Dirk Nowitzki looks forward to teaming with new Mavs center Andrew Bogut during ’16-17 season

DALLAS — After competing against each other throughout their NBA careers, 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and new Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut figure to make a lethal combination inside together this upcoming season.

Traded from Golden State to Dallas on July 7 along with a future second-round pick in exchange for a future conditional second-round pick, the 31-year-old Bogut will certainly be motivated during the 2016-17 campaign. The 11-year veteran and former Utah standout will also try to lift the Mavericks back to prominence in the Western Conference after helping to lead Golden State to the 2015 title, joining forces with fellow ex-Warrior Harrison Barnes in Dallas following the free-agent migration of Kevin Durant to Oakland from Oklahoma City. And according to Nowitzki, Bogut will immediately help the Mavs compete in the West while sliding into the starting center spot.

“It started slow there on the first couple days in July. All the free agents kind of went quickly. Sometimes you get a little fortunate, and I think with KD going to the Warriors it played in our favor a little bit,” Nowitzki said last week when recapping the Mavs’ moves in free agency. “They had to get rid of Barnes and they couldn’t keep Bogut at that amount of money, so we were able to get those two guys. They’re champions, they’re great players and they’re a part of a championship team, so they know how to play and they know how to win.”

While Barnes is expected to assume a larger role after signing a reported four-year deal worth $94 million, Bogut will also have a chance to fully display his skills at both ends of the floor.

Bogut holds career averages of 10.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks in 644 games, making 630 starts during his stints with Milwaukee and Golden State. He also garnered All-NBA Third Team honors with the Bucks during the ’09-10 season, earning a spot on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team with the Warriors on their way to the title in 2015. The former No. 1 overall pick of Milwaukee in the 2005 draft was the first Australian ever taken with the top selection as well, averaging a double-double in three consecutive seasons with the Bucks from 2008-11 and posting a career-high 15.9 points to go along with 10.2 rebounds per game during the ’09-10 schedule. But after seeing a dip in his production last season with the Warriors, Bogut will try to build on an impressive run with the Australian national team in the Rio Olympic Games this summer.

Last season, Bogut played in 70 games for the Warriors but averaged a career-low 5.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in just 20.7 minutes an outing. That said, he proved to still be an above-average rim protector in reduced time while equaling his career average with 1.6 blocks per game as the Warriors sprinted to an NBA-record 73 wins and a second straight trip to the Finals. Bogut then suffered a left knee injury in Game 5 of the Finals, forcing him out of the remainder of the series as the Warriors eventually fell to Cleveland in seven games. But after seeing Bogut show no lingering signs of the injury during the Olympics while averaging 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in seven games to lead Australia to a fourth-place finish, Nowitzki says the fellow 7-footer is sure to have a big season in Big D.

“I think Bogut will be a great player for us,” Nowitzki proclaimed while looking forward to teaming with the big man on the Mavs’ front line. “He’s a smart player. He can defend, obviously, and defend the rim. He’s a great passer, and probably one of the best passing big men there is in this league, so it should be fun playing with him.”

Mavs newcomer Quincy Acy hopes to leave his mark on hometown team with high-energy play

One-on-one with Quincy Acy

Earl K. Sneed goes one-on-one with Quincy Acy at the Mavs' annual Fantasy Camp presented by Citi.

DALLAS — Playing a waiting game that so often can be the NBA free agency process this summer, new Dallas Mavericks big man Quincy Acy says he eventually ended up in the perfect situation with his hometown team.

Born in Tyler, Texas, the 25-year-old Acy attended John Horn High School in Mesquite before going on to star at Baylor. He was also named to the Second Team All-Big 12 squad while garnering Big 12 All-Defensive Team honors as a senior during the 2011-12 season. But following stints during his four seasons in the NBA with Toronto, Sacramento and New York, the 37th overall pick in the 2012 draft now hopes that he can once again make himself at home after signing a reported two-year deal for the league minimum to join the Mavericks this summer in free agency.

