Dwain Price: Carlisle on his team: "I like the group, I…

Dwain Price: Carlisle on his team: “I like the group, I like the roster. The fact that we don’t have Dirk (Nowitzki) and (Harrison) Barnes is a big challenge tonight (against Phoenix). We’re going to play our brand of basketball and we’re going to have a chance to win some games.”@Dallas Mavericks

More on Dirk Nowitzki Injury

Dirk Nowitzki's availability for the Dallas Mavericks' season opener is in significant doubt as he continues to slowly recover from April surgery on his left ankle. The 40-year-old face of the franchise has yet to practice with the Mavericks this preseason and will not do so during the team's weeklong China trip.
"This is weeks, not days, as far as getting on the court for live action," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "He is making gradual progress, but we're not just at a point where we can talk about a hard timeline or anything like that."
"It's a matter of going full bore and then feeling good afterwards," Carlisle said. "I would have to think that once we got him feeling significantly better, there wouldn't have to be a lot of full, live workouts to get him into games. But we're down the road a little more age-wise, so things aren't necessarily what they were last year, the year before or whatever. "He's making gradual progress. We need to have him make some real significant progress, get him on the court and then we can talk about it."

Tim MacMahon: Rick Carlisle on Dirk: “He doesn’t want a farewell tour. I don’t blame him. Those are for some guys, other guys not.”
Jeff Stotts: Dirk Nowitzki tells @Chuck Cooperstein and @Mark Followill his ankle remains a work in progress. He has not played over the last 10 days after “scaling back” his recovery.
Nowitzki only recently stepped on the basketball court for a scrimmage with his teammates. His repaired left foot came out of those five-on-five games with lukewarm results. "The ankle where I had the surgery is actually great," he said. "There were two bone spurs that kind of blocked me from doing things. So they took those out and now there's a lot more movement in the ankle. But all the tendons aren't used to moving that much now. Every now and then, it's a little stiff. I scrimmaged a little last week and on Monday and it hasn't really reacted amazing to it. But we're positive that it'll be fine. By the time we get into camp and especially the regular season, I'll be 100 percent."
Dwain Price: Dirk on rehabbing his surgically repaired left ankle: "I haven’t even been home to Germany, because I don’t want to miss too much of rehab. But we did take the kids to the beach for a bit. Other than that I’ve been mostly here and working out and enjoying the weather." @Dirk Nowitzki
Nowitzki said Friday that doctors had to probe into his left ankle because of some swelling that popped up recently. It's not a major setback. But it was a reminder that, with his 40th birthday approaching later this month, the healing process isn't as fast as it once was. And complications sometimes happen after procedures like the one he had.
"I saw the doc (Friday) morning," Nowitzki said. "Everything is on schedule. This week was a little bit of a downer. There was a little more swelling again, so we took it a little easier. The doc said it's completely normal. "There will be days when it's great but there obviously was an invasion in there and they had to go in and drill a little bit. He said there will be good days and bad days. So if it reacts a little more, do a little less. But the good thing is I don't have to get ready for a season right now. By the first of August, I'll be running and doing everything so I can be ready by September. I have plenty of time to get it right. We don't have to force anything."
There is no timetable for Nowitzki’s return, although he fully expects to be healthy and in training camp when it starts in September. However, Nowitzki sounded like an impatient kid on Christmas morning who knows he has to exercise some patience. “It could take really all summer,” Nowitzki said, when asked about the length of his rehab. “I’m obviously not pushing it now. There’s no reason to push it now. We have plenty of time until training camp, which is early in September. We just don’t want to make it worst at this point, so I’m taking it nice and slow.”
Nowitzki explained that he wasn’t in any significant amount of pain while playing this season. Yet he knows his mobility was limited. “(The injured ankle) was blocking me from doing certain movements, especially the side-to-side stuff,” Nowitzki said. “Front-to-back, it was OK. Pushing off, that was just a problem there really all season. “I will never run like I’m 20 again, but I’m hoping that the side-to-side stuff will get easier.”
“It’s been over two weeks now (since the surgery) and I’m moving around without (the walking boot) already pretty good at home,” Nowitzki said. “But once you step out (of the house), I’ll still wear the boot. “It’s progressing good, but it’ll be awhile until I can run and do basketball activities. I already started rehabbing a little bit and riding the bike and lifting a little bit and doing some movement stuff. It’s going to be, unfortunately, a piece of work all summer, but hopefully it’s going to help me next season.”
“The foot is not great,’ Nowitzki said. “That’s obvious after 20 years in the league. I think I got arthritis in every joint I have in my body, which is normally I guess after 20 years. “But they corrected that one area that it was just blocking me and bothering me all season long, and hopefully it’ll be a lot better next season.”
Dwain Price: Dirk: "The foot is not great. That’s obvious after 20 years in the league. I think I've got arthritis in every joint I have in my body, which is normally I guess after 20 years. But they corrected that one area that it was just blocking me and bothering me all season long."
Eddie Sefko: Dirk Nowitzki said he's progressing on schedule from his ankle surgery and is doing some walking without the boot on his foot, although he's supposed to wear it for another couple weeks when he leaves the house.

