TT3 Podcast Episode 6: Breaking down the Deandre Jordan situation with Jeff Siegel

By Zack Cunningham

Tonight, on the Episode 6 of the Trailing 3 Podcast, Jeff Siegel helps us break down the rapidly-developing situation between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers for center Deandre Jordan. Yes, THAT Deandre Jordan. This apparently is happening.

If you were confused about how this might go down, don’t worry. There are lots of moving parts to this situation and Jeff is a cap guru! Check out the latest episode here!

(Sorry for not embedding … working through some issues with Anchor/SoundCloud).

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Episode 4 of the Trailing 3 Podcast w/Jimmy Crowther!

By Zack Cunningham

In this week’s episode of the TT3 Podcast, I bring on Jimmy Crowther of All Things Mavs and the Dallas Sports Fanatic!

We talked about the Mavs’ draft possibilities and also the bigs Dallas has been working out lately including Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. (Wednesday).

Give it a listen!

Episode 3 of the TT3 Podcast with special guest, Nick Neppach!

By Zack Cunningham

For episode 3 of The Trailing 3 podcast, I talked with 105.3 The Fan’s Nick Neppach about the draft and more! Apologies for the bad audio quality … apparently I can’t tell the back of a mic from the front.

(Try to) enjoy!

The Trailing 3 Podcast has now launched!

By Zack Cunningham

The first episode of The Trailing 3 podcast is now live here and ready for you to listen in!

I’ll be doing these at least once a week moving forward and perhaps more frequently depending on the occasion or situation.

Hope you enjoy and leave your feedback!

Hanlen: Mo Bamba “will be an All-Star”

By: Zack Cunningham

Pure Sweat CEO Drew Hanlen has been in the news recently for a lot of reasons, all of them good if he’s coaching your favorite NBA draft prospect.

Hanlen was credited for working with budding star Jayson Tatum last summer, specifically honing the young forward’s 3-point shot. Looking at the rookie’s 2017-18 stats, you could say Tatum’s work with Hanlen paid off. He shot 43.4%, good for eighth in the league.

Hanlen has also worked with Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal and Andrew Wiggins to name a few other NBA players. This summer? His highest-profile prospect is Mo Bamba, the freakishly long 7’1 center from Texas.

Bamba’s first year with the Longhorns was littered with highlights of the freshman swatting opposing players’ dunks at the rim with his 7’10 (!!!) wingspan and generally wreaking havoc on defense. His offensive game was raw, to say the least.

Bamba shot under 30% from deep at Texas and attempted just over 50 three-pointers a game. He also got moved off the block in the post because of his size (he weighed just 216 pounds his freshman year).

Hanlen is helping to change all of that. I conducted a brief Q-and-A with the 28 year-old former Belmont Bruin about what kind of potential he sees in Bamba and if the hype about his upside is warranted.

TT3 – What has impressed you most about working with Mo Bamba?
DH – He’s obviously athletically gifted, but his attention to detail and crave for knowledge has impressed me the most.
TT3 – You’ve been able to really aid in the transformation of some young players’ games recently (Embiid and Tatum). What are you working on with Bamba specifically that could see his game transform in the same way?
DH – We made the exact shooting changes that I did for Jayson last pre-draft and I’m teaching him the exact moves I taught Joel. If it’s not broke, don’t break it!
TT3 – A lot of the concern about Bamba is his lower-body strength. In your training with him, is it about becoming more imposing physically or being more of a finesse big?
DH – I like to focus on what players bring to the table instead of dwelling on what they don’t. We know he has to continue to add strength to his body, but he’s long (7’10 wingspan long) and mobile. We’re working on skills that utilize his strengths.
TT3 – When you first saw his shot, did you immediately know what needed to be remedied? And how quickly did he adjust?
DH – He had the exact same mechanical flaws as Jayson did, so it was easy to prescribe a program for him to get quick results.
TT3 – In as unbiased of an opinion as you can give, what’s a realistic “ceiling” for Bamba?
DH – He’ll be an All-Star.
TT3 – How do you see him fitting on a team like the Mavs?
DH – I think there are a lot of teams that he’d fit well with. He’s a defensive eraser and a stretch 5. Every team can use that.
TT3 – Finally, what sets him apart from other bigs you’ve worked with?
DH – This is his first time working with a purpose and plan. He has a long way to go but is already really good and will have a long, successful career.

The Mavericks Rumor Mill: Has Wesley Matthews played his last game for Dallas?

While this might be the slowest time of the NBA season for teams not in the playoffs, that doesn’t mean the NBA rumor mill ever stops churning. The Dallas Mavericks are facing potentially the most important offseason in franchise history with $12.9M in cap room, a potential top-3 draft pick and a rising young point guard salivating at the prospect of the playoffs next year.

Rumor 1 – Has Wesley Matthews played his last game as Maverick?

