Dwight Powell came to Dallas as a seeming throw-in with the Rajon Rondo trade back in 2014, but he evolved and grew into a solid rotation player for Rick Carlisle’s team. Last season he averaged more than 21 minutes a night off the bench, averaging an efficient 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds a game.
Don’t expect him to leave Dallas, they want to keep him and now will have even more cap space to do so (Dallas already has enough cap space to re-sign Kristaps Porzingis and look for a max or near-max player to put next to KP and Luka Doncic). This is most likely a situation where Powell will make a little less than the $10.2 million he would have made next season but will get more money locked in over three or four years.
Dallas wants to keep him, not only is he a trusted part of their rotation but also he is very active in the Dallas community. He’s an excellent ambassador for the Mavericks.
That said, other teams likely will inquire about a solid rotational big man, Powell will have some options.
Powell has until June 29 to decide whether to opt-in to last year of contract. It's entirely possible he's made the decision 6 weeks in advance, but the only reason to make that public would be to stir the market and I don't see Powell doing that. An agent, yes, Powell no.
Two sources with knowledge of the Mavericks’ thinking expect Walker, the Hornets’ three-time All-Star point guard, to be that team’s top target when NBA free-agency begins July 1.
Dallas projects to have about $30 million in cap space. Walker’s max starting salary projects to be about $33 million.
Maybe that’d be enough to get Walker, who’ll turn 29 in May. He’s very good right now, but he might not be worth a max contract over the next four years.
If they need to clear extra cap space for Walker, the Mavericks could try to trade players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Dwight Powell and Justin Jackson. A max contract projects to be worth about $141 million over four years. A starting salary of $30 million with max raises would pay Walker $129 million over four years.
For what it’s worth, Walker’s max contract with the Hornets projects to be $190 million over five years (or $221 million over five years if he makes an All-NBA team this season).
Doncic makes this tricky, though. He’s a lead playmaker from the wing. Should he just be the point guard? If not, what type of point guard fits best with him? Signing Walker would be an expensive way to find out.
Walker can work off the ball. He drills catch-and-shoot 3-pointers at a good rate. His dribble-drives still work in secondary actions. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle likes to use two point guards, anyway.
But much of Walker’s value comes from his ability with the ball. If he’s not consistently initiating the offense and running pick-and-rolls, is he worth the salary he’ll surely command?
On the other hand, whom could Dallas get instead? Maybe a not-fully unleashed Walker is still the best option. After trading multiple future first-round picks, the Mavericks can’t just patiently roll over their cap space. Their imperative is to win soon, and Walker would help.
James Harden runs 30-point streak to 30 as Rockets beat Mavericks
HOUSTON (AP) —James Harden scored 31 points for his 30th straight 30-point game despite dealing with a shoulder injury, leading the Houston Rockets to a 120-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.
Harden, who had eight rebounds and seven assists, seemed to be a bit slowed early by the strained left shoulder that he injured on Saturday against Oklahoma City, making just one of his first seven shots. But he warmed up after that and finished 9 of 23, capped by his sixth 3-pointer with less than a minute left to put him over 30 and keep the streak going. Fans chanted “MVP! MVP!” after he sunk the step back over Dorian Finney-Smith.
He’s now just one game from tying Wilt Chamberlain for the second-longest streak of 30-point games in NBA history. Chamberlain also holds the top 30-point game streak with 65 in a row.
Houston had a 14-point lead entering the fourth quarter and was up 106-90 when Harden entered the game for the first time in the period with about 6 1/2 minutes left. The Mavericks went on a 7-0 run after that, with a 3-pointer from Jalen Brunson, to get within 106-97 with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
Harden heated up after that, making two 3-pointers in a 9-3 run to extend the lead to 115-100 with about 2 minutes left and put the game out of reach.
Luka Doncic had 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Mavericks, who lost for the first time this season to Houston after winning the first two meetings.
Chris Paul added 17 points with 11 assists, and Gerald Green scored 19 points with five 3-pointers to help Houston to its fourth win in five games.
The Rockets were up by 14 at halftime and Harden scored seven points in the first few minutes of the third quarter to help push the lead to 76-58. Harden later dished to Green for a 3-pointer to make it 85-66.
The Mavericks scored the next eight points, capped by a 3 from Finney-Smith just before the shot clocked expired, to get within 85-74 with 2 minutes left in the third.
Green had a layup after that to end the scoring streak by Dallas and the Rockets had a 92-78 lead at the end of three.
Luka Doncic’s game-winning three, clutch baskets carry Dallas (VIDEO)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) —Luka Doncic scored 29 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-115 on Friday night, spoiling rookie coach Ryan Saunders’ home debut.
Doncic nearly recorded a triple-double, finishing with 12 assists and eight rebounds. He scored seven of Dallas’ final nine points.
Taj Gibson gave the Timberwolves the lead at 115-114 with a tip-in of Jeff Teague‘s miss with 35.7 seconds left. But with 22.9 to play, Doncic hit a pull-up 3 to put the Mavericks ahead for good.
Harrison Barnes scored 23 points and Dwight Powell made his first seven shots from the floor and finished with 15 points for the Mavericks. JJ Barea came off the bench to add 16 points.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were playing their first home game since Saunders was named interim coach.
Saunders, who received a loud ovation from the Target Center crowd before the game, took over as coach after Tom Thibodeau was relieved of his duties Sunday. he won his first game in charge Tuesday at Oklahoma City. Saunders is the son of the late Flip Saunders, the winningest coach in Timberwolves history. A banner hangs in the Target Center rafters in honor of Flip Saunders, who died in 2015.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers were stuck in neutral for most of the first half against Dallas. Then they ramped up their defense and rallied for a second win in as many nights, posting a 114-103 victory over the Mavericks on Friday night.
“From the second quarter on, our defense stepped up. We did a nice job of getting stops and getting out and running,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “We found our energy and were able to carry it on from there. It was ugly in the first. We weren’t able to get back in transition and had too many turnovers.”
Dallas shot 12 of 25 from the field in the first quarter and then shot just 36 percent (22 of 61) the rest of the game. The Lakers (13-9) had a 31-13 advantage in fast-break points and outscored the Mavericks 62-40 in the paint.
LeBron James missed five of six from the field in the first quarter before going 11 of 15 the rest of the way and finishing with 28 points.
“I knew what type of basketball I played in the first quarter and the result of that was us playing poor. I hit the reset button and knew I would be much better,” James said.
Brandon Ingram added 19 points and was lauded by Walton for holding Dallas rookie Luka Doncic to six points and 2 of 13 from the field.
“We tried to contest every shot that he took, whether it was going to the lane, midrange or 3-pointers,” Ingram said.
Kyle Kuzma added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers. It’s the third time in five back-to-back sets this season that they have taken both games.
Los Angeles trailed for most of the first three quarters – and fell behind by as many as 15 in the second – before going on a 10-4 run the final three minutes of the third to take a 78-75 advantage into the fourth.
Dallas was assessed four technical fouls in the game, including three in the fourth quarter. JJ Barea was ejected midway in the fourth after receiving his second technical.
“The combination of second shots and turnovers really hurt us in stretches in the second half,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “Our bad stretches were longer than our good stretches. It was a very disappointing loss.”
Dallas led 45-30 less than four minutes into the second quarter when the Lakers got back into it with 10 straight points, which included six by James. The Mavericks led 58-53 at halftime.