Report: Mavericks going to make run at Jarrett Jack, Jerryd Bayless

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The Mavericks top off-season goal is to try and sign Dwight Howard. Have fun with that, knowing what we do about Howard it should be a quick and decisive process.

But they need more than just a big man. It was evident this season the Mavs need better point guard play, and somebody who can both score and create from the perimeter.

So they have their eyes on a couple point guards we all have been watching in the playoffs, reports the Star-Telegram.

The source said two point guards who interest the Mavs are Golden State’s Jarrett Jack and Memphis’ Jerryd Bayless. Both players figured prominently in their teams’ runs in the current playoffs, and both will become free agents in July.

Jack was in the Sixth Man of the Year conversation, giving Golden State 12.9 points and 5.6 assists a game off the bench. His game and his shooting efficiency got better during the playoffs (he shot 50.6 percent in the postseason). On a team that was all about scoring guards Jack was a key part of the mix, and Golden State wants him back. But he also would make a good fit in Dallas, a team where he would start and get more touches.

Bayless is a less efficient, but also less expensive, player at the point. He had played better for Dwane Casey a couple seasons ago in Toronto but has mot meshed nearly as well in the Memphis system.

I imagine in either case, Dallas would be offering shorter term deals as they try to keep future cap space available to chase free agents. Unless you think they are actually going to land Howard.

Warriors pose for photos with Jahlil Okafor’s dad’s ‘FREE JAH’ shirt

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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Jahlil Okafor‘s father has not been shy about speaking out on his son’s behalf. NBA players are advocating for the 76ers to grant Okafor, who’s out of the rotation and on an expiring contract, his desired trade or buyout.

When both join forces…

Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry appear to really enjoy Chukwudi Okafor’s shirt. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily calling on Philadelphia to do anything. But they hadn’t to know how it’d be perceived.

It’s easy to predict free agents will avoid the 76ers as a result of the Okafor situation, but few anticipate getting stuck similarly. Players overwhelmingly value money, winning, role and location. If Golden State’s stars are applying any external pressure, it shouldn’t really move Philadelphia more than anything that has already been said and done.

A couple of Lonzo Ball’s triple-double assists look dubious (video)

Harry How/Getty Images
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Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.

So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.

Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:

The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”

I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.

But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.

Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice

So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.