Per Marc Stein of ESPN.com, a team source has confirmed that the Mavericks will keep both Steve Novak and Brian Cardinal for the coming season. After all, why choose between them when you can have the set?
Additionally, the Mavs announced that they have waived Dee Brown and Adam Haluska. Sorry, fellas.
Novak and Cardinal filled out the Mavs’ roster, leaving no room for Brown, Haluska, Rashad McCants, or Sean Williams to latch on. None of those players were expected to make the Mavs’ regular season roster, but the confirmations for Novak and Cardinal made the exclusion of their fellow training campers a certainty. There’s hope for those four yet, provided hope comes in the form of an invite to play for the Texas Legends.
That’s up for them and the Mavs to decide. As I discussed earlier today, Dallas has the ability to designate up to three of those four players in order to secure their D-League rights for the Texas Legends. We’ll know more as the Mavs keep cutting, but Brown, Haluska, McCants, and Williams are all realistic possibilities to make the Legends inaugural roster.
UPDATE: The Mavs announced this afternoon that they have also waived McCants and Williams, which means that at least one of the four players won’t be playing for the Legends next season. Considering that both of those players were signed explicitly for the purpose of being waived and for the Mavs to procure their D-League rights, I’d bet on McCants and Williams both landing in Frisco.
The Texas Legends’ brass have a blueprint for how they’d like to proceed with the team-building process, but in truth, such a schematic is no more helpful than a post-it note full of handy tips. Those at the top of the ladder know what they’re doing, but creating a D-League team from scratch isn’t necessarily a straightforward or predictable process. So much depends on what happens between now and Monday, when the final NBA training camp cuts are announced, and the pool of available players begins to take shape.
The Legends aren’t willing to wait through the weekend, though, as they’ve gotten a head start on constructing their roster thanks to a little institutional help. The D-League’s new player allocation rule allows NBA teams to effectively call dibs on up to three of their final training camp/preseason cuts, which has opened the door for a number of teams to make late camp additions in the name of securing those players’ D-League rights. It’s a terrific strategy for encouraging affiliate utilization, and the Mavs, well-run franchise that they are, have recently tabbed two prospects by way of the D-League’s new allocation system.
Rashad McCants is the first such prospect. McCants has been signed by the Mavs to a non-guaranteed deal, and he will likely play in Dallas’ final preseason game on Friday, primarily as due process for securing McCants’ rights for the Legends. He’s had a pretty strange run since being drafted with the 14th pick in the 2005 draft, and has become a bit of a league punchline for an attitude problem that he may or may not actually have. Still, McCants is an effective scorer by NBA fringe standards, and it’s not hard to envision a day in which his services are again needed. Dallas has worked out McCants before, and this recent signing is likely a product of both McCants’ NBA résumé and that particular workout. He didn’t scare Dallas off then, and could blaze his comeback trail to the NBA from within the Mavericks organization, even if he has to do so from the D-League.
The Mavs are also interested in Sean “Not Shawne” Williams, though it’s unclear if Dallas has officially added him to their preseason roster. Williams’ bad rap is a bit more deserved, as a series of off-court incidents have decorated him in warning labels. Despite his athleticism and shot-blocking success (he’s averaged 3.0 blocks per 36 minutes in his three-year career), Williams couldn’t find an NBA home last season after being waived by the New Jersey Nets. He’s apparently trying to work his way back into the league, and provided he’s willing to play nice — which should hardly be assumed, as Williams’ effort, production, and attitude were all problematic during his first tour through the D (link via Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside) – he’d be a terrific get for the Legends.
As Marc Stein noted in his report for ESPN, Adam Haluska and Dee Brown are also eligible to be allocated to the Legends should the Mavs deem it so. Personally, I’d go with Brown by default, as he’s managed to do with more his preseason opportunities than Haluska. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Brown seek a bigger paycheck overseas, though.
That’s the kicker. With McCants, with Williams, with Haluska and Brown — all of these players will only play for the Legends if they want to play in the D-League at all. Maybe McCants and Williams are convinced that they can wow the Mavs in a single weekend, and have no intent on ever hitting the court in Frisco. It’s a possibility, even if it’s a bizarre one.
