look at what is going on with the Lakers the last 48 hours and smile). Which means the only guys likely to be moved are ones whose salaries carry over.

Like maybe Vince Carter.

But he is staying put. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told Carter himself, reports

“A couple days later (Carlisle) pulled me aside and said all the trade rumors, because I didn’t know much about it, he said it’s not going to happen,” Carter told after Wednesday’s win that pushed Dallas’ record to 21-28 as it began a massively important run of seven of its next eight games at home.

“I’m happy where I am. I feel like my role here is needed,” Carter continued. “It’s a perfect position as a mentor, as a player, as a spark. I’m OK with that. I feel like for me, if they need me to start I’ll do it. If they need me to come off the bench, I’ll do it. I’m still going to play my same game and be effective. I’m a team guy and I want to see our team have success.”

Carter is a real value for the Mavs — 12.8 points a game as a sixth man, all for $3 million this season and $3.1 million next season. The Mavs have gotten even more out of him recently, including shooting 45 percent from three his last eight games. Carter has accepted his role as a veteran in a way many former stars cannot and is thriving in that role. Dallas would need a lot to move him, and they are better off keeping him around.

Tony Parker wants to play six more seasons with Spurs

Tony Parker
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Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.

Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.

Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”

That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)

Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.

But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.

Report: Pelicans signing Greg Smith

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The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.

Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.

Enter Greg Smith.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.

But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.

Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.