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There is something about Dirk that is always funny. In this case it’s him driving a Mini and a Lego boat.

Free Agent Talks Begin at 11:01 Friday
June 29th, 2006

And Eddie Sefko is reporting that an extension for Dirk and a contract for Jason Terry will follow shortly after.

Contracts can’t be signed until July 12th but they are usually agreed upon far before that time.

According to Sefko, Terry and the Mavs have basically agreed on something already

https://maverickmoneyball.com.

Jason Terry and the Mavericks are expected to reach an agreement on a new contract in quick fashion when free agents and teams can begin negotiations Friday night at 11:01 p.m., a source said Thursday.

That would actually be a bit of surprise because during the postseason Terry’s agent had this to say:

“Steve [Nash] made a quick decision. Who knows what would have happened if he had waited that out a little longer. I don’t anticipate doing anything rashly. We’ll field all offers and proceed accordingly.”

Posted in The Offseason | No Comments »
The Day After the Draft
June 29th, 2006

Well, I’ve read all the scouting reports, all the draft recaps, listened to all the TV analysts, and I’ve yet to hear or read a single bad thing about Maurice Ager. And for the 28th pick in the draft, that’s a very good thing.

Judging by the quotes from Avery Johnson about Ager, the main reason they chose to draft him was what he can bring on defense. It’s very unlikley it was the only reason. At 28 both James White and Bobby Jones, who I think are even better defensively, were both available. But Ager has one thing those guys don’t — a legitimate offensive game.

Donnie Nelson had said they were prepared to send their pick to the NBDL this season, but it’s hard to imagine that Ager won’t crack the roster. In fact, this selection raises even more questions about free agent Adrian Griffin’s and Marquis Daniel’s places on the team next season. Ager is definitely more likely to earn a roster spot than Rawle Marshall.

Ager will join the Vegas Summer League team in time for the start of the season on July 6th. He’s expected to be joined by undrafted Texas Longhorn Brad Buckman. I’ll let you know of any other undrafted free agenets that join the team. I’ll also keep you up to date on those games during the offseason.

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58th Pick – Danilo Pinnock (Traded)
June 28th, 2006

UPDATE: Pinnock has been traded to the Lakers for Miami’s 2nd round pick in the 2007 draft.

Read on if you want to know about him anyway.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in NBA Draft, Trades | No Comments »
28th Pick – Maurice Ager
June 28th, 2006

SG/SF

6′5″ | 202

Wingspan: 6′8″ | Vertical: 35″ | Standing Reach: 8′5″

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Weaknesses: His biggest glaring weakness is definitely his size. Just 6′5″ (6′4″ by some reports) he is considered a little undersized to play the 2 and definitely the 3 in the NBA. Other than that, there are minor complaints about his ball handling skills and passing. He has problems penetrating to his left. There are no glaring holes in his games.

Strengths: Very athletic. He really shines on the break because of his end to end speed and leaping ability. He has NBA 3-point range. He’s a good shooter with a quick delivery and no problem shooting with a hand in his face.

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Avery Johnson Quotes

“Six-five, slasher, defender… can score… great body… We are really excited to have a four-year player who improved each and every year. He just fits in well with our system. We were looking for that kind of guy in the draft. We were fortunate to fill a need at the 28th pick.“

“We were looking for a guy that had the potential to be a shutdown guy at the two-spot. We don’t think we have that on our team. We also wanted that guy to be someone who could stretch the defense a little bit… This is the guy we were hoping would fall to us.“

“Great body. At the end of the game, he was the guy that they’d put on another guy to get stops… We like Ager’s defensive skills. We think coming out of last year, we’re pretty good defensively at the point guard spot and at the three-spot but we thought we had to get better defensively at the two-spot but also have someone that can score. As much as we stress defense, coming out of this season we know we want to have guys who can defend but we need guys who can also score.“
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ESPN.com Chat Transcript

Q: Congrats, What do you think you need to improve in order to make it in the NBA?
Ager: Just continue to get stronger and learn the game.

Q: Wow, you were emotional. What was going through your head?
Ager: I knew they were about to call it because people were gathering around, and it just felt good to hear my name called.

Q: How do you feel Dallas up-tempo offense fits your style?
Ager: Perfectly. That’s my game

Q: Do you feel your tough games in the Big ten will help you transition to the NBA?
Ager: That will be huge. I played in a lot of big games over four years in the Big Ten and that will be a big help for me.

Q: What do you think will be the hardest thing you will face from being a star in college to being a backup in the NBA?
Ager: It’s an adjustment. I have to learn the ropes and continue to work hard to work my way in there.