Regardless, the Mavs and the Legends are making an effort to take advantage of league rules to the best of their ability. McCants and Williams are legitimate NBA prospects, even if recent developments have nudged them out of their previously cozy roster spots, and the Legends will hold their rights should they get the Mavs’ stamp of approval.
- Rick Carlisle will have no tolerance for players complaining about their minutes this season. Considering how many players have found success in roles off the bench and the token importance of starting in the first place, I still don’t quite see what the big deal is about playing the opening tip.
- Jamal Mashburn owns 34 Outback Steakhouses and 37 Papa John’s locations. He also might want to buy the Detroit Pistons, and thinks Michael Jordan’s flu game was mostly hype. Just a Chatty Cathy, that Mash.
- Gina Miller, on Caron Butler’s efforts to slim down this summer as a part of a workout program with Tim Grover: “He told me his trainer had people at his hotel spying on him. If he wanted to cheat and order pancakes from room service – not happening.”
- Bobby Simmons, once a candidate to join the Mavs’ training camp before being bypassed in favor of Steve Novak and Brian Cardinal, is in camp with the Spurs.
- John Hollinger (Insider) forecasts the Mavs’ coming season, which he predicts will bring 48 wins and the 5th seed in the West. Honestly, the relative ranking isn’t a bad as it sounds. The West’s second tier is no cakewalk, and to make matters worse, Hollinger’s qualms (reliance on victories in close games, roster shortcomings, slight drop-off due to age, player utilization, etc.) are legitimate.
- Monty Mathis has been bumped from player development coach to full-fledged assistant, and will work from the bench this season.
- Jason Kidd advised Carmelo Anthony to be wary of the Nets. Or not.
- Tuesday was the first day of training camp, and all foundational, non-contact work. Apparently — and this is news to me — teams are not allowed to hold more than one contact practice per day. Just some food for thought as the Mavs continue to conduct two-a-days through camp.
- Jason Kidd, on Dirk dropping five pounds in the off-season to make it “easier on [his] body, easier on his joints,” (via Mike Fisher): “I think he’s tired of people telling him he’s a ‘power forward.’ I think he wants to get down to 220 so he can be a 2-guard.’’
- Dee Brown, Mavs camper (via his Twitter account): “Man I see why J.Kidd has had an hall of fame career amazing player much respect big homie!”
- Shawn Marion may be shooting more threes this season.
- Tim Thomas has been officially waived.
And a few older bullets from an edition of the Grapevine that accidentally went unpublished:
2006 second rounder and former Illinois standout Dee Brown will join the Mavs for training camp, as Brown announced on Twitter yesterday. It’s a news-worthy development, but only barely; Brown will come to camp with a fully non-guaranteed contract, and Dallas has but one roster spot remaining.
A few things:
- This isn’t the first time the Mavs have brought in another point guard for camp. Though the roster was a bit full last year (Dallas had 16 guaranteed contracts going into their ’09 camp, before trading away Nathan Jawai), the Mavs signed Keith McLeod to a similar non-guaranteed deal for ’08 camp. He did not make the final roster.
- For the past two seasons, Brown has played for the Italian Basketball Federation’s Air Avellino and also for Maccabi Tel Aviv, one of the top clubs in Europe. He averaged 17.2 points and 5.1 assists per game for Avellino last season.
- Brown’s inclusion is a bit interesting considering Rodrigue Beaubois’ injury status. If Beaubois is progressing on schedule, that would give the Mavs four point guards. Five if you count Dominique Jones. This is complete conjecture, but might it be the subtlest of hints that the Mavs are bringing in Brown in the first place? Either to indicate something about Beaubois, or possibly the team’s positional hope for Dominique Jones?
- The Mavs have opted to keep one roster spot open during previous seasons, even when they could have used some depth at one position or another. That trend could continue this season, especially if Brown doesn’t fill a particular need.