Tag: Dallas Mavericks

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks - Game Three

J.J. Barea negotiates a raise from Mavericks after DeAndre Jordan defection


Wesley Matthews got more money from the Mavericks when DeAndre Jordan spurned Dallas for the Clippers.

Apparently, J.J. Barea – who agreed to a two-year, $5.6 million contract – got the same treatment.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

On one hand, the Mavericks had extra cap space laying around after Jordan’s surprise turnaround. On the other hand, they could have used that money to improve the team this year and in coming years.

Instead, they lock up the 31-year-old Barea, who fits Rick Carlisle’s system but relies on his quick first step to get to the basket. If he loses athleticism into his 30s, Barea could become unplayable.

As the salary-cap rises, $4 million per season isn’t a huge investment. But it eats into the Mavericks’ flexibility, and they lock in further with a roster that’s mediocre in the Western Conference.

I can see why Mark Cuban wants to let those types of teams into the playoffs.

Gregg Popovich will coach Team Africa in exhibition against Team World featuring Gasol brothers

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four

We already knew Luol Deng (Team Africa) and Chris Paul (Team World) would serve as captains in the NBA’s first exhibition game in Africa.

Who else will participate in that Aug. 1 contest in Johannesburg, South Africa?

NBA release:

Team Africa, comprised of players born in Africa and second-generation African players, will feature team captain and two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng (Miami Heat; Great Britain; born in South Sudan), Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.; parents from Nigeria), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece; parents from Nigeria), Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets; France; parent from Cameroon), Bismack Biyombo (Toronto Raptors; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs; France; parent from Senegal), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal), Festus Ezeli (Golden State Warriors; Nigeria), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder; Congo)*, and Luc Mbah a Moute (Sacramento Kings; Cameroon).


Team World, comprised of players from the rest of the world, will feature team captain, NBPA President and eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers; U.S.), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards; U.S.), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets; U.S.),Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies; Spain), Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls; Spain), Jeff Green (Memphis Grizzlies; U.S.), Marcus Smart(Boston Celtics; U.S.), Evan Turner (Boston Celtics; U.S.) and Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic; Montenegro).

Five-time NBA Champion Gregg Popovich will coach Team Africa, with 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams serving as assistant coaches.  Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King and Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri are the Team Africa general managers, with Eric Waters (Washington Wizards) serving as the team’s athletic trainer.

Brooklyn Nets Coach Lionel Hollins will coach Team World, with Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens serving as assistant coach.  San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford is the Team World general manager, while Keon Weise (Orlando Magic) will be the team’s athletic trainer.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will attend the game along with NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria).

There’s a good amount of talent on both teams and coaching staffs – which speaks to just how far basketball has come in Africa and how committed the NBA is to growing it further.

Exhibition games are always hit or miss, but I’m looking forward to watching this one.

Vlade Divac says Kings ‘stole’ Rajon Rondo in free agency

Rajon Rondo

The Sacramento Kings had a tough time getting free agents to take their money this summer. But one of them didn’t have much of a choice.

At least three separate players reportedly turned down more money from the Kings in order to play somewhere else, mainly due to the dysfunction the organization has been mired in over the past several months.

Rajon Rondo, however, happily took a one-year deal worth $9.5 million to sign in Sacramento. It was an overpay by any reasonable standard given the way things ended in Dallas, along with his diminished level of production.

Vlade Divac, of course, sees things differently, and believes he got quite a deal in grabbing the point guard who has four All-Star appearances on his résumé.

It’s hard to steal something that no one else wants.

Rondo’s game, when combined with his behavior, wasn’t worth nearly what the Kings were willing to pay, even as a one-year risk. He could ultimately prove the doubters wrong by playing well and making the pieces in Sacramento fit, but for now just about everyone around the league will wisely reserve judgment.

Report: Blake Griffin initially told DeAndre Jordan to honor commitment to Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers

We know the gist of the story.

DeAndre Jordan had second thoughts about signing the Mavericks, so he met with the Clippers again. They stayed at his house – including Blake Griffin sending hilarious tweets – until Jordan officially re-signed.

But it might not have played out that way if Griffin’s first message to Jordan landed.

Ramona Shelburne and Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Jordan had called Griffin on Monday to say he was having serious misgivings about his decision. He had built a life in Los Angeles. Why was he leaving? Had he just gotten caught up in the frenzy of the recruiting process? Did he really want to be the face of a franchise? Griffin told Jordan he had made a commitment and needed to live up to it. They’d still be friends, regardless of whether they were teammates. But Jordan seemed troubled. Griffin told him he needed to call Rivers if he really wanted to revisit his decision.

