The Dallas Mavericks acquired loads of solid players over the summer and have put themselves in position to be successful despite losing key players in Jason Kidd and Jason Terry to free agency.
But can O.J. Mayo be good enough to become a star in the NBA? Could Chris Kaman become the best offensive center of all time in Dallas? Both are conceivable, depending on who you ask. See the chatter going on in Dallas, along with the true status of Brandon Roy and more below.
Before you do, be sure to take our poll on how many games the Lakers might win in the upcoming season:
- In a recent interview on NBATV, Brandon Roy admits his lift is not what it used to be, but that his explosion is still there, transcribed by Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge: “[Question] How will your game change? [Roy] Honestly, right now and all summer long, I’ve been preparing to not have to take a step back with my game. I’ll be honest, some of the lift isn’t what it used to be. But my explosiveness, my explosiveness to get to the basket, is good. More than anything, I think I’m a lot smarter of a basketball player. The NBA season is long and my body isn’t what it used to be. Right now I feel great. Me and coach [Rick] Adelman are going to sit down before the season and communicate throughout the year about how I’m feeling and what’s the best way to get the most out of me. I feel great, right now there’s nothing holding me back, I can go out there and play as much as I like.”
- Mark Cuban thinks O.J. Mayo can be a star, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: “New Mavericks executive and Texas Legends coach Eddie Najera has been helping with some informal workouts and said O.J. Mayo has been impressive during the off-season. “You can see it in his eyes,” Najera said. “He looks like he’s really ready to move his game up.” It’s been evident in the other players participating in the unofficial workouts. “O.J. comes in with the work ethic and everybody falls in behind him,” Jared Cunningham said. “He’s a great teammate and he’s knocking shots down.“His confidence is back. He’s in the gym every day — late nights and early mornings.” Said owner Mark Cuban on Mayo: “I think he can be a star and I think O.J. knows that this is his make-or-break, who-am-I-really-going-to-be-in-this-league year. And Coach [Rick Carlisle] is going to give him that opportunity. We’ll see what happens.”
- Chris Kaman could potentially be the best offensive center in Mavericks history, which doesn’t say a whole lot about the centers the team may have had over the years. Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas has the story: “If Chris Kaman can stay healthy, he’ll be the best offensive center in Mavericks history. That’s a big if, as evidenced by his triple-digit games-missed total over the last five seasons. And it’s also faint praise, as proven by all the praise about the pick-setting ability of bricklaying Mavs centers over the years.”
- Scott Brooks had some thoughts about the popularity of the Lakers and how they still have to “play the games”, from Jeff Miller of The OC Register: “We have 36 foursomes out there … and there are 144 Lakers fans out there,” the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder said. “They’re Laker fans, and why shouldn’t they be? … Everybody’s a Laker fan. Everybody’s excited about what they’ve done.”… “They were a good team before,” Brooks said. “With Howard, he’s one of the best players in the league. … The league will have its work cut out. But you have to play the games. Nobody in this league is going to give anybody a game.”
- Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett may have taken pay cuts to stay with their respective teams, but got something in return in their contracts as well, from Kurt Helin of NBC Sports: “Both Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett did something for their teams this summer — the veteran superstars took huge pay cuts on new deals, making less than half of what they did before, to give the franchises some financial flexibility (and less of a tax burden). But both got something in return — no trade clauses. Mark Deeks, the man behind the fantastic Sham Sports (which has the best NBA contract info out there) reports on twitter that both Duncan and Garnett got full no-trade clauses in their new deals. They join Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki as the only four guys with such clauses.”
- Brian Cook signed a non-guaranteed training camp deal with the Washington Wizards, according to Michael Lee of Washington Post: “Brian Cook wasn’t excited about the prospect of joining the Wizards when the Los Angeles Clippers traded him last March. He sought a buyout before deciding to stick around for the rest of the season. The experience in Washington must not have been too bad, because now, Cook is headed back. Cook, a 6-foot-9 veteran big man, signed a non-guaranteed, training camp deal on Tuesday with the Wizards, his agent, Mark Bartelstein said. Cook received interest from “three or four other teams,” Bartlestein said, “but he really felt good about the way things finished up with the Wizards. He really enjoyed playing for [Coach Randy Wittman] and with the guys on the team and they kind of expressed the same thing to him. And as we were looking at different things, he wanted to go back. He had a comfort level. He’s back and hopefully, it will work out great.”
- Steve Nash joined The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Check out the interview below:
- Chris Paul said he’s glad to have been “short” all his life, but still has bad memories of Pau Gasol touching his head, from Steve Marsh of GQ: “In the waning seconds of a close game, Lakers seven-footer Pau Gasol gently patted CP3 on the head after the two had exchanged words. Paul’s ensuing freak-out led SportsCenter that night. Gasol made a tepid apology; six months later, Paul is still annoyed. “We call that sonnin‘, ” he explains to me. “Like when I take Li’l Chris to the bathroom, I’ll walk with my hand on his head. That’s my son. You know what I mean? I understand that Gasol is that tall, but don’t do to me what I do to my son.” …”I’ve been fortunate to be short my entire life.” I look puzzled, and he explains. “There’s only one position I’ve ever had to play, and that’s point guard. So I’ve always had to be that leader. And that was my job: you know, to talk.” CP3 is looking me straight in the eye. “I’m a big-time people person, too. Like, I love people. I hate to be by myself.” He repeats the phrase to himself, quieter each time: “I hate to be by myself. I hate to be by myself. I hate to be by myself.”
- Shawne Williams wants to return to the Knicks, but the team has no interest according to Jared Zwerling: “Unrestricted free agent Shawne Williams, who had his best season in New York in 2010-11, wants to return to the Knicks but the team isn’t interested, according to a source close to the versatile forward. The source told ESPNNewYork.com that the Knicks are “a good fit,” and that he’s open to taking the veteran’s minimum, which is all they can offer. The Hawks and Bobcats are also looking at Williams, who is represented by Happy Walters, the same agent as Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert.”
- Carmelo Anthony has always been interested in restoring the game of basketball in Puerto Rico. He explains the reason behind the motivation to Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York: “Q: This week marked your third straight year going to Puerto Rico to restore basketball courts. How did the idea initially come about in 2010? Anthony: I had always wanted to do something in Puerto Rico. My dad was Puerto Rican and I never really got to know him because he passed away when I was two years old. So I wanted to honor my Puerto Rican heritage, and this is one way I thought that I could.”
- Darren Wolfson of 5 Eye Witness News spoke with the Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who expressed the following about Ricky Rubio’s status:
- Check out all the highlights from Orlando Pro-AM over the summer. Notable appearances include Vince Carter, Austin Rivers, Chandler Parsons, DeShawn Stevenson and Marreese Speights:
- Shawn Kemp is a better dunker than Blake Griffin, according to Shawn Kemp: