The Mavericks met with Carmelo Anthony. They met with LeBron James’ agent.
Mark Cuban – relying on the pull of Dirk Nowitzki – has done an excellent job positioning Dallas as potential destination for premier free agents. From Deron Williams to Dwight Howard, the Mavericks have struck out lately, but at least they’re drawing looks.
Unfortunately, this year will likely bring more letdown for Dallas. Melo’s top two options appear to be the Knicks and Lakers, and the Heat and Cavaliers seem to lead the LeBron race.
So, what’s next for the Mavericks?
Chris Broussard of ESPN:
Dallas, believing it will likely lose out on both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, will attempt to sign Chandler Parsons away from the Houston Rockets. The Mavericks also have Luol Deng and Trevor Ariza in their sights, sources said.
Parsons is a restricted free agent, meaning the Rockets can match any offer he receives. If LeBron and Melo have already signed, Houston would very likely match any offer for Parsons. But if those two stars are still in play, the Rockets would have to think long and hard about matching a big offer.
I’m not convinced Parsons would put Houston in that position. He was slated to earn less than $1 million this season. The Rocket did him a favor by declining his team option and letting him become a free agent, one can draw around $10 million per year. In exchange, maybe he agreed to wait to sign an offer sheet.
But if Parsons gets impatient and wants a guaranteed high salary, the Mavericks sure could make things interesting if they’re out of the Melo/LeBron sweepstakes before Houston.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.