- Star guard Kyrie Irving has a 15-percent trade kicker in his contract with the Mavericks, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Irving agreed to a three-year, $126 million deal to return to Dallas. (Free agency tracker)
- In case you missed it, the Mavs are expected to trade guard/forward Tim Hardaway Jr. It no longer seems like a matter of if, but when. (Full post)
- Point guard Chris Paul has been “extremely eager” in his early meetings with the Warriors, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN. He has already worked out with star guard Steph Curry, as we relayed here.
- Also, while Paul has said he was unsure of his role, he “wouldn’t fully say if he’s comfortable coming off the bench,” Andrews reported.
- Some outside the organization are wondering about Paul’s fit — particularly playing with volatile forward Draymond Green — and if Paul will expect to start. Several rival executives who spoke to Hoops Wire think Paul’s best role with Golden State will be as a reserve.
GM Joe Cronin said he believes he “failed” star guard Damian Lillard, who has requested a trade to the Heat.
“Building around Dame has always been the goal all the way, even through the draft,” Cronin said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “The difficult things we ran into were finding the right deals. In the previous two years, we drafted at seven, then we drafted at three. In the meantime we were scouring the market looking for more win-now players and what kept happening was those players just weren’t available. So each time we just tried to weigh that.
“In (Shaedon Sharpe‘s) draft, pick seven, what does that look like versus what’s available on the market. And the answer was obvious: Shaedon’s better. And same thing happened this time. What does pick three look like versus the return to the market? It wasn’t close. Had to go three. So it wasn’t necessarily intentional, it was just doing what’s best for this team, and we kept doing that and I could see why Dame would look at it and say. ‘Well this isn’t a win now opportunity as much as, or this isn’t as much of a win now opportunity as some other places.'”
- For much more on Portland and the Lillard situation, be sure to follow along on our Trail Blazers page.