I bet Griffin is sure glad he added the part about calling Doc Rivers. If Jordan had just listened to Griffin’s advice about honoring his commitment, the Clippers wouldn’t be title contenders.

That excerpt is part of a fantastically detailed account of Jordan’s free agency. I suggest you read it in full.

Another interesting portion covers Jordan partying with Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons in June – when the NBA permits players, but not team executives and owners, to recruit pending free agents.

Shelburne and MacMahon:

The night started with dinner at Boa on the Sunset Strip and ended across the street at a swanky club called Bootsy Bellows, where Cuban just happened to be entertaining a group of associates from his TV show, “Shark Tank.” With Cuban across the club, Jordan, Parsons and Matthews sipped on drinks and discussed the possibility of playing together in Dallas.

I suppose it’s possible Mark Cuban being at the same restaurant was pure coincidence. And I suppose it’s possible he didn’t say a word to Jordan while they were there.

But anyone using circumstantial evidence to complain about the Clippers violating unofficial decorum should also ask whether circumstantial evidence says Cuban violated official tampering rules.

Rajon Rondo on coming to Sacramento: “I just love to prove people wrong”

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets - Game Two

LAS VEGAS — It didn’t end well for Rajon Rondo in Dallas. Finally, the organization had him just start to stay away from the rest of the team — in the middle of a playoff series.

Monday was a new day. Rondo was onboard a charter plane that brought the heart of the Kings on the court — Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, Marco Belinelli and others — as well as GM Vlade Divac to Las Vegas to watch just drafted rookie Willie Cauley-Stein. It was very public team bonding (to be followed by some not so public bonding through the night in Vegas).

Rondo likes what he sees in Sacramento.

“I’m excited that everybody’s doubting us,” Rondo said. “All the negative things that are going toward Sacramento as far as me coming — and the Cousins and George Karl thing — I think there’s been a lot of naysayers, a lot of doubters my entire career. And I just love to prove people wrong.”

Rondo was in a very positive space Monday. He told PBT his right knee — which had the ACL surgery — is good, and he can’t even really tell which leg had the surgery anymore.

He was even positive about his experience with the Mavericks, where he was traded last season from Boston.

“It was a learning experience,” Rondo said. “It was a great experience I had. I met one of my best friends now in Monta Ellis, I wouldn’t have met Monta if I hadn’t been traded there. Dirk (Nowitzki) is one of the funniest guys I’ve met. I gained a lot of great relationships….

“I can’t say enough about that organization, it was a great organization. (Mark) Cuban from day one was very honest with me.”

It’s one thing to have a challenge-the-narrative, everything is cool moment in Vegas in July.  It’s another to carry all this positivity into the season — and then forge relationships that work amongst a lot of strong-willed people.

Karl has coached some great point guards — and strong willed ones — in his career, guys like Gary Payton, Sam Cassell, Allen Iverson and Chauncey Billups. Rondo will be another one of those.

“He’s going to challenge us as coaches, because I think he knows the game and he’ll have some things, we’ll probably some give and take on,” Karl said. “But this kid’s an All-Star, he’s a triple-double machine when he’s playing well. He likes to lead teams, he leads teams with a spirit that has some toughness to it.

“He’s a pass-first point guard, which I think is important. In the end, he and Darren (Collison) really excite me. We’re going to have two guys who can take control of the team, play together, and keep the pace of the game where we can play with a lot of freedom and creativity, and also play without turnovers….

“I think he wants to lead our team, but he also wants to be a part of the decision making. That can be somewhat combustable, but that also can work at a high level.”

Rondo said he and Karl have talked a little about the role he will play.

“I think the point guard is extremely important in George’s system,” Rondo said. “George and I always have to be on the same page, and if we communicate every day, we will be….

“Things happen in life, you learn from them, you go on. But to have the opportunity to be somewhere you want to be, and they welcome you as well, I think it’s a great fit. So far. We haven’t played any games, coach Karl hasn’t kicked me out of any practices yet, so we will see how it goes.”

It all sounds good. On paper in July. And if everything comes together for the Kings, they have the talent to surprise a lot of people in the West. But most people will be watching this team expecting the train wreck.

Rondo will have to prove everyone wrong again.