Thursday, July 3, 2008

Green signs & officially joins Mavs

Contrary to some reports in the Dallas area, Gerald Green doesn’t have to wait until July 9 to sign with the Mavs. The swingman, who will wear No. 8, inked his deal last night and will join the Mavs summer league team.

Here’s part of the story available at

An injection of youth and athleticism arrives in the form of Gerald Green, a former Slam Dunk Contest champ who signed a one-year deal with the Mavericks on Wednesday. The former first-round pick is only 22 years old and averaged more than 10 points per game just two seasons ago.

“We’re really excited about the addition of Gerald Green to the Mavericks family,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said Thursday morning. “He possesses youth, athleticism and is a young player we think has real upside.”

Green (6-8, 200) played for three teams – Boston, Minnesota and Houston – during his first three years in the league. He jumped directly from high school to the NBA back in 2005 as the 18th overall pick, and that element should bring a smile to the face of Jason Kidd and Rick Carlisle.

The high-flyer won the dunk title during All-Star Weekend back in 2007. The sight of Green taking a lob from Kidd on the break no doubt played into the Mavs’ thinking. But the Houston native has shown flashes of being more than just a one-trick pony.

“He can get up and down the court, fill the lanes and has real solid range,” Nelson said. “We feel after he has the chance to work with Rick, we can develop a good system for Gerald. He’s a threat from 3-point range.

“Having the opportunity to play with a guy like Jason Kidd will simplify things and that certainly has a place with young, developing players.”

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Reports: Diop returning to Big D

Gana Diop is heading back to Mavs, according to various reports, including Marc Stein at ESPN. The 7-footer has agreed to a five-year deal starting at the mid-level exception. Contracts can’t be signed until July 9.

Diop spent 2 ½ seasons in Dallas before being shipped to New Jersey as part of the Jason Kidd trade. The fan favorite played an integral role in the Mavs’ drive to the NBA Finals two years ago. The defensive-minded center helps shore up the middle along with Erick Dampier.

Foster Q&A: The rookie is ready to work

Mavericks rookie Shan Foster admits it’s a whole new ballgame. The wide-eyed second-round pick understands that talent alone isn’t going to get it done. Just because he can shoot – and he can – doesn’t mean he can play in the NBA.

“I’m definitely going to put in the work,” Foster said. “I’m going to go above and beyond the call of duty everyday whether it’s in practice or a game. I’m going to do whatever it takes to make the team, and not just be satisfied with that. I’m going to continue to work hard to make an impact and be the best teammate that I can be.”

The work has begun. The reigning SEC Player of the Year out of Vanderbilt began working out at American Airlines Center on Monday. The detailed drills – fellow roster hopeful Ronnie Seibutis is also taking part – have focused on fundamentals that aren’t emphasized to the same degree in college.

Foster (6-6, 205) has worked on such aspects as his footwork, shooting release and movement without the ball. Rick Carlisle has a program in place for the youngsters to follow. Video coordinators Monte Mathis and Mike Shedd have been handling the workouts this week.

“One of the things that coach said was that initially you’re only open for a split second, and you have to be able to minimize all excess motion,” Foster said. “So that’s what we’ve been working on.”

Foster added that it’s been an adjustment, but he looks forward to learning and getting better everyday. He also realizes that for the first time in his life, it’s all about basketball.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “Four years of basketball and school, and now it’s just basketball. I’m going to be in the gym like crazy.”

Read the Q&A with Foster at

Foster on "Rome is Burning"

Shan Foster will be a guest on ESPN’s "Rome is Burning" this afternoon. The show, hosted by Jim Rome, airs at 3:30 p.m. CST. Foster will be via satellite from American Airlines Center.

It’s been a busy few days for the second-round pick. He’s done a number of interviews already with media in the Dallas area, but this is his first national gig since arriving in town.

Gerald Green's Top 10 Career Dunks

The former NBA Slam Dunk champ struts his airborne stuff in this Top 10 collection on YouTube. Check out No. 3 on the list -- a Mavs insider who was there called it the "greatest dunk in the history of summer league." Who knows? It just might be.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mavs go Green: Swingman agrees to deal

Gerald Green has agreed to a one-year contract with the Mavs, according to reports out of Houston. The 6-foot-8 free agent averaged better than 10 points per game during 2006-07, has solid 3-point range (career 37 percent shooter) and adds quality depth behind starting small forward Josh Howard.

"We have a verbal agreement with Dallas on a one-year contract," Green's agent Colin Bryant told the FOX TV affiliate in Houston. "We talked to a number of teams and there is more money out there, but this is the best situation for Gerald at this point in his career."

Green, 22, began last season with Minnesota before being traded to Houston. The Rockets cut the native Houstonian in an effort to add bigger bodies during their playoff push. Green was picked 18th overall by Boston in 2005 and, for all intents, could be seen as a replacement for the first-round pick the Mavs shipped to New Jersey.

Del Harris is off to the Windy City

Del Harris is bidding farewell to the Mavericks after accepting a position on Vinny Del Negro’s new staff in Chicago. A former head coach with the Rockets, Bucks and Lakers, Harris came to Dallas to work with former coach Don Nelson back in 2000.

