Trans. May 17 9:55 ET (May 17 9:55 ET ) For the second consecutive summer, the Dallas Mavericks could have significant salary cap space on hand if they choose to pass on re-signing some of their free agents. And, for the second straight year, this is in spite of Dirk Nowitzki’s much-deserved but massive individual contract, something that paid him nearly $21 million this season and nearly $23 million in 2013-14 .
After being passed over by Deron Williams and left wanting in Dwight Howard trade negotiations, he Mavericks did well last year to put together what felt like a good enough roster to make the playoffs. The team acquisitions (O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Chris Kamen) all came through with up and down seasons, though, while Elton Brand sadly was a bit of a non-factor. The biggest problem above all was the loss of Nowitzki to a knee injury to start the season. Dallas competed for a playoff berth towards the end of the campaign, but with Nowitzki taking to nearly the season’s midpoint to start playing like the superstar he is, the Mavs just didn’t have a chance.
Now Dirk is talking up the future. He wants Dwight Howard. He wants Chris Paul. He wants to part of the draft decision-making process. And he wants some pizza, dammit.
DALLAS (AP) -- Darren Collison scored 25 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 16 and the Dallas Mavericks finished their worst season in 13 years on a winning note, beating New Orleans 99-87 in its final game as the Hornets on Wednesday night.
Over his career, veteran Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Vince Carter has developed a reputation as a player who doesn't much enjoy playing through injury. At times, particularly during his darkest days with the Toronto Raptors, it was even suggested that he exaggerated the severity of his injuries so he wouldn't have to play games. Those accusations are serious, but they stuck.
So it was a little odd when Carter turned another type of false injury into an opportunity to help his team on Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. On the final possession of the first half, Carter missed a jumper that was rebounded by teammate Elton Brand to give the Mavericks the last shot.
Carter appeared to come down in pain, stayed in the corner, and eventually waved off point guard Darren Collison so that he could be considered out of the play. Rookie wing Harrison Barnes then sloughed off Carter to help in defending the Mavs' able-bodied players. Except it turned out that Carter was only faking out the rookie, and he cut to the hoop as soon as Collison passed to Brand in the high post. Carter completed an easy dunk to cut the halftime deficit to 55-53, and Barnes surely learned never to trust him again.
Collison led six players in double figures with 23 points and the Dallas Mavericks matched their season high with a third straight win in a 113-98 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
The Scoop:It was the second-best scoring performance of the season for Collison, who is averaging 13.0 points.