Report: Jameer Nelson near $2.7 million deal to join Dallas Mavericks

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The Knicks needed another point guard they can trust, in case it turns out they can’t trust Raymond Felton (and Knicks fans would be more than happy to tell you why you can’t trust Felton). Dallas has Devin Harris under contract, but that was not enough.

Enter veteran Jameer Nelson.

We told you the two sides were going to meet. Well, apparently that meeting is more of a formality because they are now very close to a contract, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

No, this does not mean the Mavericks are looking to trade Felton. Officially.

Nelson averaged 12.1 points and 7 assists a game for the Magic last season, but he hasn’t done it efficiently (a .515 true shooting percentage, just below the league average). Most of his shots are three pointers (more than half his attempts last season) and he shot a respectable but not spectacular 34.8 percent on them. He’s long been good and aggressive on the pick-and-roll, plus he brings a physicality to the position.

Dallas has some nice pieces — Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Tyson Chandler — it’s just a matter of finding a point guard who can help bring it together (and some depth).

Nelson can’t give you 30 minutes a night anymore, but he can be a solid backup, plus a guy who can be used as a space-the-floor shooter in certain situations.

At that price this is a nice pickup by the Mavs, who have had a strong off-season.

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.