Dan Feldman

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) celebrates scoring a 3-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Sunday March 20, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
AP Photo/Brandon Wade

Report: Dirk Nowitzki to sign two-year, $40 million contract with Mavericks

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Dirk Nowitzki seems to primarily desire two things:

  1. To play for the Mavericks.
  2. To win.

But they haven’t won a playoff series since their 2011 championship, creating just a little unrest. If Nowitzki couldn’t achieve both objects in Dallas, would he consider leaving?

The question, never loud, became a little more pressing when the Mavericks failed to sign primary targets Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside and let Chandler Parsons leave for the Grizzlies.

Apparently, Dallas made amends by agreeing to sign Harrison Barnes, re-sign Deron Williams and Dwight Powell, trade for Andrew Bogut and sign Seth Curry

And throwing money at Nowitzki. Lots and lots of money.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Nowitzki opted out of a contract that would’ve paid him $8,692,184 this season. So, this is a substantial raise.

He took less on his previous deal to help the Mavericks add talent, but that never produce the major results Nowitzki sought.

If Dallas can’t add stars, Nowitzki might as well get paid now. This team should still be decently competitive, too. The lack of championship upside required appeasing Nowitzki financially.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Nowitzki’s new deal contains a player option. That way, if the Mavericks are positioned to add a star or two next summer, he could opt out to take less and facilitate it if he wants. Or he could keep his higher salary. It’d be his call.

Report: Clippers re-signing Luc Mbah a Moute

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 16:  Trevor Ariza #1 of the Houston Rockets looks to pass the basketball against Luc Mbah a Moute #12 of the Los Angeles Clippers  during their game at the Toyota Center on March 16, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  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 Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
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The Clippers thought they found a solution at small forward when they traded for Jeff Green. But after a forgettable half season with Los Angeles, Green signed with the Magic.

The Clipeprs dreamed of signing Kevin Durant. But he’s headed to the Warriors.

So, the Clippers are scrambling just to keep the small forwards they used before acquiring Green and aimed high with Durant.

They agreed to re-sign Wesley Johnson using the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. Now, they’re retaining Luc Mbah a Moute.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Mbah a Moute will get the minimum-salary ($1,403,611), non-Bird ($1,684,333) or bi-annual ($2,203,000) exception.

Getting Mbah a Moute to accept the non-Bird would be a coup, because it’d allow the Clippers to offer the bi-annual to someone else. (Bird exceptions, including the peculiarly named non-Bird, can be used only on returning players.)

Even the bi-annual exception would be good value for the Clippers. Mbah a Moute, a quality defender who accepted a small offensive role around the Clippers’ stars, fit well last season.

Report: Spurs signing Pau Gasol to two-year, $30 million contract

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 30: Pau Gasol #16 of the Chicago Bulls shoots agaist Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs at the United Center on November 30, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Note to User: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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The Tim Duncan era is probably over in San Antonio.

Enter Pau Gasol.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard will form a heck of a frontline — especially offensively. Gasol, a skilled interior scorer and passer, should fit tremendously with the Spurs. He’ll have no trouble picking up their concepts, either.

Defense will present more of an issue. Gregg Popovich will have his work cut out to scheme around Gasol’s limitations.

This is a nice signing, though I’m not sure Gasol tops what Duncan did last year. Gasol might outperform what Duncan would’ve done this year, which is far more relevant.

But with the Warriors setting the standard — and raising the bar even higher by signing Kevin Durant — it’s hard to see San Antonio leaping into that top tier.

Report: Hornets signing Ramon Sessions to two-year, $12.5 million contract

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 03:  Ramon Sessions #7 of the Charlotte Bobcats takes a shot against Shawn Marion #0 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on December 3, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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The Hornets did such a good job finding a backup point guard last season, they could no longer afford him.

They’re doing OK on a budget, though.

With Jeremy Lin headed to the Nets, Charlotte found a solid replacement in Ramon Sessions.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Sessions is a downgrade from Lin, but Charlotte — which had Sessions when it was the Bobcats — prioritized re-signing starters Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams. At this price, Sessions is good value.

The 30-year-old attacks the rim well out of the pick-and-roll, and he draws plenty of fouls. That’s not a skill set that tends to age well, but the Hornets aren’t on the hook long.

They needed someone behind Kemba Walker as they try to return to the playoffs and maybe even win a series. I’m not sure they could’ve gotten someone better equipped to help with that, and it won’t cost them beyond 2018.

Report: 76ers sign Sergio Rodriguez

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The 76ers drafted a power forward who plays like a point guard, Ben Simmons. They signed a combo guard who can capably play point guard, Jerryd Bayless.

Now, Philadelphia has finally added a true point guard: Sergio Rodriguez.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Rodriguez, the No. 27 pick in the 2006 draft, spent four seasons in the NBA. He played three years for the Trail Blazers, split the 2009-10 season between the Kings and Knicks then returned to Europe.

He’s a pass-first point guard who should help the 76ers immediately. Then, they’re no longer on the hook for the 30-year-old.

The NBA’s massive salary-cap boom should draw more overseas players like Rodriguez and Malcolm Delaney, who’s signing with the Hawks. With foreign leagues still offering similar contracts to previous years, the NBA has expanded its advantage. This is a small drop in the bucket for Philadelphia, but it’s far more than Rodriguez would’ve earned by staying in Europe.