The Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade to Miami isn’t in doubt, but it appears the reason it hasn’t been officially completed yet is that Toronto is now trying to re-home Goran Dragic. In statements to the media, Dragic expressed a desire to join the Mavericks and play with Luka Doncic, something Dallas is known to be interested in as well. To join as a third team in that deal, Dallas would have to send at least $14.4 million in salary to Toronto, something most easily done by combining Dwight Powell and Willie Cauley-Stein. But that’s also where it gets complicated.
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Dallas wouldn’t want to do that because Powell is beloved around the organization, and losing two centers in the same transaction would thin the team’s depth. The Mavs also don’t want to replace Cauley-Stein with one of their prospects in Josh Green or Tyrell Terry. But Toronto likely views Dragic, a proven veteran on an expiring deal, as a positive asset. Dallas wants him, so why shouldn’t it give something up? That’s the current limbo it’s easy to imagine both teams in right now. One possible solution is Dallas finding an expendable player Toronto does want and using a recently acquired trade exception (TPE) to bring something more conducive to the Raptors’ likings.
Michael Grange: Any potential move where Dragic is sent to Dallas could very well involve Dwight Powell coming back. No news on that front yet but Powell would look at it as a homecoming, for obvious reasons, I’m told.
According to rival executives, the Mavericks are looking to upgrade on the wing via the trade market. There’s also a strong belief around the league that Dallas has eyes for Giannis Antetokounmpo in the summer of 2021. Powell has proven to be a serviceable starting center at a reasonable price tag before rupturing his Achilles in January.
But the NBA world is preparing a response: By Feb. 7, leagues sources tell me, there will be at least two NBA teams that will contact the Mavs about trying to acquire Barnes and/or Powell.
Or maybe the trade calls come sooner. Predicts one team executive: “(Dallas) will start getting calls on Wednesday.” Wednesday is the day before the deadline. Wednesday is the day that Dallas, accepting of having to live with another year of Barnes and Powell (and I don’t mean to have that sound more negative than it is), will be provided an escape hatch or two. Do the Kings or the Cavs or Jazz want Barnes because of his talent? Does another team like Orlando see Powell as a solid piece? Can Dallas get involved in a three-way if the Pacers, Wizards or Pels need help? And ultimately, is there a way to move Barnes and Powell without taking a cap clog in return?
Dallas will now have reinforcements to look forward to upon their return home to Dallas to take on the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, as the rest of the trade package sans Kristaps Porzingis should be ready for action in that game. Wednesday will also not only be a chance for the Mavs to string together their third win in four games but also, as our Mike Fisher teased on Saturday, serve as the last chance for a showcase for both Harrison Barnes and Dwight Powell, the pair of whom might have a chance to be moved Thursday’s trade deadline. On the one hand, sources have made it clear to DBcom that the Mavs are prepared to be without cap room as a result of the KP trade and Barnes and Powell not opting out this summer, as we wrote in our scoop here. On the other hand … Fish is reporting that there could be movement in this regard before the Feb. 7 deadline. …
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September 19, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
Clutch Points: Isaiah Thomas is expected to work out with the Golden State Warriors on Monday, sources tell @markhaynesnba. pic.twitter.com/aXdiqpdJcl
Lakers legend Pau Gasol, Marc’s older brother, recently sat down with Spanish newspaper Marca as he discussed the future of his sibling. Pau’s response was cryptic, but it is clear that he is hoping that Marc returns to Spain: “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides,” Pau said (h/t Sam Yip of Fan Nation). “I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.”
“I’ve been on him about things I need from him,” Billups said. “I said, ‘Nurk, I know you are going to be a free agent, and I understand you have to have a great year. You need me for you to have a great year, and I need you for us to have a good year. We need each other, right?’ “I’m going to give him every opportunity to have a great year. Because if he has a great year, that means we are a pretty damn good team. Because he is a good player. But that means he has to be focused and be in shape. Because you are only going to play as many minutes as you are physically able. If you are out there tired, uh-uh, come on, gotta get you out. There are good players behind you.”
It is unclear exactly what Nurkic and his role will look like under Billups, but to hear Nurkic talk, Billups has given him a vision of being more involved on both ends. Billups has been careful not to publicly define roles, but in general, he has preached that the offense will include more ball movement. “I just want to feel wanted, and I think I just need more support, and what I mean by that is different playing style, more inside-out game, more chance,” Nurkic said. “More chance to be successful and the position where they put you in. It’s all about the coach and where they put you, and I think Chauncey has figured out that certain people are going to have one to three points less, but the team is going to be way more successful with ball movement and playing together and be more fun. Even at the defensive end.”
Virtus Bologna’s win over LBA newcomer Tortona in SuperCup Quarterfinal game yesterday night was overshadowed by a serious injury occurred to Nigerian center Ekpe Udoh, who appears to have injured his patellar tendon in a no-contact situation. Former Fenerbahce center was taken out of the court in a stretcher and after the game coach Sergio Scariolo confirmed the seriousness of the injury, adding that the team will look for a replacement in the market: “He’s our cornerstone, both on attack and on defense. It’s dramatic, I hope that it serves to understand that you need to respect the players. Here there are stickers on the court everywhere, in the NBA it’s not the case. We will look for a replacement”.
“We are in shock and worried,” Scariolo said after the game on Udoh’s injury. The Italian coach spoke against the use of slippery stickers on basketball floors which have often caused players to hurt themselves.