Harris also served on former coach Avery Johnson’s staff before spending last year as a team consultant. Harris owns more than 500 career wins in additional to an extensive international résumé.

New General of NBA refs

The following was released today by the league office:

The National Basketball Association has named United States Army Major General Ronald L. Johnson to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Referee Operations, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner David Stern. General Johnson will be responsible for all aspects of the NBA’s officiating program, including recruiting, training and development, scheduling, data management and analysis, and work rules enforcement. He will report to Joel Litvin, NBA President, League and Basketball Operations.

The appointment of General Johnson to head the league’s officiating program formalizes the separation of the league's referee and basketball operations functions, as previously announced by the league. Stu Jackson will continue as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, responsible for all other domestic and international basketball matters, reporting to Litvin.

General Johnson, a two-star General, recently retired from active duty as Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – the second highest ranking engineer in the Army -- after completing 32 years of military service as a combat engineer. As Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region Division, from 2003 to 2004, he was responsible for overseeing $18 billion of reconstruction in Iraq. He also commanded the 130th Combat Engineer Brigade in Bosnia from 1996 to 1998.General Johnson is a 1976 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds several advanced degrees, including a Masters in Operations Research and Systems Analysis from Georgia Tech's School of Industrial Engineering and a Masters in Strategy from the Army's School of Advanced Military Studies.

“Ron's wealth of leadership and management experience, together with his engineering expertise in areas such as systems analysis, processes, and operations, make him an ideal candidate to lead our officiating program,” said Stern. “Our referees are the best in the world but they never stop striving to improve and Ron has made a career out of getting the very best out of people. We are fortunate to have someone of such extraordinary accomplishment joining our staff."

"As I leave the military and return to civilian life, I can't imagine a more interesting and challenging position," said Johnson. "Although I don't have a basketball background, other than as a lifelong fan, I am confident that my experience as an Army commander and engineer has equipped me to bring leadership and innovation to the NBA's exceptional officiating program."

General Johnson was an Army War College Fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and received executive leadership and national security training at Harvard University, Gallup University, George Washington University, the University of Virginia, and the Center for Creative Leadership.

Johnson will relocate from Alexandria, Virginia to work in the NBA’s New York headquarters.

Eddie Jones exercised option

Eddie Jones has exercised his player option for next season. Jones, who signed a two-year deal with that option last summer, could have become a free agent today.

The Mavs under contract from last season are: Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Josh Howard, Jason Terry, Erick Dampier, Brandon Bass, Jerry Stackhouse and Jones. The team also just drafted Shan Foster, and last year’s two promising second-round picks Renaldas Seibutis and Reyshawn Terry are headed to summer league.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Foster and Seibutis hit the court

Shan Foster and Renaldas Seibutis worked out at American Airlines Center today, going through a number of detailed shooting drills for nearly two hours on the practice court. Video coordinator Monte Mathis led the workout and was aided by assistant video coordinator Mike Shedd.

The two roster hopefuls were eager, attentive and open to coaching. Foster’s shooting range was on full display, but the second-round pick admitted he had a lot to learn. It was his first workout in Dallas after arriving in town after several flight delays late Sunday night.

“One of the things that coach said was that initially you’re only open for a split second, and you have to be able to minimize all excess motion,” said Foster, the SEC Player of the Year out of Vanderbilt. “So that’s what we’ve been working on today. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment getting comfortable with that, but I look forward to learning. That’s what it’s about, learning and getting better everyday.”

Seibutis, 22, is ready to get back on track after back surgery derailed this past season in Greece. Able to play both backcourt spots, Donnie Nelson compared the Lithuanian to a young Doug Collins.

The 6-5 guard, who prefers to go by “Ronnie” Seibutis, would have to work out a buyout with Olympiacos to come join the Mavs next season. Donnie Nelson expects to have that situation cleared up by the end of summer league in late July.

“I have a goal to come here and prove myself, and to see what level I’m at,” he said. “The NBA is the best league in the world.”

Making the most of Free Agency

The Christmas Shopping Season officially begins the day after Thanksgiving. The NBA’s version tips off about five months earlier. Once June becomes July on the East Coast, the frenzy begins for teams looking to upgrade with other team’s players.

The Mavericks, like everyone else, are set to begin negotiating with free agents at midnight EST. Deals can’t be signed until July 9, when the moratorium period concludes, but you can expect agreements between players and teams to become public as early as Tuesday morning.

Much as last week’s NBA Draft, the Mavs have their wish list in place. The strategy going into the Draft centered on realistic options with the 51st pick. Shan Foster, the team’s lone draftee, was one of three best players that team felt could still be available late in the second round.

Free agency functions much the same way. The Mavs have about as much chance at signing Gilbert Arenas as drafting Derrick Rose. The trick is being realistic, especially with only the mid-level exception of about $5.5 million to spend.

“We’ve got more scenarios than you can shake a stick at,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “We’re ready to jump into it at 11 o’clock our time. The emphasis is to get the best that you can for the slot. You can split it or go from one.”

Read the rest of this story and view a complete list of free agents at