Q: Do you feel your defensive skills will be strong enough to guard the more athletic players such as Kobe, Lebron, and Wade?
Ager: That’s one thing I have to adjust to. I’m ready for the challenge though

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Links:

Draft Express

ESPN (insider)

Michigan State Profile | Stats

NBADraft.net

Scout.com

View This Video on You Tube

Posted in NBA Draft | 2 Comments »
Finally, Real Insight
June 28th, 2006

There had been almost zero draft coverage by the local papers the last week, but the topic is finally being touched on in a meaningful way today.

Here’s the first quote from Donnie Nelson that tells us at least a little about what the Mavs decision makers will be thinking tonight.

“Ideally, we’d like to get some versatility up front, some help with rebounding or a [swingman] who is athletic. But the latter part of the first round is always dicey. The guy hopefully would spend some time in the developmental league, then work hard to earn a spot.”

“We’ve got pretty good depth at each of our positions, so this [draft pick] certainly wouldn’t impact next year. He’s more of a guy of the future. That’s why probably, at the end of the day, when the smoke clears, we’ll probably go with the guy that shows the most promise.”

Well, that’s pretty vague, but there are still some things worth noting.

First thing that stood out to me is that the team is fully prepared to draft a player that shows promise then send him to the D League next season? Does that mean they are prepared to draft a project player or that they just don’t plan on getting anyone who can contribute on championship caliber team? Probably the latter. Especially since the Nelson has said before that he doesn’t think the NBDL is the best place for a player to learn the game. This season they kept Mbenga on the roster when he wasn’t playing because they felt he could learn more in practice than he could actually playing in the NBDL.

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Can I guess who they want from that quote? No way. But Nelson did say they are looking for a post scorer, rebounding, or an athletic swingman. Here are some people who might fit into that. To limit it down, I’ll just be looking at people the Mavericks have had in for workouts and should be available at 28.

Versatility Upfront:

I’m going to read that as offense in the post.

How about Leon Powe? He’s one my favorites, and he’s one of the best post scorers in the draft. He averaged almost 21 points a game last year for Cal. He gets to the line a lot and shoots over 70% when he’s there. As a bonus, he’s a great rebounder too.

Other possibilities – Kevin Pittsnogle is at his best away from the basket, but he is technically a PF and he is a scorer. He might be about at as good as Keith Van Horn right now which is a good thing and a bad thing. Another name is Taj Gray. It would be foolish to draft him in the first round but he’s an athletic PF who runs the court well and could thrive in an up-tempo offense.

Rebounding:

Most obvious choice here is Paul Millsap. He led the NCAA in rebounding the last three seasons. He’s only 6′7″ but he works like crazy on the glass. He also scored 20ppg but his offensive production probably won’t transfer to the NBA game. Millsap would be an overdraft at 28.

For another name, how about PJ Tucker. He’s only 6′5″ so he won’t be getting rebounds in the same way that Dampier does. But he’ll get a lot in the same way that Adrian Griffin and Marquis Daniels do – by running them down every single time a shot goes up. Tucker seems like a low risk/low ceiling pick which doesn’t fit the “guy with the most promise” mold.

Athletic Swingman:

Maurice Ager – As far as I know the Mavs haven’t had Ager in to workout. But I’m pointing him out anyway because both Chad Ford and Draft Express are predicting Ager as the Mavs first round selection. Ager is fantastic on the break and in a high speed offense, but he is also a great 3-point shooter with NBA range. His long arms and athleticism also make him a good defender.

Other possibilities – James White is two inches taller than Ager and even more athletic. Unlike Ager his jumpshot needs some work. But by all accounts White is a fantastic perimeter defender. Quincy Douby is another possibility, but he might not fall to 28. Douby is more of a combo guard than a swingman, but he’s also considered one of the best scorers in the draft. From what I’ve read the only reason he will be a late first rounder instead of going much higher is that he played at Rutgers. If he’s available at 28 and the Mavs don’t take him I would be disappointed.

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So there are eight names and I can tell you with absolutely no certainty that they are names the Mavs are seriously considering.

Look here tonight for breakdowns of the Mavs two selections or any trade developments if they should arise.

NBA Draft starts tonight at 6:00 PM on ESPN. It should be one of the most interesting drafts in a long time.

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Dirk is an ESPY Nominee
June 28th, 2006

Not that the ESPY’s actually matter, but I guess it’s at least noteworthy.

Dirk has been nominated for “Best International Athlete” and “Best NBA Player”.

You can vote here.

Posted in Quick Points | No Comments »
The 28th Pick – A Quick History
June 26th, 2006

2005: Ian Mahinmi

2004: Beno Udrih

2003: Leandro Barbosa

2002: Dan Dickau

2001: Tony Parker

2000: Erick Barkley

1999: Scott Padgett

1998: Corey Benjamin

1997: Keith Booth

1996: Priest Lauderdale

1995: Greg Ostertag

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Before 1995 the 28th pick was in the 2nd Round.

