Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets

Mavericks give Rockets Chandler Parsons offer sheet

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Update: I guess the Mavericks didn’t need until midnight.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

If Parsons’ contract is accurately reported and my math is correct, this means the Dirk Nowitzki signing is official.

 

Chandler Parsons and Mark Cuban might have celebrated prematurely last night.

Though Parsons and the Mavericks have reportedly agreed on terms to an offer sheet, they haven’t yet officially submitted it.

Parsons has probably signed it. There’s even video of him doing so in the club:

But Dallas hasn’t yet submitted it and started the Rockets’ 72-hour clock.

Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Why the delay?

Daryl Morey is already pressed for time. He must salvage the Omer Asik trade, finalize the Jeremy Lin trade – all to convince Chris Bosh to accept less than a max offer.

By holding off, the Mavericks are essentially doing Houston a favor. Why would they do that?

I see two non-mutually exclusive possibilities.

1. A sign-and-trade is on the table.

Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson acknowledges that’s a possibility:

The Mavericks obviously value Parsons a lot. They’re willing to pay him all that money. But do they value him enough to also relinquish an asset to ensure they get him? At some point, Parsons’ production doesn’t warrant the cost.

From the Rockets’ perspective, taking back anything more than small contracts could interfere with their pursuit of Bosh. Maybe they can snag draft picks from Dallas, but see the previous paragraph.

I can’t rule out a sign-and-trade, but there are major roadblocks.

Once Parsons signs an offer sheet, a sign-and-trade is no longer possible. It behooves Morey to prolong sign-and-trades negotiations, giving himself more time to handle everything else on his plate.

2. The Mavericks can’t yet offer Parsons his promised money.

How much is Parsons guaranteed over his three-year contract? I’ve seen slightly different numbers.

Marc Stein of ESPN called it “in excess of $45 million.” Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports said “$46 million.”

We’re in the range of Parsons’ max contract, which would be $46,228,710. I’m sure rounding factors in these reports, but I have yet to see someone credibly call Parsons’ offer a “max offer.”

Anyway, prior to agreeing to terms with Parsons, Dallas reached a three-year, $30 million deal with Dirk Nowitzki and agreed to re-sign Devin Harris. Most reports list Harris’ contract as worth $9 million over three years. Price has it $12 million over three years. For now, I’ll go with $9 million.

If Nowitzki’s and Harris’ contracts are fully back-loaded, the Mavericks could offer Parsons $44,413,545. If they take the relatively painless step of renouncing Petteri Koponen – the No. 30 pick in the 2007 draft who has yet to play in the NBA – they could increase their Parsons offer to $45,680,286.

That’s right in the range of what has been reported.

However, that requires Nowitzki to sign his contract first. Signing him with bird rights is the only way he can get 7.5 percent, rather than 4.5, raises. If the Mavericks renounce Nowitzki to sign Parsons first, even with renouncing Koponen, they could offer Parsons only $44,805,401 while preserving enough room to give Nowitzki his promised $30 million.

In other words, the Mavericks must wait to finalize Nowitzki’s contract before submitting Parsons’ offer sheet. In the real world, that could take time. Nelson confirms Nowitzki has yet to sign:

And if Harris’ promised contract is actually $12 million, forget about it. Drop Parsons’ three-year salary to $42,545,286. That would mean either the reports on Parsons’ salary are really off, or the Mavericks must make other moves. I figure they’d have those contingencies arranged before offering Parsons, but they also might be giving themselves an extra day to seek better trades for their expendable players (Raymond Felton, Brandan Wright,Jae Crowder,Ricky Ledo

and Gal Mekel) than would already be in place.

If Harris is getting only $9 million, though, that aspect isn’t a worry. Officially signing Nowitzki first matters, though.

So, once the Mavericks get all their ducks in a row, then what?

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

 

The Rockets must figure out how everything comes together. Tonight, Dallas will likely put them on the clock to do so.

Cavaliers have offered Anderson Varejao a championship ring. Does he take it?

Golden State Warriors' Anderson Varejao (18) poses with a cutout with his likeness during NBA basketball media day Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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In the middle of last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers let go of long-time Cav and fan favorite Anderson Varejao to make room for Channing Frye, a stretch four they thought would be more valuable in the playoffs. In hindsight it seems the right move.

After a cap clearing move in Portland, Varejao ended up on the bench of the Golden State Warriors. We all know the story from there, including Varejao getting some meaningful minutes after Andrew Bogut went down, but it wasn’t enough for Golden State.

