Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson: Dallas will keep Samuel Dalembert

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Samuel Dalembert’s contract expires after next season. It includes a 2014-15 salary of $3,867,282, of which only $1.8 million is guaranteed.

In other words the Mavericks have two options for Dalembert:

  • Pay him $3,867,282 and have him on the roster
  • Pay him $1.8 million and not have him on the roster

Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

“He’s got a contract for next year,” Nelson said. “Absolutely we’ll have Sam back. Great guy. If we can get him to show up on time to practice, that’ll be a step in the right direction.”

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Dalembert’s full salary will cut into the Mavericks’ cap room this summer – and they should have a significant amount of space – but he’s also a bargain. Dallas’ starting center, Dalembert is averaging 6.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20.3 minutes per game.

He’ll turn 33 before next season (maybe even this season if the Mavericks extend their playoff run to May 10), and as Nelson alluded, Dalembert has issues managing his time. But that’s why Dallas got him so cheaply.

The Mavericks are 9-1 in the 10 games Dalembert has played most. They need to figure out how to get more Dalembert, not less – and that’s why they’re keeping him.

Then again, if Dalembert’s salary becomes the difference between adding an impact free agent and not, the plan could change. There’s a reason his contract isn’t fully guaranteed.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.