Monta Ellis is now Dirk Nowitzki's offensive wingman, and center Samuel Dalembert will help the Dallas Mavericks assume a better defensive identity. The backend of Mark Cuban's roster, however, has a lot work being done to it.
Dallas has offered veteran guard Leandro Barbosa a contract, according to NBC Sports. The move is an interesting one with Barbosa coming off a torn ACL that occurred in February. Barbosa's mark on games is often made with his blazing speed, but even if he recovers to be a half-step slower than his old self, he should still be able to give the Mavs a scoring punch as a career 39 percent three-point shooter.
Barbosa was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Washington Wizards last season after his injury and the Wizards did not offer him a contract renewal. He apparently has offers from overseas but wants to play in the NBA.
Mike Miller has favorites
It appears that former Miami Heat swingman Mike Miller is whittling down his list. After being amnestied by the Heat and clearing waivers, the free agent is meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
While the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets are also in the picture, both Stein and Memphis talk radio's Chris Vernon believe Miller will choose between Oklahoma City and Memphis. Both teams have something appealing to sell Miller, writes Welcome to Loud City's Sarah Rogers.
The Rockets, whose moves these past two seasons have potentially elevated them to the upper echelon of the West, are an interesting foil for the Thunder. Houston averages 28.9 3-point attempts per game, tied for 1st in the league. Meanwhile, the Thunder average about 10 fewer per game, at 19.3 attempts. Since Miller is a 3-point specialist, this fact would seem to favor the Rockets. However, we know that Miller is looking to compete for a championship, and the Thunder are much closer to that goal than the Rockets.
Nick Calathes to finally make NBA jump?
Back to Dallas. The Mavericks worked out a trade that sent the rights to 2009 draft pick Nick Calathes to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for lifting the protections on a 2016 second-round draft pick that Memphis already owed to Dallas, the Grizzlies announced.
This offseason, Dallas signed Israeli point guard Gal Mekel and likely starter Jose Calderon, making a place for Calathes hard to find. Calathes, a former Florida Gators point guard, has been playing in Europe for the last four seasons but was willing to join an NBA team this year.
Calathes could join the Grizzlies this season depending on how the team deals with his European buyout, which reportedly is relatively reasonable.
Nate Robinson frustrated over offseason limbo
One of the more interesting free agent markets is that of undersized point guards. NBA teams have a hard time trusting them with long-term deals, and Chicago Bulls free agent Nate Robinson's offseason has taken a bad turn because of it.
He voiced frustration over his to-be-determined status during an NBA TV broadcast at the Las Vegas Summer League.
"It's frustrating because you put in your hard work," Robinson said. "I worked my butt off year in and year out, ever since I was a little boy, to get to this point now, not to be signed. But at the same time, I'm not going to let that discourage me of being who I am, just working hard. I want people to understand and know Nate Robinson is that player who's going to play his heart out, no matter what, good or bad. "
Robinson has a decent point. The 5'9 point guard had one of his best seasons in the league last year with Chicago. Taking over a good amount of the scoring duties for Tom Thibodeau's squad that lost Derrick Rose for the year, Robinson averaged 16.3 points and 4.4 assists in the playoffs to help the Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets and at least give the Miami Heat some pushback.
Delonte West wants another NBA shot
In an interview with SLAM Magazine, former NBA guard Delonte West says he wants another opportunity to play in the league. He last played for the Dallas Mavericks but sat out the entire 2012-13 season because of disciplinary issues that started with multiple suspensions and ended with the team and combo guard parting ways.
West disclosed a few years ago that he suffers from bipolar disorder, and he told SLAM that he's fighting every day to change the perception about him.
"Reporters can't write a sentence-they can't write a sentence about even a good game-without mentioning something from four years ago," says West. "There are plenty of players arrested for DUIs, gun charges, this and that. [Meanwhile], they've made me into the Terminator."
West averaged 9.6 points and 3.2 assists for the Mavericks in 2011-12.
Mavs get Bernard James back
Reserve big man Bernard James cleared waivers and will return to the Mavericks after no team under the salary cap picked him up. He tweeted the news of his return on Monday. The Mavericks waived him Friday to free up the minimal cap space to complete Monta Ellis' contract.