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Porzingis feeling ‘good’ after first 5-on-5 practice with Mavs

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As the postseason hopes for the Dallas Mavericks have continued to fade in recent weeks, there was an equally uplifting storyline beginning on Wednesday afternoon.

Kristaps Porzingis, whom the Mavs acquired in a blockbuster trade with the New York Knicks in early February, went through his first five-on-five practice. Porzingis has not been on the court in 13 months, when he suffered a torn left ACL in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 6, 2018 (while he was still with the Knicks).

Wednesday marked Porzingis’ first full-scale practice since his ACL surgery and said overall he felt fantastic after the practice, per Dwain Price of Mavs.com.

“That’s not how we planned it,” Porzingis said. “It’s just the progression that we had. I could have been on the court way earlier than this.

“But we really took our time, we really stayed patient, I stayed really patient. I’m proud of myself for staying that patient. But now it’s here, I’m excited and I can’t wait for the next practice.”

The Mavs had hopes of making a playoff run this season after a 15-11 start. Since then, though, the team has faltered greatly and enters tonight’s road game against the Denver Nuggets (10:30 ET, TNT) at 27-40 and in 14th place in the Western Conference.

Practically from the date Dallas acquired Porzingis, there has been no talk of him suiting up this season. His participation in practice, however, gives Dallas hope for a future built around Porzingis, star rookie Luka Doncic and whomever the team adds this summer via trades, free agency and the Draft.

Coach Rick Carlisle told Mavs.com he can’t help but think about the ways a healthy Porzingis could help the Mavs next season.

“He went through a full practice with no issues, so very encouraging,” Carlisle said. “He’s made tremendous progress with his rehab, with his conditioning, his strength, and (playing 5-on-5 basketball) was the next logical progression.

“He played 3-on-3 yesterday morning with some of the other guys and did extremely well there. So this went really well.”

For Porzingis, just getting back on the court and reaching a goal he had in mind for himself is a measure of success.

“I’ve visualized a lot and I see myself playing, so this whole time I’m always thinking in my head ‘I don’t want to come back and be rusty,’ “ Porzingis said. “I want to be in the game right away.

“I missed the shots today, but I felt good on the court, I felt comfortable, I felt fluid and I think that’s important. The shots will start falling and the more we play, the more I play. It’s good to finally be able to do something physical, so I’m happy.”

Porzingis, who will become a restricted free agent this summer, reportedly plans to sign the qualifying offer with Dallas, which would set the stage for him to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

The former No. 4 overall pick of the 2015 Draft, Porzings was named an All-Star in 2017-18, but his ACL injury occurred days after that and he never got to play in that game. 

The 7-foot-3 Porzingis, who was the No. 4 overall pick of the 2015 Draft, averaged 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in 2017-18 with the Knicks. He was expected to be the Knicks’ franchise player for years. But they declined to give him a contract extension before this season – they say he was in agreement with that decision – and traded him, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee to the Mavs on February 1.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.



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Report: Trail Blazers, Terry Stotts agree to contract extension

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Just one day after being eliminated from the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors, the Trail Blazers and coach Terry Stotts have agreed to a multiyear contract extension, according to ESPN sources.

The Portland Trail Blazers and head coach Terry Stotts have agreed to a multiyear contract extension.

The Blazers announced the extension Tuesday but did not disclose terms.

Stotts has led Portland to six straight playoff appearances in his seven seasons at the helm, holding a 325-249 record.

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Griffin says Pelicans are ‘very optimistic’ about Anthony Davis situation

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David Griffin has been clear since his first day with the New Orleans Pelicans that he believes the team can convince Anthony Davis to stay on board this summer.

Griffin reiterated this belief on Tuesday during a conference call to introduce newly hired GM Trajan Langdon. Griffin said the team plans to sit down with Davis and his agent Rich Paul in Los Angeles at some point soon. 

“I think that’s the next step — really to look each other in the eye and talk about what’s important to us,” Griffin said on Tuesday. “And we’re very optimistic from previous conversations with Rich Paul, his agent, and with all of the people here that know Anthony and know what he’s about. We’re very confident that we have a compelling situation for him here.

“And if winning is what he is indeed all about, which we have every reason to believe, we feel confident that we can create — and are creating — the right environment for Anthony and frankly for high-caliber players of all types to want to be a part of. This is something that we hope creates an energy that recruits itself, and Anthony would just be one step in that process.”

While Griffin and the Pelicans may be confident, there has been no public indication from Davis that he wants to remain with the team. The six-time All-Star told the Pelicans in January that he desired a trade and did not plan to re-sign with the team next offseason when his contract expires. 

 

David Griffin talked with NBA TV after the Pelicans won the No. 1 pick.

