Dallas and Cents: 8/17/12

May 2, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Utah Jazz forward Josh Howard (8) pulls down a rebound during the first half of game two in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE

All the news and excitement about the latest Dallas Mavericks press conference has worn off, so we're left to pick at the dry bones of the Mavs media carcass this afternoon. Join me.

  • Say it ain't so! Josh Howard is visiting with the Spurs, looking for a training camp invite and hopefully, a roster spot. While it would definitely be strange to see Howard in the silver and black down in San Antonio, ultimately, I wish the best for the former Maverick forward. Howard has had a disastrous time since being traded to Washington, suffering an ACL tear, playing poorly in Utah and now getting no offers in the off-season. It's an incredibly fast and depressing fall from grace. Howard went from a burgeoning second-star that Dirk Nowitzki sorely needed to now looking for scraps at the bottom of a roster. I talked with Howard during the lockout last year, and it sounds like he's really turned around the persona that plagued him in his final moments in Dallas. I hope nothing but the best for Howard, even if that means latching on to the Mavericks most hated rival.
  • I believe this Mark Cuban quote about watching Chris Kaman shoot jumpers has been passed around a lot before, but Tim MacMahon expands on it, as Cuban said it again during the press conference last week. MacMahon also throws in some stats on Elton Brand and Kaman's mid-range shooting stats.
  • Our SB Nation Thunder-brother, Welcome to Loud City, has a nice little post about the Dallas-OKC rivalry. Of course, it's Thunder-centric, but it's a nice look at a growing rivalry. It's a shame that the Thunder's rising is coenciding with Dirk's eventual decline. I only wish a Dirk-led Mavs could battle a Durant-led Thunder team for 10 more years.
  • Hey guess what? Maverick preseason tickets went on sale at 10 a.m.......this morning. Yes, I know this is a little late but I'm fairly certain there are still good seats available for the four preseason games in Dallas. Also, how awesome is it to be talking about the preseason in September again? Wonderful, I say.
  • Love him or hate him. That's usually applicable to Mark Cuban. This Rant Sports writer apparently is leaning toward the hate side and you can't really blame him after Cuban's season-ticket-holder-appeasing quotes last week.
  • CBSSports.com's basketball blog, Eye on Basketball, is ranking the top 100 players with writers Ben Golliver, Matt Moore and Royce Young voting and the average of those three votes to determine order. It's nice to see Dirk Nowitzki squeak into the top 10 and that his last season-aberration was considered as such.
  • Remember that Mark Cuban love/hate bit two bullets above? Yeah, here's another "hate" from Laker Nation.
  • The excellent Daily Thunder blog has some thoughts on James Harden and the latest report that he wants a max deal. Dallas is rumored to be one of the teams that will sign Harden a max-offer sheet in 2013, so this warrants a definite read. It'll be interesting to see this situation develop and whether Harden will stand by his words to take less to stay with the Thunder. Also interesting: let's say Harden does somehow end up in Dallas in 2013...does O.J. Mayo decline his player option for 2013-2014 since Harden is basically Mayo, but better? Or do the Mavericks convince Mayo to stay on board and the Mavericks use Harden off the bench, where he's been so successful in OKC? Or do the Mavericks put Mayo on the bench? A very interesting thought for something that will probably not happen. Also interesting: Harden has played his best when coming off the bench. Are there any teams that would seriously considering giving a max-deal to a sixth man? If so, that will only shatter the silly "starter/non-starter" distinction that really doesn't matter anymore.
  • A shameless plug, but whatever, these are my links and get off my damn lawn. Anyway, here's my piece on O.J. Mayo after hearing him at the Mavericks press conference last week, in case you missed it.

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