DALLAS – With a very heavy heart, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle started his postgame press conference Wednesday night by announcing the trade involving forward Harrison Barnes.
The trade includes sending Barnes to the Sacramento Kings for Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson. Barnes found out about it during the third quarter of the Mavs’ 99-93 victory over the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Center.
After the game, the Mavs also waived center Salah Mejri.
When Dirk Nowitzki entered the game for Barnes with 3:11 remaining in the third quarter, that was the last time Barnes would play for the Mavs as he spent the remainder of the game on the bench.
“Everyone is aware that there was a trade, or is a trade in the works, involving Harrison,” Carlisle said. “I got word of it during the game and so that is why he didn’t play down the stretch, obviously.
“I had a chance to speak to him before everyone got in the locker room (after the game) and thanked him for over two-and-a-half great years of being a model pro and being one of the most improved players in the game. I am going to miss him an awful lot.”
Barnes finished the game with 10 points in 26 minutes, and found out about the trade from one the Mavs’ employees. However, Carlisle had a heart-to-heart talk with him after the game.
“He was actually informed by somebody else, but I wanted to speak to him directly,” Carlisle said. “He and I spent a lot of time together, especially in the first two years as he was developing his game.
“He is a special guy. He is about all of the right things – on the basketball curt and in the community. He is an example for what you want your kids to be.”
Nowitzki didn’t find out about the trade until the fourth quarter.
“I was playing in the fourth (quarter) still,” he said. “I figured it’s about time for Harrison to step in for me now. It was like eight minutes to go. I was like, ‘He’s not coming back. He’s still there on the bench.’ That’s when I found out.
“Obviously disappointed for my guy. I think everybody knows how close we were. A great influence on the team, also in this community. He had an imprint so we’re going to miss him.”
As far as the game is concerned, the Mavs crashed the boards big-time and Luka Doncic collected his third career triple-double as he finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. The last member of the Mavs to get three triple-doubles in a season was Jason Kidd during the 2008-’09 campaign.
“It was great, said Doncic, who was 5-of-20 from the field. “We got a win, so that’s all that matters to me.”
It was one of those nights where the Mavs had a lot of folks doing their fair share of grabbing rebounds as Dallas won the board battle, 57-47. Dorian Finney-Smith registered his second career double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds), Dwight Powell had his second double-double of the season (11 points, 12 boards), and Maxi Kleber and Jalen Brunson snatched seven rebounds apiece.
In winning for the fifth time in their last seven games, the Mavs improved to 25-28 and remain within shouting distance of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. But it was an odd game, to say the least.
During last month’s 38-point win in Charlotte, the #Mavs made 10 of 17 shots from 3-point range in the first quarter – the most treys they’ve ever made in one quarter. But on Wednesday the Mavs missed their first 10 shots from 3-point range in the first quarter, before making their final two of the quarter.
The Mavs led 27-20 after the first quarter, 52-46 at the half and 74-71 after the third quarter. They also held Kemba Walker to just eight second-half points after he poured in 22 points in the first half.
Meanwhile, new guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who came over from the New York Knicks in last Thursday’s blockbuster trade, played 26 minutes, was 5-of-16 from the field and finished with 12 points and four rebounds.
“I just got to get my feet wet and know where my shots are coming from,” Hardaway said. “I don’t have to do too much running and not too much forcing the shots up, and I just got to knock them down.”
Hardaway then paused to pay homage to Barnes.
“Just coming here I was picturing playing alongside him for years to come, and for that to happen it’s tough,” Hardaway said. “It’s a business, you’ve got to move on from it.
“It’s happened to the best of everybody, so nobody’s safe, really.”
Carlisle acknowledged that Barnes was “very professional” when he spoke to him after the game.
“He is such a consistent person,” Carlisle said. “He looked me in the eye and gave me a handshake. He was great. I thanked him in front of the team for being the model professional and for being a great example here, and wished him the best.
“That is about all you can say. These things happen quick, and he will be on his way and there will be a couple of new guys coming in. We will miss him an awful lot, but I believe he is going to have a great situation where he is going, and we will miss him going forward from here.”
NOTES: When he was with the Mavs, center DeAndre Jordan took care of the rebounding duties by averaging 13.9 boards per game. Now that he’s been traded to the New York Knicks, who is going to fill the Mavs’ rebounding needs? “We’ve got to do it by committee,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “You look at the league rebounding stats the last six, seven eight years and he’s been one of the dominant guys – top two or three every year. I don’t see one guy doing it. We’re going to have to do it in strength in numbers. We’re going to have to get our guards involved. Certainly a lot of it is going to fall on (Maxi) Kleber, (Dwight) Powell, (Salah) Mejri when he gets opportunities to play. We need Harrison (Barnes)to pick it up, Dirk (Nowitzki) and pretty much on down the line.” . .NBA commissioner Adam Silver had some private meetings at the Mavs’ corporate headquarters on Wednesday. He also attended Wednesday night’s game between the Mavs and Charlotte Hornets. . .So what’s the difference between Tim Hardaway Jr. and Wesley Matthews, who were involved in last week’s blockbuster trade? “They’re both very good long-range shooters,” Carlisle said. “I thought Wes was an underrated playmaker. I think Hardaway is similar. They’re both good defenders.”. .The last member of the Mavs to get four triple-doubles in one season is Michael Finley, who accomplished that feat during the 1999-’00 season.