Griffin also spent time on Tuesday talking about the team’s plan for the 2019 NBA Draft. The Pelicans beat the odds during the draft lottery to receive the No. 1 pick in this year’s Draft, which is headlined by top prospects Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. After New Orleans won the lottery, reports circulated that Williamson would need to be convinced to join the Pelicans. Griffin was quick to dispel those reports on Tuesday.

“I’m certain that’s a false narrative relative to the players that could potentially be the No. 1 pick,” Griffin said. “We’ve sat with multiple players that we’re looking at for that first pick. In fact, in the case of Zion Williamson, Alvin Gentry and I sat with he and his parents the night of the lottery. […] And Alvin and I were also together in interviewing Ja Morant in Chicago as well. And I think because we sat with those kids, who are both incredible human beings and all about all the right things, we know unequivocally that either one of them would be thrilled to join us in New Orleans. And they’re both very much excited about the concept.”

Griffin also discussed his early impressions of Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, who took control of the team after the passing of her husband, Tom, last year. Griffin credits Benson for empowering the team to pursue top-level talent — like Langdon and longtime Phoenix Suns trainer Aaron Nelson — to New Orleans

“It’s become something that it’s very clearly her baby, and the Pelicans matter immeasurably to her. And literally in all these hirings, she’s putting her money where her mouth is and she’s empowering us to go and attract the best and the brightest,” Griffin said. “And I think when you win the lottery in the midst of all those other things, it starts to really lend itself to changing a narrative.”

Griffin and Langdon previously worked together with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the championship 2015-16 season.

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Young, Doncic lead 2018-19 All-Rookie First Team

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NEW YORK — Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young have been unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Dončić and Young both received NBA All-Rookie First Team votes on all 100 ballots to finish with 200 points each.  They are joined on the NBA All-Rookie First Team by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (195 points; 95 First Team votes), Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (159 points; 60 First Team votes) and Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (156 points; 56 First Team votes). 

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie First Team is composed of the top five picks in NBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm®: Ayton (No. 1), Bagley (No. 2), Dončić (No. 3), Jackson (No. 4) and Young (No. 5).

This marks the first time since the 1984-85 season that the top five picks in the previous NBA Draft have all been selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team (there was no All-Rookie Second Team that season).  Thirty-four years ago, the NBA All-Rookie Team honorees were Hakeem Olajuwon (No. 1 pick in 1984), Sam Bowie (No. 2), Michael Jordan (No. 3), Sam Perkins (No. 4) and Charles Barkley (No. 5).

Dončić, Young and Ayton are the three finalists for the 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Award.  The winnerwill be revealed at the2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on Monday, June 24 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.  The third annual NBA Awards, honoring this season’s top performers, will take place at Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of LA Clippers guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (138 points), Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (132), Clippers guard Landry Shamet (85), New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (77) and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (45).

The NBA All-Rookie Teams were selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.  The media voted for five players for the NBA All-Rookie First Team and five players for the Second Team at any position.  Players received two points for each First Team vote and one point for each Second Team vote.

Complete voting results by media member will be posted at pr.nba.com the night of the 2019 NBA Awards presented by KiaClick here for the list of 100 media voters for the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Teams.   

Below are the voting results for the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Teams.  The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP.

* * *

2018-19 NBA ALL-ROOKIE FIRST TEAM

Player, Team | 1st Team (2 Pts.) | 2nd Team (1 Pt.) | Total Points

Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks | 100 | –– | 200

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks | 100 | — | 200

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns | 95 | 5 | 195

Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies | 60 | 39 | 159

Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings | 56 | 44 | 156

 

2018-19 NBA ALL-ROOKIE SECOND TEAM

Player, Team |  1st Team (2 Pts.) | 2nd Team (1 Pt.) | Total Points

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LA Clippers | 40 | 58 | 138

Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers | 39 | 54 | 132

Landry Shamet, LA Clippers | 3 | 79 | 85 

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks | 3 | 71 | 77

Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks | 1 | 43 | 45

 

Below are the other players who received votes for the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Teams.

Player, Team | 1st Team (2 Pts.) | 2nd Team (1 Pt.) | Total Points

Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns | 1 | 29 | 31

Kevin Knox, New York Knicks | — | 22 | 22

Josh Okogie, Minnesota Timberwolves | 1 | 10 | 12

Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks | — | 10 | 10

Allonzo Trier, New York Knicks | — | 10 | 1

Rodions Kurucs, Brooklyn Nets | — | 9 | 9

Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls | — | 7 | 7

Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets | 1 | 4 | 6

Bruce Brown, Detroit Pistons | — | 2 | 2

Harry Giles III, Sacramento Kings | — | 2 | 2

Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic | — | 1 | 1

Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers | — | 1 | 1



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