Rick Carlisle mentioned last week that the Mavs’ rotation this season would continue to be fluid. That’s a must considering that he’s still working Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson into the mix, and that’s to say nothing of Erick Dampier’s injury that has kept him out of the lineup since February 16th.
I’m not sure it’s quite the same for the back-up point guard position, considering that both candidates have been with the team all season, but it at least makes sense of Carlisle’s rotation philosophy: play the players who deserve to play. A novel concept, right?
Last night’s game against the Timberwolves was simply the latest in the neck-and-neck race between J.J. Barea and rookie Rodrigue Beaubois, and it only confirmed what we already knew about Carlisle. Jason Kidd sat out to get some much-needed rest, leaving Barea and Beaubois to fight for minutes and opportunities.
Barea was something of a surprise starter, but his recent play has certainly warranted the nod from Carlisle. That said, under his watchful eye the Mavs came out in anemic fashion, allowing the lowly Wolves to seize momentum early. Beaubois came in to save the day, and he totaled a season (and career) high 17 points on 66% shooting with four assists. Roddy closed the game as the Mavs’ point guard, and helped the team squeak out a win despite some sub-par play.
Still, Barea turned a slow start into a decent, albeit completely unspectacular, game. So if Rodrigue started traveling towards Back-Up Point Guard City at a speed of one kilometer per minute from 65 miles away, and J.J. is going to the same destination but from a location 55 miles away and traveling at 21,160 inches per half-minute, who arrives to secure Carlisle’s trust and earn the role first?
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.
The Knicks have the No. 8 pick, and tomorrow’s draft will be the most important part of their offseason.
Will they also have cap space to add talent in free agency? That hinges on Enes Kanter‘s player option.
If Kanter opts out, New York will have even more room to operate thanks to Kyle O'Quinn declining his $4,256,250 player option.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Knicks expected this for a while, and they’re probably not disappointed. Steve Mills and Scott Perry want to put their stamp on the franchise. O’Quinn is a leftover from the Phil Jackson era and a reminder of the recent tumult in New York.
O’Quinn’s combination of block percentage (6.1) and defensive-rebounding percentage (27.8) was unmatched last season. He just really struck a nice balance between contesting shots and remaining in position on the glass. He’s also a smooth mid-range shooter with an improved ability to distribute.
How much is that player worth?
It’ll be a tight market, especially for bigs. For his sake, I hope the 28-year-old O’Quinn already has assurances from other teams. He might get a similar salary or, more likely, a larger overall guarantee on a multi-year deal. But it’s also possible he comes out behind by testing free agency.