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October 7, 2014 Updates

About a week into the process, Fegan decided it was time to try to propose something different. And that led him to the three-year construction, featuring the Year 2 player option and a maximum 15 percent trade kicker. He then took to it Cuban, convinced that the new formula would put the most pressure on Houston to let Parsons go if the Rockets hoped to maintain the utmost flexibility. For the following reasons: Players in the first year of a matched offer sheet can't be traded without their consent. With the ability to become a free agent after the second year, Parsons would likely have diminished trade value to small-market teams fearful he'd simply leave at the first opportunity ... while also potentially dissuading big-market teams that prize flexibility from trading for him and then seeing Parsons decide to opt in for the third year. The trade kicker in this contract could also prove to be even more expensive than usual, were Parsons to be dealt, if the salary cap rises as dramatically as some are projecting thanks to the TV money expected to pour into the league in the near future, as ESPN.com's Larry Coon explains in greater detail here. And in the Rockets' case specifically, Parsons' possession of an option to become a free agent in July 2016 meant he and Howard would likely be returning to the open market at the same time, which figured to be uncomfortable for Houston. ESPN.com

"It created the most amount of problems for them," Cuban said. "The trade kicker not only made [the contract] more expensive, but the opt out [after Year 2] could create a Kevin Love-type situation for any teams interested in trading for him, where you don't know if he's gonna opt in or opt out." The impact this three-year pact and its various complications had on Parsons' fate has some league observers wondering now if shorter contract offers from big-market teams to future restricted free agents, such as the San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard and Minnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio if they make it to the open market next July, will become more commonplace. "The contract structure was extremely creative," Cavs general manager David Griffin said. "I think it will be a significant moment in the way restricted free agency discussions are handled in the future." Said Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace: "The concept of a short-term offer sheet is intriguing and could be the wave of the future. With the reduction in the decision time to match reduced to three days, the team who writes an offer sheet is only out of action for a short period of time. [So] there is no downside. If the sheet is not matched, you have your player, and if it is matched, then the player will be back on the market soon, which increases the pool of players in free agency two or three years down the road." ESPN.com

Cuban, mind you, insists that those expecting fisticuffs, or anything close, would have been disappointed anyway. Says Cuban: "Is it competitive? Yes. Do I hate Daryl? No. I have a lot of respect for Daryl. Daryl's not one to hate at all. That's not his mode. He's very, very logical. "Daryl Morey is the Spock of the NBA. I didn't originate that; someone else told me that. He's the Spock of the NBA because he's talking about logic all the time." ESPN.com

Cuban likewise hasn't forgotten how Morey took the step of letting Parsons and the Mavs know, on the afternoon of July 13, the Rockets wouldn't be matching, when he could have dragged the drama out for several more hours. "Because Daryl's a good guy," Cuban said when asked why he thinks Morey didn't keep everyone waiting. "Because he's not a jerk." "Whether we won or lost the deal for Dwight Howard, it was a logical thing for him to call about Dirk," Cuban says now. "I took it as taunting initially, but the more I thought about it, it was the logical move to make. And when you're logical, it's hard to have animosity." ESPN.com

But what might come as a surprise is how significant that explosion has been, and how far its blast radius might soon reach. The literary specter haunting sports' burgeoning Information Age is no longer Michael Lewis and Moneyball but George Orwell and 1984. The boom officially began during work hours. Before last season, all 30 arenas installed sets of six military-grade cameras, built by a firm called SportVU, to record the x- and y-coordinates of every person on the court at a rate of 25 times a second -- a technology originally developed for missile defense in Israel. This past spring, SportVU partnered with Catapult, an Australian company that produces wearable GPS trackers that can gauge fatigue levels during physical activity. Catapult counts a baker's dozen of NBA clients, including the exhaustion-conscious Spurs, and claims Mavericks owner Mark Cuban as both a customer and investor. To front offices, the upside of such devices is rather obvious: Players, like Formula One cars, are luxury machines that perform best if vigilantly monitored, regulated and rested. ESPN.com

