Will Raymond Felton or Devin Harris start at point guard for the Mavericks?
After trading Jose Calderon to the Knicks, Dallas has a vacancy in the backcourt next to Monta Ellis. Felton has disappointed lately, and Harris hasn’t been a full-time starter in a couple years.
The decision will say as much, if not more, about how Rick Carlisle wants to balance his starting lineup and bench rather than just the ability levels of Felton and Harris.
But beyond their choice between Felton and Harris, the Mavericks want another point guard. At this point their best options are veteran castoffs – Jameer Nelson (waived by the Magic) and Mo Williams (essentially cast aside by the Trail Blazers).
Marc Stein of ESPN:
The Mavericks still have the room exception ($2,732,000), a decent raise over minimum contracts for Nelson and Williams ($1,448,490).
But can Dallas sell them on this role?
Both Nelson and Williams seem overqualified to become typical third point guards. However, that’s probably not what the Mavericks envision for either.
Beyond Felton, Harris and Ellis, they’re pretty thin at guard. They also have just Gal Mekel and Ricky Ledo, so maybe Carlisle wants Nelson or Williams to frequently deploy two-point guard lineups. Last year, Calderon and Ellis often shared lead-guard responsibilities, and that worked well.
The Mavericks can make a reasonably compelling pitch. Now, it’s just a matter of whether Williams liked it or Nelson will.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.