This isn't Mavs related, but it's too good to pass up. Check out Steve Nash and Baron Davis hanging in Santa Monica. It's absolute greatness. Thanks to Matt for the heads up.
The competition for open roster spots should be fierce this fall, but the Mavs aren’t necessarily done tinkering with the team. Just don’t expect any changes in the immediate future with president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson in China preparing for the Olympics as an assistant on the Chinese national team.
“As we say in TV, ‘Stay tuned,’” Rick Carlisle said. “Anything is possible. There can be no activity, there can be a huge trade or there can be a minor trade. There are a host of possibilities, but right now it’s quiet.”
Charles Rhodes isn’t a training camp lock. The rugged forward is mulling over various European offers and hasn’t committed to a tryout with the Mavs yet.
But the Mississippi State product has impressed everyone so far.
“We see Rhodes as an athletic, tenacious 4-5 type that can shoot the mid-range shot and is a very good rebounder,” Rick Carlisle said.
Rhodes (6-8, 245) averaged nearly 10 points and 5 boards during summer league, and shot 62 percent. Rhodes has been compared favorably to Brandon Bass, last year’s summer league find.
After a year spent overseas, Reyshawn Terry (6-8, 232) benefited from added size and a shift in position. His chances to make the big club in training camp after a solid summer (10 ppg, 6 rpg) have improved.
“Terry played much better this year than last year,” Rick Carlisle said today. “One of the reasons was probably that we changed his position. We put him at the power forward instead of the small forward, and he did a very good job there.”
Moving Terry mirrors the changes in the NBA and basketball in general.
“The game is becoming more sized-down and more quickness-oriented,” Carlisle continued. “He got more done as a power forward. There are situations now with the way the game is played where quickness trumps size. His effectiveness at the power forward position as opposed to small forward is evidence of that.”
The feelings all came rushing in and Dirk Nowitzki couldn’t help it. All the long hours in the gym, all the breathtaking highs, all the heart-wrenching defeats, all the uncertainty and everything else along the way hit like an avalanche.
The former MVP broke down after a victory that didn’t come with a trophy and won’t be followed with a ring ceremony. The game was merely for third place, but its meaning was second to none.
“It was a very emotional moment for me after we won the deciding game against Puerto Rico,” Nowitzki explained. “I never thought I would cry because of basketball, but I could not stop the tears. I had to be alone for a little bit right after the game and could not even do the post-game interview.
“All the hard work I had put into realizing my dream finally became worth it. We have great team spirit and have been playing together for a very long time. It was awesome to achieve our goal together.”
Read the entire Q&A with Nowitzki at mavs.com.
Though training camp invitations haven’t officially been extended yet, based on the performances out in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, expect a handful of guys fighting it out for a couple of open roster spots. Gerald Green was the runaway summer league stud, but he wasn’t the only one opening eyes during the 11-game run.
Reyshawn Terry and Shan Foster – second-round picks the last two years – should be in camp, but that’s no surprise. Charles Rhodes headlines the list of free agents looking to hook on come October.
The rugged 6-8, 245-pound rookie forward out of Mississippi State averaged nearly 10 points and five rebounds, while shooting a robust 62 percent. Rhodes does his damage inside, much as last year’s summer league find Brandon Bass. As we all know, Bass has been designated Dirk Nowitzki’s backup, so making the team is no easy task for Rhodes. But coaches tend to have a hard time parting with frontcourt bangers with potential.
Aaron Miles handled the point guard duties admirably in Keith McLeod’s absence during the six-game stay in Utah. The veteran of 19 NBA games also led the Mavs in assists in Vegas, but his playing time (24.7 mpg) and production (8.3 ppg & 5.2 apg) jumped considerably during the Rocky Mountain Revue.
JaJuan Smith is an undersized shooting guard at 6-2, but the rookie showed some definite grit. He averaged a tad more than 6 points, though his 3-point stroke tailed off in Salt Lake.
Terry displayed the consistency the coaching staff wanted during his second summer league season, averaging nearly 10 and 6, and tallied a double-double in the last game. Foster spent the two weeks getting adjusted to the pro game and didn’t shoot it nearly as well after leaving Vegas.
James Singleton, like Green, also has a guaranteed contract for next season. Singleton, a former Clipper, was solid in Vegas before playing sparingly in Utah. McLeod also heads to training camp with a make-good contract.
For a complete look at the summer league team, including stats from Vegas and Salt Lake, visit Summer League Central 2008 at mavs.com.