But with a big enough cache of data? A training staff could generate algorithmically individualized prescriptions for rest and movement. It could act pre-emptively, based on probability on top of past results. "The more we can objectify what guys are doing," Lyles says, "the more accurately we can make recommendations or change what we do." Change what they do -- as in benching a starter before he suffers a projected injury. Or trading him away for that same reason. Or cutting a backup because of a suspiciously consistent spike in fatigue level after 2 in the morning on road trips. In which case each player should answer a question that everyone, regardless of occupation, might soon consider for themselves: Would you be better served, economically, by your employer's knowing more or less? "They'll bring guys in and work them out and be able to see if they're at a bigger risk to hurt their knee or whatever," says Mavericks forward Brandan Wright. So when it comes to contract negotiations? "Honestly, I think it'll hurt guys," Wright continues. "I think that's where it's headed." ESPN.com

When asked by ESPN to elaborate on blood analysis, Cuban declined further comment. But interviews with several Dallas players indicate that the team's expanded testing policy is neither obvious nor rosterwide. Guard Devin Harris recalls giving blood only in the preseason as part of the standard team physical; perhaps by design, other plasma-related details remain vague. "I don't know what they do with it once they have it, but they definitely take it," Harris says. "And I know they talked about taking blood throughout the season for certain stuff." ESPN.com

The Dallas Mavericks have invited point guard Yuki Togashi to their preseason training camp, according to Cloud9, his management company. The announcement was made on Tuesday, and Togashi is scheduled to travel to Dallas on Saturday. Japanese supporters expressed their excitement via Twitter. Exhibit A: “Yuki Togashi was invited (to) the last camp by the Dallas Mavericks!!” tweeted Akira Tokusatsu. “Great! I know it’s really tough but I believe he takes the chance!!” Japan Times

October 6, 2014 Updates

Turning 36 years old this summer, however, Nowitzki says he looked for ways to add to his overall game this offseason. He will now attempt to unleash a new attack upon the league this season. “I want to expand a little bit on the block,” Nowitzki said last week while the Mavs kicked off the start of their training camp. “There might be some situations where I have to shoot it, but I don’t want to rely on the fadeaway all the time. Sometimes you have to go middle and make a strong move there or get fouled or swing a little hook, I think. You know, I’ve just got to mix it up a little more than just a right-shoulder fadeaway all the time.” Connecting on 49.7 percent from the field, 39.8 percent from three-point range and 89.9 percent at the free-throw line in ’13-14, Nowitzki finished just shy of another 50-40-90 season. Still, he feels like he can be even more efficient this season while playing alongside a retooled supporting cast thanks to the Mavs’ additions of 25-year-old budding star Chandler Parsons and defensive catalyst Tyson Chandler. mavs.com

But, after relying heavily on his patented one-legged fadeaway throughout his career, what can the 7-footer add to his game to help the Mavericks see more success following a first-round playoff exit last season? How about the signature move of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer? “Well, you know, the skyhook is still a work in progress,” Nowitzki chuckled while also tipping his cap to Abdul-Jabbar. “I might keep that for Year 18 and still work on it. But you always try to be a little more efficient, so we’re working on the release and stuff, but I’m not really sure if that makes such a big difference.” mavs.com

Utilizing the skyhook, which opposing defenses never seemed to have an answer for, Abdul-Jabbar finished his career totaling 38,387 points. Nowitzki has already amassed 26,710 points in 16 seasons, currently sitting 10th on the league’s all-time scoring list. Still, while looking to add to his game, don’t be surprised if Nowitzki slowly begins to integrate the skyhook into his repertoire. “You know, the skyhook is a tough shot, especially if you have no move, if you don’t come out in rhythm and just turn around and shoot it. That’s why nobody is shooting it like Kareem,” Nowitzki explained. “I don’t know how he did it, but that shot is unbelievable. But out of the move it’s OK. Once I got a little running start, I can actually shoot it OK. The problem is with 36, I don’t get a lot of running starts anymore.” mavs.com

October 3, 2014 Updates
October 2, 2014 Updates
October 1, 2014 Updates

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN MAVERICKS HISTORY

Five players from the championship team join No. 1 Dirk Nowitzki in the illustrious list.

   

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