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By Rob Mahoney
• Less than a day after suspending Delonte West indefinitely for the second time this preseason, the Dallas Mavericks have arrived at a swift resolution. Per Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, West will be waived shortly by the Mavericks in order to make room for center cast-off Eddy Curry, marking the end of West’s season and change in Dallas.
This is miserable news. The 29-year-old guard had seemingly found a stable basketball home that provided a great on-court fit, but the relationship between West and the Mavs had apparently deteriorated rapidly over the last few weeks. There still aren’t all that many details regarding what went wrong, and given the precedent in Dallas, we shouldn’t expect that information to ever come to light. All one can hope is that West, whose game is well-deserving of an NBA roster spot, is able to land on his feet with another NBA team, and that his eventual employers share in the understanding of his unique mental health considerations. Be well, Delonte.
As for Curry, Dallas could wind up being a fairly comfortable landing spot. He’ll certainly give Rick Carlisle a very different option from the hyper-athletic Brandan Wright and defensive-minded Bernard James, and may get some early playing time with Chris Kaman bothered by a calf strain. Curry isn’t likely to crack the Mavs’ regular rotation, but in instances like this one (and select situations throughout the season), he could prove useful.
• A fun byproduct of the ongoing positional revolution: combo forwards like Boston’s Jeff Green are free to play and exist between positions.
• Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus picked up on one of the preseason’s most peculiar trends: Serge Ibaka’s newfound propensity to hoist up three-point attempts. Pelton explains:
Something noteworthy happened during the third quarter of Tuesday’s innocuous preseason game between the Chicago Bulls and the Oklahoma City Thunder: Serge Ibaka made a three-pointer. During his first three NBA seasons, the promising young forward made just two three-pointers in six attempts. Ibaka has surpassed both figures during the exhibition campaign. After splitting his two attempts from downtown Tuesday, Ibaka is 4-of-7 on three-point attempts in five games. Air Congo might have a slightly different meaning this season.
So far in preseason, Ibaka has taken threes on 7.9 percent of the plays he has used. If Ibaka maintains that rate, it will be one of the largest increases in NBA history for a player who previously used fewer than 0.5 percent of his plays beyond the arc.
• More on the Thunder preseason from the invaluable Royce Young of Daily Thunder.
• I’d wager most NBA fans know relatively little about commissioner-in-waiting Adam Silver, save his dubious role of announcing the second-round selections every year at the NBA Draft. Hop over to TrueHoop for a proper introduction, courtesy of Henry Abbott:
In his various NBA roles over the past 20 years — deputy commissioner, president of NBA Entertainment, chief of staff — Silver, 50, has led many of the NBA’s more delicate dealings, including television and merchandising deals around the globe. During the 2011 lockout, when it became routine for Silver to join Stern on the podium articulating the league’s position, it became overtly clear: Whereas Stern might occasionally bungle a name or meander in his talk, Silver was the man with every necessary fact on the tip of his tongue.
At times over the past few years, Stern has deflected tough questions to Silver in news conferences in an apparent effort to bolster Silver’s image as a leader. Other times, however, he has turned to Silver as an escape from thorny business questions. By the time Stern announced in February what had long been assumed internally — that Silver was his choice to succeed him — no close watcher could argue with the logic. Silver was the man with the command of seemingly every issue, from NBA China to ads on jerseys.
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