Nowitzki, the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history, did not rule out extending his career beyond next season. "I'm hoping the ankle will be tons better than this year, and then I'm hoping I can play some decent basketball next year, and we'll kind of go from there," Nowitzki said. "I always kind of leave the end open. It's just hard for me at this point to commit further than one year or say one year is it. I kind of want to see how it goes."
Tim MacMahon: Dirk Nowitzki on next season: "I'm planning on coming back." He said that's why he got the ankle surgery now.
Dwain Price: Dirk: "I'm hoping the ankle will be tons better next year. I just kind of want to see how it goes."
Dwain Price: Barnes on Dirk: "We kind of knew he was going 2 get surgery so it wasn’t necessarily surprising. But obviously u want him 2 recover well. 20 years of wear and tear has its effect so hopefully surgery will give him some relief in his ankle and he’ll feel better coming in Year 21."
Mark Followill: Mavs announce Dirk had left ankle surgery today. His 20th season ends with 77 games played and averages of 12 pts & nearly 6 rebs. Coming back for a 21st season, albeit not officially announced, remains probable
Tim MacMahon: Mavs announced Dirk's procedure as a surgical debridement of his left ankle. "We expect a full and rapid recovery," a team source says. Dirk's plan to return for a 21st season remain in place.
Mark Followill: Asked whether Dirk will join the Mavs for the remainder of the road trip, Rick Carlisle said "We'll have more information for you tomorrow"
Eddie Sefko: Rick Carlisle says he's not authorized to say more about Dirk, but said more will be known Thursday.
Dwain Price: Dirk is listed as questionable for tonight's game against Charlotte with left knee tendinitis. But Carlisle said: "I think he’s going to play. I'm not 100 percent sure."
Tim MacMahon: Dirk Nowitzki will not play tonight against the Rockets, the first game he will miss this season. He did not make the trip with the Mavs, officially due to left ankle effusion. Neither did Wesley Matthews (lower back tightness) and J.J. Barea (return from injury management).
Earl K. Sneed: Rick Carlisle says Dirk Nowitzki will play tonight in L.A. Seth Curry (left shoulder) is out. #DALatLAC
Earl K. Sneed: Dirk Nowitzki says his right Achilles started to get "tight" in the second quarter and the @Dallas Mavericks decided to shut him down.
Nowitzki told reporters after participating in shootaround that he would return Friday night for a road game against the LA Clippers. He added that he would play "spot minutes," as he'll be under a minutes restriction early in his comeback. "I'm excited to be back," Nowitzki said. "Hopefully I can stay back this time."
Earl K. Sneed: Dirk Nowitzki on his Achilles injury: "It hasn't gotten worse from some of the stuff we've been doing, so I'll be back out there soon. We'll just see how that goes. I'd love to play as soon as I can, but I guess we'll just see in a couple of days."
Earl K. Sneed: Per @MavsPR, J.J. Barea (left calf strain) has been upgraded to questionable tonight in Denver. Dirk Nowitzki & Andrew Bogut are out.
Injured Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki expects to play at some point in December, telling ESPN he might "be a Christmas gift" for the Mavericks. Nowitzki, the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history, has been limited to only five games this season due to persistent soreness in his strained right Achilles tendon. He has not played since a Nov. 25 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Mavs officially saying he is out indefinitely.
"The thing is, I think when I came back it was a little too early and I had a little setback," said Nowitzki, who sat out eight consecutive games before playing in losses to the LA Clippers and Cavaliers and getting shut down again. "Everybody's a little worried about starting it back up too early and then starting back where we were, so we're taking it slow now. But it's been getting better. I've been increasing the workload, and it hasn't been sore. "Hopefully, I'll be back in action anytime soon. Maybe I'm a Christmas gift."
At what point do you think the Mavs shut Dirk down for good this year? Cowlishaw: I don't think that will happen. Shutting him down might mean saying goodbye. If Dirk can't play and produce it some point, he probably won't come back. He made that clear to German media recently. So at some point Mavs need him on the floor if they don't want to close the curtain on one of the greatest player of all time.
With this season clearly gone sour, the Dallas Mavericks may be on the verge of getting someone back who can help make things a little sweeter. Forward Dirk Nowitzki, who has played in only five of the Mavs’ first 22 games because of a strained right Achilles, could be ready for practice next week, according to owner Mark Cuban. “Hopefully he’ll start practicing next week, so we’ll see,” Cuban said prior to Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. “I’ve been saying a lot of hopefullys the whole season, so I’m not making any predictions.”
Nowitzki signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Mavs this past summer with high hopes of honoring that contract. What has happened to his body lately hasn’t changed his stance. "I want to get back on the court as soon as I can -- that’s really all I’m worried about for now for this year,’’ Nowitzki said. "I think we can re-evaluate this summer, I’ll talk to obviously the trainer (owner mark) Cuban and my family and kind of just make a decision there. But for now I’m all-in and I want to play. This obviously not a career-ending injury, it’s just something that keeps lingering unfortunately. Hopefully sometimes soon I’ll be out there and then stay out there. I don’t want to jump in and out of the lineup with soreness. I want to be healthy and stay out there.’’
In discussing the latest development with his injury, Nowitzki said he "had a little setback,’’ but he hopes this is not something he has to deal with for the remainder of his career. "I’m hoping that it heals pretty soon here and I can play the rest of the season pretty pain-free,’’ Nowitzki said after Saturday’s 107-82 win over the Chicago Bulls. "Achilles injuries are tough, they just limit your movement a lot. If it limits my movement 10 years ago I’d still be able to play effectively out there. But if it limits my movement now, I’m already a step slow – that makes me three steps slow and it just makes so sense to be out there.’’