Dallas received the news today that its shooting guard Wes Matthews will exercise the fourth-year player option of $18 million for the 2018-19 season. While the move was widely expected, it comes with more than a few layers of intrigue for the ninth-year wing. Certainly, Matthews is Dallas’ most valuable trade chip at this point. Here are some more things to consider:

  • Matthews is now officially an expiring deal and should have a lot of intrigue for teams perhaps looking to add a veteran presence this year while offloading other burdensome contracts (at a price – Dallas will not rent its cap space for nothing) and gaining valuable cap space for the summer of 2019 free agent market.
  • Sources close to the Mavericks say the team is “shopping hard” to find a suitor for Matthews. Given the situation of several other capped-out and underachieving teams, Matthews could be an interesting fit for the Wizards should they desire to get loose from their own cap situation while the club has several contracts it would like to get out of.

Rumor 2 – How do the Mavs view Mo Bamba in the 2018 draft?

The Mavericks are looking at a very likely top 3 pick in the NBA draft in June and there’s a chance they could even draft No. 1 overall (13.8%). The consensus top pick in the draft and the name atop nearly every team’s draft board at this is most likely Deandre Ayton, who has drawn comparisons to just about every excellent big man the NBA has seen in the last 20 years. Doncic is widely viewed as the consensus No. 2 pick.

However, at spots No. 3 – 5 is where it gets tricky. Opinions range on prospects Mo Bamba (viewed as too soft), Jaren Jackson Jr. (great defender and rebounder, but is prone to serious bouts of foul trouble) and Marvin Bagley (can score at a potentially-elite level and rebounds well, but is a poor free throw shooter who struggled on defense at Duke). Michael Porter Jr. didn’t get a chance his freshman year to show scouts what a fully warmed-up version of himself can do and his back injury will give teams pause.

I mean, when videos like this come out that a big with a 7’9 wingspan and a 9’6 standing reach can hit threes like this, there’s bound to be excitement.

While there’s a risk at taking a prospect as raw offensively as Bamba as high as third in the draft, it was easy to see his defensive upside during his time at the University of Texas.

The Mavericks will certainly have a hard choice to make should they end up with the No. 3 pick, but they won’t be short on talent to choose from.

We are now officially 15 days away from the NBA Draft Lottery and a point where a lot of these rumors and ideas will become a little clearer. The Dallas Mavericks are in an enviable position even if the path to this point hasn’t been the prettiest.

Check back to thetrailing3.com for more information and news on Dallas as it becomes available!

 

Will Bucks/Blazers’ loss be Mavs’ gain?

By Zack Cunningham

If you’re sitting at home watching the NBA playoffs, which you very likely are, you’ve noticed that the Milwaukee Bucks are under-achieving (to put it lightly) and the Portland TrailBlazers are two games away from being swept by the 6th-seeded New Orleans Pelicans.

Somehow the Bucks, who employ an all-world freak of nature in Giannis Antetokounmpo, are struggling to look competitive against the depleted-but-still-talented Boston Celtics in their first-round series. People have been saying for the last year that the Bucks are hampered by either incompetent coaching, a lack of a strong supporting cast, or both.

The Bucks recently got Jabari Parker back from his second ACL tear (on the same knee) and he was expected to provide a spark to an otherwise beleaguered Bucks’ offense.

He’s played 25 minutes combined in the first two games of the series. And then there’s this:

Parker has always been renowned for his character so this development is stunning. It’s also understandable, to an extent, that a player hailed by some as the next big thing out of high school might not be happy being the No. 2 (or in the case of the playoffs, the No. 8) option on a playoff team.

However, his production has been terrible. He can’t stay in front of anyone, takes two 3s a game and is a massive injury liability even if he’s currently healthy. There’s also the talk of him desiring a max extension.

How does any of this relate to the Mavericks? Well, if any of the above accolades interest them (it’s clear Parker would be an intriguing piece to replace Dirk Nowitzki at the 4 going forward for Dallas), he will likely be available for less than his desired max salary.

That isn’t to say Parker won’t have plenty of other suitors, but the number of teams with cap space will be severely limited this summer. Chicago could be a player given it’s Parker’s hometown, although a fit with Lauri Markannen would be questionable at best.

Obviously, Dallas would prefer to acquire Parker in some sort of trade instead of using most or all of their precious cap space on an injury-riddled player. It remains to be seen if the Bucks will look to shed salary this offseason should they exit the playoffs early, but the Mavericks are certainly in position to rent out their cap space in the event Milwaukee decides to fork over Parker in some other scenario.

This brings us to Nurkic. His fit in Portland has been strange. While he hasn’t struggled with the same unfortunate injury history as Parker, Portland hasn’t really shown a commitment to him as their long-term solution at center (Zach Collins figures to fit the modern NBA mold better with his range) and Nurkic, to be fair, hasn’t exactly been consistent in his effort.

His restricted free agency is going to be fascinating. Portland has a bloated roster and needs to shed salary no matter what happens this year. Could Dallas be a destination for Nurkic in a similar sense to Milwaukee’s situation with Parker. The big Bosnian is still just 23 years old, a solid rebounder and defender (two boxes the Mavericks sorely need check) and has shown a soft touch.

Given where Dallas will likely be drafting, the Mavericks are going to have some decisions to make, but they will have plenty of options heading into the offseason. It wouldn’t be a shock to see either Nurkic or Parker in Dallas next year. The only question will be the price.