Dirk Nowitzki is going to get some help this season. No, really. They mean it this time.

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Thumbnail image for dirk nowitzki.jpgLast season Dirk Nowitzki played 2,011 minutes, 37.5 minutes per game. Almost identical to the season before that. Both of those increases from the season before that.

Every year training camp rolls around and the Dallas Mavericks talk about not pushing Dirk Nowitzki so hard during the regular season, saving him for the playoffs a little. Yet for 11 straight seasons he has played at least 35 minutes a game and played at least 77 games. He scored 25 points a game, a figure that has not dipped below 24.6 in the past six seasons. He has been the workhorse.

Once again this season, Dallas is saying it’s going to be different. Both for Nowitzki and 37-year-old Jason Kidd.

Owner Mark Cuban has been touting the squad’s depth. (Mistakenly he’s saying that depth will vault them past the Lakers, when in reality it is the talent of the players at the top of the lineup who determine that. But that is a debate for another day.) Coach Rick Carlisle told the Dallas Morning news that depth is going to mean more rest for Nowitzki. They mean it this time.

“One of our strengths is going to be our depth and our balance,” he said. “That’s got to manifest itself in spreading our scoring out, getting one or two more guys in double figures and getting Dirk from 26 to 22 or 24. Getting help for Dirk is a priority for sure.”

“I think Roddy [Beaubois], J.J. [Barea] and [Dominique] Jones, plus our young big guys, can all have a greater impact on our season this year,” Carlisle said. “Dirk and Jason, those guys are as dependable as they come. But it’s obvious we have to get their minutes down.”

Great words. Sorry about this, but do you mind if we are skeptical until we see this actually happen?

Rudy Gobert says he’ll relinquish DPOY to little girl playing adorably intense defense (video)

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I’ve been looking all day for an excuse to post this video on a site called ProBasketballTalk.

Jazz center Rudy Gobertwho just won Defensive Player of the Year – provided it.

Gobert:

Everyone frets about young basketball players emulating Stephen Curry. But Patrick Beverley apparently also has influence.

Report: Knicks considering offering DeMarcus Cousins big one-year contract if they miss on stars

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The Knicks will reportedly roll over their cap space if they don’t sign Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving or Kawhi Leonard this summer.

Of course, New York must still field a team for 2019-20. After six straight losing seasons – including a franchise-worst 17-65 this season – the Knicks might even want to be somewhat competitive.

A candidate to fill the roster: DeMarcus Cousins.

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

If the Knicks are intent keeping cap space clear for 2020 (when the free-agent class looks weak) if they strike out this year, Cousins could make sense. His shot-creation skills would raise their floor. He was a star not long ago.

But leg injuries have sidetracked Cousins’ career. He’ll turn 29 before the season. It’s not certain he’ll ever return to form.

For that reason, Cousins might prioritize multi-year offers with more total compensation, even if the annual average salary is lower. He can’t assume he’ll stay healthy and productive next season and that huge offers will follow in 2020.

Of course, Cousins might not get those multi-year offers this summer. That’s why a one-year deal in New York could work for him. It’d be another chance to improve his stock, much like his season with the Warriors was supposed to provide.

I doubt either the Knicks or Cousins want this. New York prefers better players. Cousins surely desires a larger long-term deal. But they might have to settle for each other.

Kevin Durant reportedly sells home in California, rumored to have bought one in New York

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Kevin Durant‘s company moved its office to New York. He could follow, to the Nets or Knicks, in free agency.

Maybe he’s already on the way?

Neal J. Leitereg of the Los Angeles Times:

Kevin Durant has wrapped up some business in Malibu, selling his oceanfront home on Broad Beach for $12.15 million.

Accounting for real estate commissions and other fees, the sale comes out as a bit of a wash for the 10-time all-star. He bought the place last year for $12.05 million, The Times previously reported in April.

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:

sources familiar with Durant’s off-court business say Durant has since purchased a new home in New York and moved his belongings there.

Many NBA players spend their offseasons in Southern California. I’m not sure what to make of Durant selling his house there. This isn’t Durant selling his condo in San Francisco, where the Warriors will open a new arena next season.

Buying a place in New York would be more significant, but a player buying a house in a city where he could sign is a classic rumor. It often gets spread whether or not it’s true. I’m skeptical of the sourcing here.

But if Durant no longer plans to play in California, it could make more sense to sell his Malibu home. Of course, he could buy another house near Los Angeles. We just know he sold this specific place on Broad Beach. We can’t extrapolate with certainty.

And Durant could buy a house in New York for the offseason. He might want to be closer to his company in the summer. That doesn’t mean he’ll play for New York or Brooklyn.

So, I’d nudge the odds of Durant leaving Golden State for the Nets or Knicks slightly higher based on this information. But I wouldn’t overreact to it.

Report: Allen Crabbe charged with DUI (video)

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The Nets will officially trade Allen Crabbe to Hawks in July.

In the meantime, he faces a legal issue.

TMZ:

we’re told he blew a .08 — which is EXACTLY the legal limit in California … so Crabbe was arrested and booked for misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence.

If convicted of drunk driving, Crabbe would likely receive a two-game suspension – the NBA’s standard punishment for that crime. But considering he appears to complete the field-sobriety test OK, breathalyzers have questionable reliability and his blood alcohol concentration tested relatively low, Crabbe has a chance to beat the charge.