Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer League invites

Once the Draft ended, the Mavs were on the phone with rookie free agents. The team has had success in the past with those players overlooked through 60 picks.

The following free agents have been invited to join Renaldas Seibutis, Reyshawn Terry and Shan Foster on the summer league team: Keith McLeod, Aaron Miles, Derrick Low, Reggie Williams, Richie Frahm, JaJuan Smith, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Yaroslav Korolev, Charles Rhodes, James Singleton and Pape Sow.

Foster is expected to arrive in Dallas on Sunday and begin workouts Monday. The team hopes to firm up the summer league roster as soon as possible. The summer league team will play next month in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

That boy can sing & shoot

I can’t help but think about “Coming to America,” but Shan Foster is no Randy Watson. This boy can sing. Foster’s striking resemblance to Usher (not Watson) goes beyond just his looks. The Mavs’ second-round pick does more than dabble when it comes to his pipes.

Here’s a look at Foster behind the keyboards (he’s playing) from YouTube. The Mavs are quite the musical bunch. Rick Carlisle plays piano, Jerry Stackhouse can belt out a tune and Dirk Nowitzki at least knows how to hold a guitar.

Take a look at Foster knocking down nine 3-pointers against Mississippi State this past season. Looks like the Mavs have a shooter and a singer.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Worth the wait: Shan Foster picked 51st

The temptations were out there for the Mavericks to make a move or move their pick, but with Shan Foster still available when their turn came up in the second round, the decision was made to hold steady.

“It was a very long wait,” Rick Carlisle said after making his first draft selection as Mavs coach. “We’re very happy with the guy we got. We had a list of ‘A’ candidates, ‘Bs’ and ‘Cs’ and Shan Foster was the last ‘A’ on our list.”

Carlisle was referring to the list of players the Mavs thought might fall to the 51st pick in Thursday’s 2008 NBA Draft. The 6-6 swingman out of Vanderbilt was the SEC Player of the Year as a senior, averaging 20.3 points while shooting 52 percent. The Mavs were sold on his combination of 3-point range, maturity and athleticism.

“We are really excited about Shan Foster,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said.

Foster is excited about joining a perennial playoff team with playing time available. The 21-year-old is headed to Dallas despite not working out for the Mavs in the weeks leading up to the Draft.

“They definitely have a great team, great defensively and a superstar in Dirk Nowitzki,” Foster said. “Brandon Bass is one of my good friends.”

Read the rest of this story at For more Draft coverage, including audio from Carlisle and Nelson, visit Draft Central 2008 at

Prepared to stay at 51

The Mavericks remain busy on the eve of the NBA Draft, but are ready to stay with the 51st pick if better opportunities don’t present themselves.

“It’s been a very, very active last 48 hours,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said from American Airlines Center before the start of the Draft. “Don’t know how much of anything is going to get done. Right now we’re prepared to draft at 51.”

Nelson downplayed the likelihood of getting one of the top 14 picks, adding that lottery choices are being valued at a premium. The draft, he said, is “ambiguous” from about 15 into the 30s, with the players in that range not distinguishable.

Such ambiguity makes choosing in that range more difficult, especially when first-round guarantees are factored in. The Mavs are operating with certain “trigger points” to move into the first round. Nelson floated the scenario that if a certain player the Mavs like begins to fall, the team would be willing to deal up. Buying into the first round remains a possibility.

“It is deep enough to get down to 51, which is to our benefit this year,” Nelson said.

Should the Mavs stay at 51, the strategy is to draft the best player available regardless of position. Other than power forward, depth is needed at the other four spots. The number of international players could push an American collegian into the 50s, though the Mavs aren’t zeroing in on any one contingency.

“We’ll take the best player regardless of color, creed or country of origin,” Nelson said.

Listen to Nelson’s press conference at

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Draft doesn't end once picks do

History is a guide when assessing the Mavericks’ strategy going into Thursday’s NBA Draft. Whether or not they add extra picks to complement their second-round choice (No. 51), the approach is to bring in as much talent as possible.

President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and his staff often do so without the benefit of an actual pick. With the Draft lasting only two rounds (60 picks) and the trend in the second round to select players that remain overseas for a year or more, a number of players with NBA potential are falling through the cracks.

That’s where the Mavs come in. In the last few years, they’ve signed a number of rookie free agents that made the regular-season roster. A sampling: Marquis Daniels (2003), Rawle Marshall (2005), Josh Powell (2005), Pops Mensah-Bonsu (2006) and JJ Barea (2006).

Read more at and Draft Central 2008.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jason Kidd gets Olympic nod

Featuring Olympic gold medalist Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks and four 2004 Olympians, USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo today announced the 12-players who will represent the United States in the Aug. 8-24 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China. The player selections were approved by the USA Basketball Executive Committee, and will be nominated to the United States Olympic Committee to participate in the 2008 Olympic Games.

“It is a great honor on behalf of the Dallas Mavericks to represent my country in the 2008 Olympic Games,” Kidd said. “I look forward to the challenge of winning a gold medal.”

Named to the 2008 USA Basketball Senior National Team were: Kidd, Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets); Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz); Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors); Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers); Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic); LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers); Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets); Tayshaun Prince (Detroit Pistons); Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks); Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat); and Deron Williams (Utah Jazz).

Duke University Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski is head coach of the USA Senior Team program. Serving as assistant coaches are Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, New York Knicks head mentor Mike D’Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.

“This has been, to say the least, an extremely difficult selection process. The 33 players who committed to be part of the USA Senior National Team program and have been involved in our various training camps and competitions the past two summers deserve recognition and acknowledgment for their contributions and for their commitment to their country,” said Colangelo.

Read the rest of the USA Basketball release at