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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Articles tagged: Dallas Mavericks

Favorite has emerged to acquire Myles Turner?

Myles Turner

One particular NBA team appears to be pulling into the lead in the Myles Turner sweepstakes.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reported on Monday that several competing executives believe that the Dallas Mavericks are the favorites to acquire the Indiana Pacers center Turner. Pincus adds that the Mavs could potentially offer Dwight Powell and one of Dorian Finney-Smith or Jalen Brunson.

Dallas would be a fitting landing spot for Turner, who is a native of Bedford, Tex. and played for the Texas Longhorns in college. The 24-19 Mavs are also a top-five team in the West and could use a shot-blocking center to pair with Kristaps Porzingis, who often plays at the 4.

Turner, who is in Year 3 of a four-year, $80 million contract, is seen as one of the likeliest players to get traded ahead of the Feb. 10 deadline. He has been sparking rumors that he may want out of Indiana, especially with the Pacers capsizing at 15-29 . The Mavericks still have yet to make it out of the first round during the Luka Doncic era. Acquiring Turner may be just the lightning bolt that they need to level up.

Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Mavs fill-in player has funny comment about first game with team

Theo Pinson watches from the bench

The Dallas Mavericks were forced to sign a replacement player this week after two players tested positive for COVID-19. The new guy logged some significant minutes, too — even if he barely knew what was going on.

The Mavericks used a hardship exception to sign guard Theo Pinson after Reggie Bullock and Josh Green landed on the COVID list. Pinson played 22 minutes and scored seven points in Tuesday night’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He delivered a funny quote after the game about his lack of familiarity with the sets.

Dallas obviously just needed a body. The fact that Pinson was able to contribute in a winning effort was a huge bonus for the team.

We could see a lot more replacement players over the next several weeks. The NHL has put its season on pause due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, but it does not sound like the NBA has any intention of doing the same.

Photo: Mar 19, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Theo Pinson (10) reacts to a call during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Rajon Rondo apparently still hates Dallas

Rajon Rondo waving goodbye

Virtually no one is left on the Dallas Mavericks from Rajon Rondo’s tenure there except for owner Mark Cuban. But Rondo is still apparently not too fond of them.

Rondo’s Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Mavs in overtime on Wednesday on a game-winning three-pointer by rookie Austin Reaves with 0.9 seconds remaining. After Reaves hit the basket, video showed Rondo leaving the bench area and waving goodbye to the Dallas crowd.

Rondo did not play in the game and has not seen the court since Nov. 30. But he still appears to bask in defeating the Mavs after his notorious stint with them in the 2014-15 season. Rondo once said that he almost retired after that season because of how bad things were for him in Dallas.

If Rondo still hates Dallas, the feeling is pretty clearly mutual. After all, Rondo remains banned from one establishment in the city.

Report: Luka Doncic found Rick Carlisle’s treatment of Mavs player ‘appalling’

Luka Doncic bringing the ball up the floor

It has been widely reported that Luka Doncic did not want to play for Rick Carlisle, which is likely the main reason the former Dallas Mavericks coach was pushed out after last season. Now, we have a better understanding of how and why the drama built so quickly in Doncic’s first three seasons with the team.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon published a story on Wednesday about the relationship between Doncic and Carlisle. According to several former Mavericks players and staffers, Doncic was more concerned about the way Carlisle treated other players. In particular, he thought the way Carlisle acted toward Dennis Smith Jr. was “appalling.”

Smith, who was traded from Dallas to the New York Knicks during the 2018-19 season, became one of Doncic’s closest friends after the Mavericks drafted Doncic in 2018. Carlisle and the Mavericks’ front office were skeptical that the two could co-exist on the court, however, as they are both ball-dominant players. Sources told MacMahon that Carlisle had “completely soured” on Smith midway through Smith’s rookie season, which was the year before the Mavs drafted Doncic.

Carlisle reportedly accused Smith of being jealous of Doncic during a team meeting early in Doncic’s rookie year. Players were said to be shocked by the criticism and considered it unfair.

According to MacMahon, Doncic resented the fact that he felt Carlisle was trying to drive a wedge between him and his friend.

“It wasn’t really about how Rick treated Luka,” a Mavs player on the 2018-19 team told MacMahon. “Luka hated how Rick treated other people.”

Doncic also took issue with the way Carlisle treated other players. The coach publicly blasted Salah Mejri after he was ejected for picking up two technical fouls in a 2018 game, pointing toward the locker room and telling the center, “You’ve got two f—ing points, get the f— out of here!”

We already knew about an incident where Doncic taunted Carlisle over who was running the Mavericks. That and the other spats Doncic and the coach had on the court were apparently just the tip of the iceberg.

Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Kidd thinks Luka Doncic’s strategy with officials hurts Mavs

Luka Doncic cursing

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic had an earful for officials during a 107-91 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. In fact, he’s had a lot to say in recent weeks.

Doncic’s chirping has become consistent, and Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd has heard enough. He believes Doncic’s mouth is a detriment to the team and needs to be zipped.

“I would lean toward playing 5-on-5 a bit more,” Kidd said, via ESPN. “You’re not going to get any calls. Officials, they tend to not stop the game to change calls. You have to understand there’s a point in time in games — dead balls — to be able to talk to officials.

“While the game is going on, transition defense is one of the things we’ve talked about that we have to get better. If we’re lobbying for calls during live play, it puts us in harm’s way. … Just some things have got to be a little bit more important. I think we’re going to get better at understanding as a team when to talk to officials.”

Kidd stressed that his message was for everyone to hear, not just Doncic. But Luka took it to heart and ultimately agreed with his coach.

“J. Kidd, he’s got a point,” Doncic said. “I’ve got to stop doing that.”

Opponents of Doncic have played him physical all season. They’re capable of getting under his skin and they realize that. Pelicans forward Garrett Temple admitted as much after the game.

“Playing physical, getting into him,” Temple said. “You know he got a little frustrated early on, and we tried to build off that.”

At one point on Friday night, Doncic became so frustrated he asked the officials, “why do you hate me?”

Despite agreeing with Kidd that he needs to quiet down, Doncic remained firm in his belief that he’s being treated unfairly.

“I think you guys can see it,” Doncic said. “I’ll leave it there.”

Doncic and the Mavs will be back on the court on Saturday night when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies.

Mavericks’ court design includes sneaky nod to Tony Romo

Tony Romo

The Dallas Mavericks unveiled a cool new court design on Friday, and it included a surprising and hilarious nod to a superfan.

The new court apron at American Airlines Arena features the names of everyone who has played for the Mavericks in the history of the franchise. Some are bigger than others, but the team says everyone who suited up is represented somewhere.

Eagle-eyed observers would also note the presence of one curious name right on the edge of the apron: that of Mavericks superfan and courtside presence Tony Romo.

Apparently, Romo wasn’t counted as one of the former Mavs, but was simply slipped in for fun by the designers.

To be fair, there’s a reason Romo could be there. The team did honor him back in 2017 and essentially treated him like a member of the roster during their home finale. He didn’t get to play, but he did warm up.

Romo’s presence at Mavericks games was usually in the stands, though he had a habit of getting quite involved. There are sillier things than sneaking his name into the court design.

Report: This is why Kristaps Porzingis changed his mind on wanting trade

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis might have pulled a Ben Simmons by now if not for one particular change that the Dallas Mavericks made.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said this week on “The Hoop Collective” podcast that Porzingis wanted to be traded at the end of last season but now feels like he has a fresh start with the hiring of new Mavs head coach Jason Kidd.

“At the end of last year, Porzingis wanted to be traded,” said MacMahon. “My understanding is he feels like he has a fresh start with the coaching change. He’s had the healthy offseason. He has been able to work, not just on his game, but on his body some more. That he’s kind of coming back with a refreshed feel.”

The former All-Star Porzingis never really found his groove under ex-Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. While he did score over 20 points per game, Porzingis was shooting many of his attempts from beyond the arc rather than as a focal point of the offense. He also seemed particularly out of sorts during the Mavs’ first-round loss to the Clippers last season.

Though most of the offense will inevitably run through an MVP candidate like Luka Doncic, Porzingis seems to be betting that Kidd will do a better job of incorporating him into the gameplan. The Mavs also sound like they remain committed to the 26-year-old Porzingis.

H/T ProBasketballTalk

Jason Kidd reveals what he wants Luka Doncic to improve upon

Luka Doncic

Most people would say Luka Doncic doesn’t have much to improve upon as he enters his fourth NBA season, but Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd has some constructive feedback for the young star.

Kidd was full of praise for Doncic at the team’s media day Monday, comparing Doncic to “a young Picasso.” Kidd did say, however, that he wants to encourage Doncic to use his teammates and be comfortable relying on them.

There were certainly times last season that Doncic had the look of someone who felt they had to do it all themselves. That was the case even when he was having bad shooting nights or struggling to play his best.

On the other hand, some would probably argue Doncic would trust his teammates more if he had more reliable teammates — or at the very least, ones he gets on with better.

Mavericks have parted ways with controversial executive

Mark Cuban

After the exits of GM Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle earlier this offseason, the Dallas Mavericks are seeing another high-profile departure.

Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that the Mavs have parted ways with controversial executive Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris. The move was not a firing however, Townsend adds. Voulgaris’ contract simply expired and was not renewed by new GM Nico Harrison.

Voulgaris said on Twitter that he actually asked to be let out of his contract and was denied. He then waited for it to expire.

The 46-year-old Voulgaris, a former sports gambler, was hired in 2018 as the Mavs’ director of quantitative research and development. He quickly rose through the ranks of the organization and was even described as the second-most powerful man on the team behind owner Mark Cuban.

Voulgaris was extremely unpopular with Mavs franchise player Luka Doncic though. The two reportedly had multiple heated incidents last year. Doncic had even taunted team personnel over Voulgaris’ influence, which included a say in lineup decisions and rotations. The Mavs are now looking for a fresh start under the team of Harrison and new coach Jason Kidd, and Voulgaris will not be a part of it.

Isaiah Thomas could sign with Mavericks?

Isaiah Thomas

The Dallas Mavericks had JJ Barea on their roster for many years and now could be signing a similar-sized player.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Thursday that the Dallas Mavericks recently worked out Isaiah Thomas in addition to ex-NBA stars Lance Stephenson and Monta Ellis. Charania adds that Thomas in particular appeared to be in great shape.

The 32-year-old former All-Star Thomas appears to be right on the fringe of cracking an NBA roster. He recently came very close to signing with the Los Angeles Lakers before the team decided to go with Rajon Rondo instead. Thomas also proved this summer that he can still kick some game, scoring 81 points during a Pro-Am competition.

Stephenson and Ellis are compelling options as well, particularly Ellis, who is an ex-Maverick and recently campaigned for another shot in the league. Dallas needs somebody to create offense next to Luka Doncic and scouring the veteran bargain bin seems to be the move for them right now.