Author: Kurt Helin

Dallas Mavericks Media Day 2014-2015

Jameer Nelson is your starting point guard in Dallas (for now, at least)


Dallas is going to go with a point guard by committee, a three-headed monster this season (trying to replace Jose Calderon, who is running the triangle in New York). That said, someone has to get the ball at the start of the game, one guy has to be the lead.

That’s going to be Jameer Nelson. Gary Harris and Raymond Felton will back him up.

That always seems the logical outcome and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle confirmed it, speaking with Tim MacMahon of

“When we were recruiting him this summer, I told him we were looking for the best guy to be a starter for us,” Carlisle said of Nelson. “I really like Harris off the bench. That said, I think Harris is one of our three or four best players. But we’ve had a history here of bringing some of our better guys off the bench.

“At this point, Devin and I have talked about it and continue to talk about it. He’s willing to do anything. He wants to be a Maverick and wants to win.

“I like Jameer in that spot and Felton, he’s going to be out the first four games. So if there were some tea leaves here, that’s what it may look like. But it’s early to commit to anything. We got to see how it goes in games.”

This is a good fit. Nelson is a veteran guy who can run the team and get the ball to Dirk Nowitzki, or he can be a spot up shooter when Monta Ellis is attacking or Nowitzki is kicking out.

Plus it keeps Harris, who comes with more quickness, in a sixth man/change of pace roll. And Felton, he can get minutes whenever there are extras.

The rotation is going to shift and change over the course of the season, but look for Carlisle to lean heavily on Nelson. He’s the best option they have.

Report: Kenneth Faried agrees to five-year. $60 million extension with Nuggets

Denver Nuggets Media Day

Kenneth Faried had a breakout World Cup this summer in Spain where he was one of Team USA’s starters and top three or four players — if you’re going to do that, doing it right before you are eligible for a contract extension is the perfect time.

That performance helped make sure the man is getting paid to stay in Denver — five years, $60 million reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried has reached agreement on a five-year, $60 million contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

The deal includes a partial guarantee in the fifth year that assures Faried he will make no less than $52 million over the life of the contract, sources said.

I think this is a fair deal for both sides, not max but the Manimal is certainly getting paid.

Faried was a hard guy to put a real value on. Faried brings relentless energy, he pulls down rebounds, his hustle gets him points especially when the Nuggets get out and run, and he can be the glue on a team. However, he doesn’t create his own shot nor is he a particularly good defender. In the right setting he can lift a team to a new level, but he’s not your No. 1 or maybe even second offensive option (that said he did put up 13.7 points a game on a very nice .573 true shooting percentage last season, plus got 8.6 boards a game).

Faried’s game fits very well with what Denver does.

Faried does not have the kind of game that ages particularly well traditionally, so paying him for what he brings now makes some sense but teams might be leery about the dollars and length of his next deal.

But him playing with the confidence he clearly gained with Team USA, plus the return of JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari, not to mention the addition of Arron Afflalo, make Denver a very interesting team this year.

Kyrie Irving looked great in first preseason game for Cavaliers (VIDEO)

Kyrie Irving, Jake Cohen, Yogev Ohanyon

LeBron James was back and getting all the hype — he knocked down his first shot and looked good. Although he only played the first half.

Kyrie Irving looked awesome in that game.

Take that with a handful of salt, it was a preseason game against Maccabi Tel Aviv. You don’t want to read too much into it.

But there have been guys who have gained confidence and gotten a real bounce out of the World Cup, and Irving was just the MVP of the USA’s gold medal effort there. He could have a monster year.

At least he got it off to a good start.

Report: New NBA television deal nine-year, $24 billion contract with future Web streaming spun off

AP Money Found

We told you the NBA’s new television deal will be formally announced Monday morning, but the details are starting to come in Sunday night.

This deal is MASSIVE — it averages out to $2.7 billion per season.

From Rich Sandomir of the New York Times.

It’s also very forward thinking. The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Cohen and Shalini Ramachandran say that the NBA and ESPN have “laid plans in partnership” to spin off steaming of games (currently done through the NBA’s League Pass Broadband, and possibly more options soon) to a new online streaming service. This would be for regular season games only.

That would be interesting, the NBA has been way ahead of other leagues in terms of streaming and getting their content out there where it can be seen (go try and find NFL highlight plays on YouTube). The NBA knows its demographic skews younger and that means needing to be on the cutting edge of technology.

This deal also keeps Fox Sports 1 or any other national network from getting games. ESPN paid a premium to keep everyone else out.

This is going to be big for the players — the salary cap over the next few years is going to skyrocket. Half of that extra revenue goes to the players (as negotiated in the last CBA), which is why players such as LeBron James and others have pushed for shorter contracts — they want new ones when the cap goes up. That increase may be phased in (depending on the deal), but it is coming.

Once again, things just seem to be going well in the Adam Silver era.

Ty Lawson wants to be considered elite point guard, knows Nuggets have to win first

Ty Lawson

Denver is going to surprise people this season, they are healthy again (Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee are back) plus they added a great fit in Arron Afflalo. This team won 57 games two years ago and while it’s not likely they reach that total they are a threat to make the playoffs in a deep, deep Western Conference.

That needs to happen if Ty Lawson is going to reach his goals.

He wants to get mentioned among the top point guards in the NBA, up there with Chris Paul and Tony Parker and the rest of a deep group. That’s what he told the Denver Post in a Q&A.

Q: What do you need to do to get to that next level?

A: I feel like we have to win — because I feel like my numbers are elite numbers, what I did last year. The only thing separating me from everyone else is just winning. Chris Paul has gotten out of the second round. Russell Westbrook went to the NBA Finals. I feel like to get to that level, you’ve got to win games. Kyrie (Irving) this year, he’s going to get out of the first and second round. So that’s the goal.

Q: You mentioned Paul, Westbrook and Irving. Do you see yourself in that group as an elite point guard?

A: I do, minus just the winning. Especially for a point guard, that takes you to the next level. If you’re a point guard and you’re not winning but you’re killing it, it doesn’t matter. It’s a leadership role.

(For the record, CP3 has never gotten out of the second round.)

Lawson is always overlooked in that elite conversation despite averaging 17.6 points a game with an above average true shooting percentage of .554 plus dishing out 8.8 assists a game last season. He had a PER of 19, which was better than Parker or Damian Lillard or Deron Williams.

Is he a better point guard than those guys? It’s certainly debatable (hard to justify saying he’s better than Parker).

But Lawson does deserve to be mentioned among the game’s better point guards, he brings a lot to the table in terms of scoring and running a team.

He’s aoso right, if the Nuggets win this season he will be get the recognition as a team leader. And the Nuggets will win this year, the question is will they win enough.