"Just seeing it day-by-day, pushing it a little more and seeing how it reacts. It’s frustrating for me…it never happened before in my career. "It’s tough, but once I’m out there I don’t want the same thing to happen again just like next week, so I want to make sure now that it’s good to go.’’ Nowitzki is 38 years old and in his 19th season, and has ramped up his rehabilitation day-to-day, including some treadmill work and additional small work on the court. "Sometimes it’s tough because I know the one thing I can still semi-do is score the ball and spread the floor,’’ Nowitzki said. "At this stage of my career I don’t move well any ways, so if I’m out there at 80-90 percent I don’t think I’m a big help. So I want to make sure my body responds the right way and we’ll go from there.’’
Earl K. Sneed: Dirk Nowitzki: "This is obviously not a career-ending injury. Just been lingering, unfortunately. Hopefully I'll be back out there soon."
Earl K. Sneed: Dirk Nowitzki: "At this stage of my career, I don't move well anyways." Says he wants to be 100 percent when he returns.
Tim MacMahon: Mavs coach Rick Carlisle indicated that Dirk Nowitzki, already ruled out of Saturday's game against the Bulls, is likely to miss at least one additional game due to lingering soreness in his right Achilles' tendon. "Dirk's situation is improving, but he is really out indefinitely," Carlisle said during his weekly appearance on 103.3 FM ESPN. Nowitzki has played in only five games for the 3-15 Mavs this season.
Right now, the 38-year-old Nowitzki is mired in basketball misery. His Mavs (3-14) have the NBA's worst record, and Nowitzki can do nothing to help, as he is sidelined for at least the rest of the week. "It's hard to listen to him," Mavs owner Mark Cuban said. "The dude bitches like a m-----f-----."
He hopes to complete the two-year, $50 million contract he signed over the summer, which would allow him to join Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in the 20-seasons-with-one-team club, but Nowitzki has always said he will listen to his body and hang up his Nikes when basketball is no longer fun. Right now, the 38-year-old Nowitzki is mired in basketball misery. His Mavs (3-14) have the NBA's worst record, and Nowitzki can do nothing to help, as he is sidelined for at least the rest of the week. "It's hard to listen to him," Mavs owner Mark Cuban said. "The dude bitches like a m-----f-----."
"Guys are learning to play in an environment that is very realistic, as opposed to the nirvana that he's provided here for close to two decades," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "The one thing that I think this period should point out to historians of the game is his level of greatness. It's just another strong indication of how great he has been [and] is and the kind of impact he has. When he's out there on a consistent basis, it's a game-changer." There is plenty of proof of that. Start with the Mavs' 15 playoff appearances, 12 50-win seasons, two Finals trips and one title during a stretch in which Nowitzki had more than twice as many All-Star selections as all his teammates put together. Nowitzki, the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history, ranks seventh in win shares, one spot behind Duncan.
Dwain Price: Yesterday Rick Carlisle said Dirk will miss the next 2 games. Today he said Dirk will miss the next 3 games. Uh-uh.
Tim MacMahon: Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles tendon) will miss at least the Mavs' next two games. "He's making gradual progress but not enough to play him right now," coach Rick Carlisle said.
He’s only played five of 16 games. “We have every expectation that it’s not serious,” owner Mark Cuban said. “It’s dramatically better. That’s why he played the other night (in Cleveland). He just felt it again, so there’s no reason to take a chance. We’re just being cautious.” Said Carlisle: “The important thing is that we’re doing the right things to get him to a full recovery. He’s come a long way in a four-plus week period. But it’s an Achilles strain and it’s taking time. My hope is that it can be complete sometime in December, sooner than later. But we just got to be patient with it. He’s too important to us. If we have to play without him, we’ll play without him.”
Earl K. Sneed: Rick Carlisle says "I think there's a good chance" Dirk Nowitzki plays tonight vs. the Clippers. Not for certain, though. #DALvsLAC
Although Carlisle said Nowitzki "seems to be doing better,’’ he isn’t sure if the 13-time All-Star will play against the Clippers. "We’ll see how he feels in the morning,’’ Carlisle said. "I certainly hope that he’s getting close. "He’s worked unbelievably hard to get to this point where he’s getting real close. I don’t know that he’s there, but I know that he’s very close.’’
Earl K. Sneed: Rick Carlisle says Dirk Nowitzki continues to progress and is day-to-day, expecting Dirk to return to practice Tuesday in Dallas.
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said Monday that he is getting closer to returning from a sore right Achilles. Nowitzki missed his fourth straight game with the Mavericks' 93-77 loss to the New York Knicks. He had a lengthy pregame workout, but by then, it was already decided that he wouldn't play. "The biggest issue is still running," Nowitzki said after the game. "I'm not a big runner at this stage in my career, but I can't really go up and down yet. I haven't run in full practice. So it's not quite there yet, but the good thing is it's getting better. I don't have the soreness I had last week, obviously. I'll be doing more and more."
Tim MacMahon: Dirk Nowitzki will not play tonight against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden, one of his favorite road arenas. He warmed up before determining that his sore right Achilles' tendon is not ready for game action. This will be the fourth straight game Nowitzki misses.
Storyline: Dirk Nowitzki Injury
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Spurs want Onyeka Okongwu?