1994: Deon Thomas

1993: Lucious Harris

1992: Marlon Maxey

1991: Kevin Lynch

1990: Les Jepsen

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Chad Ford’s Sleepers
June 25th, 2006

Chad Ford came up with a list of ten players he feels will be sleepers in this year’s draft. Since these are the kind of guys Dallas will be looking for at 28 I thought I’d take a look at his selections.

In no order…

Mouhamed Saer Sene, C, Senegal

Will probably be gone by the time Dallas drafts, but a few mock drafts I’ve seen have him dropping to 28. The Diop comparisons here are obvious – both seven footers from Senegal who have long arms. It’s an easy comparison. But Saer Sene is more athletic and much more raw. His 7′9″ wing span will be the longest in the league next season.

Alexander Johnson, PF, Florida State

A workout wonder, Johnson has almost no chance of falling to 28 and is expected to be drafted in the late teens.

Thabo Sefolosha, G/F, Switzerland

Another player who most likely won’t make it to 28. Some think he could even go in the early teens. Has drawn Josh Howard comparisons.

James White, G/F, Cincinnati

White is the first player on the list who the Mavs have held a work out for. He is also the first with a real chance to be available at 28. White is an amazing athlete with fantastic speed, jumping ability, and lateral quickness. His dunking ability has earned him the nickname “flight”. Questions surround his offensive game, particularly his jumpshot, but he is a great perimeter defender which is obviously very appealing.

Yotam Halperin, G, Israel

Projected by most as a second round pick, Halperin will be the first player in the NBA from Israel. Halperin can play either guard position but at 6′5″ he is most appealing as a PG. He’s a good shooter and passer but his best asset is ball handling. His array of crossover moves made him very popular in the Euroleague. Often compared to Beno Udrih.

Leon Powe, PF, California

A favorite of mine, I drafted Powe for the Mavs in the Killer Crossover Mock Draft. He should be available at 28 and has had a workout with the Mavs. He has had two ACL injuries otherwise he would probably be a lottery pick. He is a little undersized (6′8″) for PF but has a 7′2″ wingspan to make up for it. Last year for Cal he averaged 20pts and 10rpg. He’s a good defender and is very aggressive on both ends of the floor. He seems to have a lot of attributes that the Mavs have valued the last few years. His health is a concern, but I love him.

Joel Freeland, F, England

Despite having played basketball for only three years Freeland could be a first round selection. He’s 6′11″ 225 and is a very good athlete. Freeland is not expected to pay immediate dividends for the team that drafts him and there is a good chance he would stay in Europe next year. He’s a huge gamble, and doesn’t interest me very much – not in the first round anyway.

Solomon Jones, F/C, South Florida

Projected as a second round draft pick. There is a lot to like here in my opinion. He is 6′10″ with a 7′4″ wingspan and 39 inch vertical – that’s crazy. He blocked 3 shots per game last year and averaged 10 rebounds per game. But he also has a very limited offensive game and his 225 pound frame is frail. He is considered a weak 1-on-1 post defender but very good as a team defender.

P.J. Tucker, F, Texas

I don’t know what to think about Tucker. He was fantastic in college as rebounder and post scorer but in the NBA his 6′5″ size could make that difficult. He gets high praise for his work ethic and fundamentals. He reminds me of Adrian Griffin. Projected as a late first or early second round pick. He worked out for the Mavs last week.

Damir Markota, F, Serbia

Another player who has worked out for the Mavs. He’s just 20 years old and he seems to be appealing just because of his size (6′11″) and athleticism. Most everything else I read about him is bad. He has really short arms, is questionable on defense, and is surrounded by off the court issues. His best asset is apparently his jumpshot. He has an unorthodox delivery but his height and jumping ability mean he can shoot over anyone. He averaged 8ppg and 5rpg in the Euroleague last year. It’s expected that the team who drafts him would have him stay in Europe for another season. Definitely a second rounder.

If I were to rank those ten I would do it like this.

Thabo Sefolosha
Alexander Johnson
Saer Sene
Leon Powe
James White
Yotam Halperin
PJ Tucker
Solomon Jones
Joel Freeland
Damir Markota

Posted in NBA Draft | 1 Comment »
Quick Points
June 24th, 2006

A few random things from the papers the last few days

Dirk Nowitzki says he will probably play for the German national team this summer
Knowing he will be playing for much less money next season, free agent Keith Van Horn has said he would like to stay in Dallas
Jason Terry has said he wants to stay in Dallas and Avery Johnson has echoed that
Darrell Armstrong has decided not to retire. He says he wants to go after the ring one more tiime. “I want one more shot at it. I think the fans, the franchise and the city deserve it. This year was a big step for us. It hurts. But it was a big step. Hopefully we can be riding around [next year], parading and having a good time.”  Armstrong doesn’t contribute much on the court but most of the players refer to him as one of the main team leaders, so I’d be OK with him coming back.