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Monday Links

Let's start with the serious stuff.

Art Garcia talks about the status of Josh Howard's contract extension. I found it to be quite surprising. I had assumed the lack of a contract extension was the work of Howard's agent, but Art Garcia doesn't make it sound that way at all.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson indicated that reaching an agreement by the end of the month is an option, not a priority.

"Of course we'd like to get it done, but we'll see what happens," Cuban said.

Added Nelson: "I don't think either side has any sense of urgency. It would be nice to have a deal done, but Josh isn't going anywhere. He wants to be here and we want him to be here."
I think the Mavericks should absolutely have a since of urgency. Howard won't be an unrestricted free agent, but that is still no guarantee the Mavs could keep him. What happens if a team like Atlanta Joe Johnson's him? Having to match another teams offer can often mean you are having to match another teams stupidity. Signing Josh Howard before October 31st should be priority number one.

Eddie Sefko has a short interview with Devin Harris about his jump shot and recaps yesterday's "Fan Jam" scrimmage. If any of you were able to make it out to that I'd love to hear about it.

Mercedes Mayer does a short write-up about the Fan Jam as well and notes that Darius Washington and Jose Barea both impressed.
Free-agent point guards Darius Washington and Jose Barea, both fighting for roster spots, played well. Washington scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including two 3-pointers, and Barea scored three points.
And Maurice Ager gets a write-up courtesy of Eddie Sefko.
The Mavericks toyed with the idea of signing Bonzi Wells before the swingman landed in Houston.

They opted not to make a strong play for Wells for many reasons. One of those reasons is because they feel they have a Bonzi starter kit in their possession - without the potential headaches that could come along with the original version, who has had his share of off-court situations.

Maurice Ager is built like Wells. He has the same, rare combination of thickness and quickness. He's a good rebounder for his height, which is the same as Wells' 6-5. And he's quick, tough and doesn't mind working hard at the defensive end of the court.

In short, the Mavericks think the rookie out of Michigan State has the potential to play like Bonzi.
More notably, Sefko has given up on the idea of the Mavs resigning Howard before the end of the month.
Jerry Stackhouse will be a free agent next season, as will Josh Howard, although Howard will be restricted.
Bad idea...