Per LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk, the only player San Antonio actually wants from Atlanta is Onyeka Okongwu. Also, despite BR’s Jake Fischer reporting that the Spurs are looking for three first-rounders in a possible deal for Murray, that’s also false. Ellis notes Gregg Popovich’s squad would take no less than four unprotected first-round picks. There’s talk that the Spurs are looking to trade Murray for three first round draft picks. I’m told that is incorrect. San Antonio’s asking price for Murray is four first round draft picks with little to no protections. Alternatively, the Spurs want three minimally protected first rounders and two unprotected first round pick swaps.

Timberwolves interested in Dejounte Murray?

Interestingly, an insider close to the situation says that the Spurs have multiple teams making a strong push for Murray besides the Hawks. One Eastern Conference team, he says, is offering three first round draft picks and a desirable young player in a proposed swap. He also stated that the Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed serious interest in Murray.
Because he was voted third-team All-NBA this season, Towns is eligible for an extension of up to four years and roughly $211 million. “I can’t wait to sit down with him and his representation ASAP and keep this thing going,” Connelly told The Athletic in a conversation not long after he was hired away from the Denver Nuggets. “He’s special and deserves everything that is going to come his way.”
“I think our goal is to win enough games to put KAT’s jersey in the rafters,” Connelly said. “He’s a guy that’s been through so much, and he’s only getting better and better. We’re going to go as far as he takes us.” With contracts this big, the only question that remains is how much more Towns has to give. Over his career, he has averaged 23.2 points and 11.3 rebounds and has a .624 true shooting percentage. But the Wolves have only made the playoffs twice in his seven seasons, and his performance against Memphis in April had highs (29 points, 13 rebounds in Game 1, 33 points, 14 boards in Game 4) and lows (eight points on four shots in Game 3, 15 points on seven shots in Game 2).