Which brings us to the awkward championship ring conversation. Usually, an iconic team player like Varejao would get one from the Cavaliers, but will Varejao want this one? From Marc Stein of ESPN:

Good on the Cavaliers for offering.

Is there a correct answer for Varejao? A wrong answer? I can’t blame him either way.

He is on the Warriors roster again this season, and he once again could get meaningful minutes (now behind Zaza Pachulia). Does he decide that one with this team is what he wants (and will bet is going to happen)? Nobody can answer all these questions for him.

Nuggets retiring Dikembe Mutombo’s number at first home game

Center Dikembe Mutombo of the Denver Nuggets goes up for two over center David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during the Nuggets game versus the Spurs at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado.
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If the Hawks can retire Dikembe Mutombo’s number after four and a half seasons in Atlanta, the Nuggets can retire it after five in Denver.

Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post:

Mutombo will join the list of people who’ve had a number retired by multiple teams:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lakers, Bucks)
  • Charles Barkley (76ers, Suns)
  • Wilt Chamberlain (Warriors, Lakers, 76ers)
  • Clyde Drexler (Trail Blazers, Rockets)
  • Julius Erving (Nets, 76ers)
  • Michael Jordan (Bulls, Heat)
  • Bob Lanier (Pistons, Bucks)
  • Moses Malone (Rockets, 76ers)
  • Pete Maravich (Jazz, Pelicans)
  • Earl Monroe (Knicks, Wizards)
  • Oscar Robertson (Bucks, Kings)
  • Jerry Sloan (Bulls, Jazz)
  • Nate Thurmond (Cavaliers, Warriors)

Shaquille O’Neal, who had his number retired by the Lakers, will also make the list this season, when the Heat will put his number in the rafters.

Mutombo spent his best years with the Hawks, but he was pretty darn good with the Nuggets, who drafted him No. 4 overall in 1991. He won a Defensive Player of the Year award and went to three All-Star games with Denver. Playing for the Nuggets, he also produced the most iconic image of his career: lying on the floor and clutching the ball in jubilation after Denver became the first No. 8 seed to upset the No. 1 seed (Seattle SuperSonics in 1994):

Draymond Green says he doesn’t want to chase 74 wins: “It’s brutal.”

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 16:  Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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If the Warriors have been consistent about one thing in the run-up to the coming season it is this: They are not going for a record number of wins again.

From the GM on down they have worked to tamp down expectations about their regular season, saying there is no goal of chasing their 73-win total of last season. This is how Draymond Green put it on media day, via Sam Amick of the USA Today.

Last season Steve Kerr and some of the staff were hesitant to chase the Jordan-era Bulls 72-win record, but it was a push from the players — Draymond Green being at the front of that parade — who wanted it. They pushed, and Kerr let them. They got 73. Was that lack of rest down the stretch the reason they were down 3-1 to Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals, then blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals against Cleveland? Certainly not, there were plenty of other bigger factors (hello LeBron James), but it may have played some role. Clearly, the team thinks it did, based on their words and actions.

However, the Warriors still want the No. 1 seed in the West and will make that a goal. The question is, with an excellent regular season team in San Antonio — one that had a better point differential than the Warriors last season, then they added Pau Gasol — how many wins will it take to get the top seed in the West? 65? More? How hard will the Warriors and Spurs push to get home court throughout?

The Warriors aren’t going for the record, but the top of the West is still going to be an interesting place.

Mike D’Antoni declares James Harden the Rockets’ point guard (‘points guard’)

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James Harden is no longer the NBA’s best shooting guard.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said Harden – who averaged 29.0 points and 7.5 assists per game last season – is now Houston’s point guard, though D’Antoni added it wouldn’t be a big adjustment.

D’Antoni, via ClutchFans:

With James, we’ll make a cheap joke. He’ll be a points guard.

We just renamed it. You guys got something to write about.

Harden already controlled the ball a ton, taking primary playmaking and distributing responsibilities last season. This just gets the ball into his hands quicker and should allow the Rockets to play faster, a key component of D’Antoni’s offense.

Of course, D’Antoni’s offense functioned best when Steve Nash – more of a pure passer – ran it with the Suns. Harden won’t duplicate that. His passing ability is more predicated on taking advantage of his scoring threat. But Harden – who, like Nash, is an excellent ball-handler – could make the offense hum in his own way.

Even though D’Antoni is trying to downplay the position switch, it’s a notable shift. Harden fully commanding the offense is a grand experiment with major upside (and potential for a rocky downside).

This will also allow Houston to use Patrick Beverley (historically a point guard) or Eric Gordon (historically a shooting guard) in the backcourt with Harden, allowing a more flexible rotation.