Author: Brett Pollakoff

Rick Carlisle, Rajon Rondo

Report: Mavericks and Rajon Rondo ‘made a mutual decision to part ways,’ back injury story was nonsense


Rajon Rondo’s brief time in Dallas came to an end long before the Mavericks were eliminated from the playoffs by the Rockets.

After a disastrous 36-second stint to start the second half of Game 2, where Rondo picked up two personal fouls and a technical in an immature display that had many feeling like he quit on his team, he was benched by his head coach, never to return to the Dallas lineup.

The team said a back injury was to blame, and that it would sideline Rondo indefinitely. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle later said he didn’t expect Rondo to ever wear a Mavericks uniform again, and now we know the reason why.

From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

Rondo never really fit with the Mavs, as the concerns about the impact of his poor shooting in coach Rick Carlisle’s flow offense quickly manifested and were never solved. The hope of a “Playoff Rondo” sighting was crushed after his poor Game 1 performance and the appearance he gave up in Game 2.

The Mavs and Rondo made a mutual decision to part ways the next day, sources told, framing the reasoning as a back injury as a favor to try to help the four-time All-Star point guard save face.

The truth was that the Mavs didn’t want Rondo, who was going to be replaced in the starting lineup regardless, pouting and rubbing off on other players, Ellis in particular. Essentially, the Mavs made a drastic move in an attempt to do damage control on a chemistry crisis.

Just as we all suspected.

The back injury story was nonsense, if only because Rondo had been playing through it all along, and it was clear that his demeanor (and not his back) was what was hurting the team the most.

Telling the truth publicly at the time, that Rondo was a cancerous addition to the Mavericks who would be benched the rest of the way, would have only caused needless controversy for the remaining players in the locker room who were still battling to try to win a first-round playoff series.

It’ll be very interesting to see where Rondo lands as an unrestricted free agent after all of this — and especially at what price.

Report: DeAndre Jordan ‘has made it clear through back channels’ he’d be interested in joining Mavericks

Atlanta Hawks v Los Angeles Clippers

DeAndre Jordan has spent the entirety of his seven-year career with the Clippers, and while he may not be the Defensive Player of the Year candidate Doc Rivers has made him out to be, he had a breakout season that will have plenty of teams interested when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season.

Jordan led the league in rebounding with an average of 15 per game finished at the top of the leaderboard in field goal percentage with an absurd 71 percent, and finished fourth in blocked shots with an average of 2.23 per contest.

He’s a max contract-level player under the circumstances, but especially so considering the spike we’ll see in the salary cap in advance of the 2016-17 season.

The Clippers will certainly come calling with a five-year deal that only they can offer. But Jordan has already stated his desire to look around a bit, and if the latest report is to be believed, the Dallas Mavericks may be a very real option.

From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

Another potential prize summer target for the Mavs: Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who multiple sources say has made it clear through back channels that he will be extremely interested in coming to Dallas. Signing the 26-year-old Jordan, a dominant physical force who led the league in rebounding and field-goal percentage this season, would mean letting the 32-year-old Tyson Chandler leave again after another one-season stint with the Mavs.

“That’s up to management and what they decide to do,” Chandler said of his possible future in Dallas as he enters free agency, adding that his preference would be to return to the Mavs.

Jordan is a fantastic two-way player, and his athleticism creates problems for teams on both ends of the floor. He’ll be able to dictate the terms of his next contract, but there’s a legitimate decision to be made.

If he’s interested in earning the most guaranteed money possible at this moment, then signing the full five-year max that the Clippers can offer is the way to go. Or, if he’d rather sign a shorter deal to later take advantage of the rising salary cap and ultimately earn more in the future, that could open up any team as a possibility — and that obviously includes the Mavericks.

Hawks’ Kyle Korver wins 2014-15 NBA Sportsmanship Award

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks

Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks has won the 2014-15 NBA Sportsmanship Award, the league announced on Wednesday.

From the official release:

“Korver (Southeast) was one of six divisional winners, joining the Toronto Raptors’ Amir Johnson (Atlantic), the Chicago Bulls’ Pau Gasol (Central), the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Nick Collison (Northwest), the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jeremy Lin (Pacific) and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (Southwest). The NBA will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Korver to his charity of choice, Helping Hand Rescue Mission.”

“Besides the donation to Helping Hand Rescue Mission on behalf of Korver, the NBA will make $5,000 donations to the other five divisional winners’ charities of choice: Blessings in a Backpack for Johnson; Gasol Foundation for Gasol; Special Care, Inc. for Collison; Partnership for the Advancement & Immersion of Refugees for Lin; and Audubon Nature Institute for Davis.

“The annual award reflects the ideals of sportsmanship — ethical behavior, fair play and integrity — in amateur and professional basketball, a key focus of the league’s NBA Cares program. The trophy is named for former Detroit Pistons guard and Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, the award’s first recipient, in 1995-96.”

Unlike the rest of the awards, the players are the ones who vote on this one. Here’s how it shook out:

Player, Team                                1st        2nd       3rd        4th        5th        6th       Points

Kyle Korver, Atlanta                         87        70        66        31        42        21        2,351

Anthony Davis, New Orleans          56        76        60        55        53        17        2,171

Pau Gasol, Chicago                         66        54        58        54        39        46        2,051

Nick Collison, Oklahoma City         35        49        39        70        52        72        1,677

Amir Johnson, Toronto                    45        35        35        57        62        83        1,609

Jeremy Lin, Los Angeles Lakers     28        33        59        50        69        78        1,553

Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies received the award last season.