Dan Feldman

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Mavs sign former Baylor star Johnathan Motley to two-way contract

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DALLAS (AP) — The Mavericks have signed undrafted free agent Johnathan Motley of Baylor to a two-way contract with their team in the NBA’s G League.

Motley skipped his senior season with the Bears to enter the draft. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds as a junior.

The Houston native is playing for the Mavericks’ summer league team in Orlando. Motley averaged 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in the first two games.

Baylor reached No. 1 in The Associated Press poll for the first time in school history during Motley’s final season. The Bears made it to the Sweet 16 before losing to Final Four qualifier South Carolina.

Report: Danilo Gallinari leaning toward Clippers, which would spark trade with Nuggets and Hawks

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The Clippers were seeking a third team to participate in a sign-and-trade for Danilo Gallinari, and with Paul Millsap going from the Hawks to the Nuggets (Gallinari’s old team), the Clippers might have found a solution – a double sign-and-trade between the three teams involving Gallinari, Millsap, Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone and assuredly more.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Gallinari would give the Clippers an impressive frontcourt with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Even after losing Chris Paul, that team should compete for the playoffs.

Receiving a player in a sign-and-trade would hard-cap the Clippers, but they’d have plenty of room to round out their roster – maybe even enough to avoid the luxury tax entirely.

The Hawks would add a first-round pick and Stone, the No. 40 pick last year, for the trouble of taking Crawford. Whether that’s a worthwhile sweetener depends on how much Crawford, who still has $17,246,988 guaranteed remaining on his contract, would require in a buyout. Atlanta is fairly wayward now, and extra draft picks can always help the push forward – whenever the team decides which way it wants to point.

The Nuggets need enticement to participate in this arrangement rather than just signing Millsap directly, though that might come in the form of another free agent before completing the trade rather than from L.A. or Atlanta.

So, there’s more to give. But this deal appears to be pretty far down the road to completion.

Rumor: Gordon Hayward told Jazz he wanted to play with Ricky Rubio

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It was widely believed Gordon Hayward and George Hill, both free agents, wanted to continue playing together.

The Jazz traded for Ricky Rubio while trying to re-sign Hayward. (Hill, also still an unrestricted free agent, has a far murkier future.)

How does that sit with Hayward?

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

Trading for Rubio was a good move for the Jazz, whether or not they keep Hayward. But, obviously retaining Hayward is the No. 1 priority.

Did Hayward ask Utah to go get Rubio? Or did Hayward, presented with the Rubio trade terms just before it was completed, say something like, “Um, yeah, sure”? Or something between?

There’s plenty of room for varying interpretations, especially by those interested in leaking Hayward’s Rubio endorsement.

Hayward has immense leverage as a star free agent. Utah, a potential destination for him, became more attractive by acquiring Rubio. But that doesn’t mean the Jazz became more attractive to Hayward than the Celtics or Heat. Hayward can also tell Boston and Miami which players he’d prefer to play with in hopes those team create situations in case he signs with one of them.

Again, the Rubio trade helped the Jazz either way. How much Hayward influenced the deal might just be a matter of spin.

Report: Suns waiving Leandro Barbosa

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The Suns have struck out in free agency so far – on Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap and everyone else.

But even without a clear use of its cap space lined up, Phoenix will pay Barbosa $500,000 to go away rather than guarantee his $4 million salary for next season – a choice that had to be decided by today.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

That extra $3.5 million in cap space can probably be put to better use than on the 34-year-old Barbosa. The Suns have plenty of guards with Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Brandon Knight and Tyler Ulis. Phoenix could use that newfound flexibility to sign a frontcourt shooter or toward a trade.

At this point, Barbosa would make more sense on the end of a winning team’s bench – for less money, the minimum or so.

Report: Timberwolves pull Shabazz Muhammad’s qualifying offer

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With the Timberwolves signing Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson, something had to give. Minnesota didn’t have enough cap room to sign both while maintaining matching rights on Shabazz Muhammad.

Though the Timberwolves could have traded someone else to clear cap space, they went the simplest route – renouncing Muhammad.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

Gibson is an immediate upgrade over Muhammad, clearly important to Tom Thibodeau.

The 24-year-old Muhammad would fit better elsewhere. He’s strong for a wing, and he can score inside and rebound well for his position. If he defended better, there’d be a lot more interest.