“It’s a dream come true,” Acy said during an exclusive interview with Mavs.com on Tuesday. “It’s definitely a blessing, but it’s still kind of surreal. You know, my family, they’re all kind of more excited than I am right now, but it’s a dream come true.

“My agents did most of the talking with the front office, but we were just kind of playing the waiting game. We were seeing what teams and what the rosters were playing out to be, and seeing how it would fit with different teams. And it just kind of opened up. As soon as the opportunity came, we just kind of took it. And I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”

The 6-foot-7, 240-pounder holds career averages of 4.5 points and 3.6 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game, making 219 total appearances during his first four seasons. He showed that he can do a little bit of everything last season in Sacramento, averaging 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game while starting 29 times during his 59 appearances for the Kings. However, a return home figures to bring out the big man’s full potential as he adds depth behind 13-time All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki.

Adding another up-and-comer to the Mavs’ emerging young core, Acy acknowledges that the best way for him to earn minutes in coach Rick Carlisle’s rotation this upcoming season is through energetic plays and maximum effort. That said, the young big man expects to leave it all on the court every time Carlisle calls his number, looking to become a fan favorite with his high motor. And although he’s never played in a postseason game during his young career, Acy says he’s ready to do whatever it takes to help push the Mavericks further following first-round playoff exits in four of the last five seasons.

“I mean, I’ve been a fan of Dallas my entire life, so it’s not normal that you see a young roster. But I’m glad to be a part of it,” Acy said. “We’re kind of turning over a new leaf, I guess, and I’ve kind of got a good relationship with a lot of the young guys. We’ve all been up here early, and it’s been good. It’s been worth it, and I’m happy and ready to get going.

“I mean, I’m just going to play my heart out every night, especially now that I’m playing for my city. You know, it’s bigger for me, and I’m going to go out and represent to the fullest. I’m going to go out every night and defend, throw bows, or dive on the floor. Whatever I’ve got to do to help us win, I’m gonna do.”

New contract won’t change Mavs big man Dwight Powell’s work ethic

DALLAS — Although he was one of the first dominoes to drop for the Dallas Mavericks this summer in free agency, 6-foot-11 big man Dwight Powell says his new contract won’t affect his desire to become a better player going into this upcoming season.

Emerging as a coveted player this summer after coming on strong to close the 2015-16 season, Powell admittedly didn’t look elsewhere while entering the offseason as a restricted free agent. The 25-year-old Powell made two starts during his 69 appearances last season, averaging 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 14.4 minutes a game. He then increased his production during the Mavericks’ first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City, posting averages of 6.0 points and 4.3 boards an outing while appearing in four of the five games. Now, after signing a reported four-year deal worth approximately $37 million on July 8, Powell says his focus will return to working hard in hopes of becoming a better player entering Year 3.

“I mean, for me, it’s business as usual. I show up to the gym and I work. That’s it,” Powell said in June while making an appearance at teammate Dirk Nowitzki’s annual Heroes celebrity baseball game.

He added: “My job is to be ready for whatever opportunity I find myself presented with and be ready to perform at the highest level. For me, it’s business as usual. Just in the gym grinding. Hopefully it says that I’m an NBA player, that I belong in the league and that I’m able to perform. I’m willing to work and do whatever it takes to get better. I’m willing to put in the time and the effort and sacrifice to do that to help a team win. Hopefully it’s a positive. I mean, I do work. That’s something I’ve done my whole life and something I was taught at a young age, so it’s part of who I am.”

Entering the NBA as the 45th overall pick by Charlotte in the 2014 draft, the former Stanford standout was immediately on the move after having his rights traded along with Brendan Haywood to Cleveland in exchange for Scotty Hopson and cash considerations. On September 25, 2014, Powell was then dealt to Boston along with Malcolm Thomas, Erik Murphy, John Lucas III, two future second-round picks and a trade exception in exchange for Keith Bogans and two future second-round picks. He was then dealt again, this time to the Mavericks, as part of the five-player package with Boston that brought four-time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to town in December of 2014. And after showing glimpses of being a valuable contributor in Dallas by averaging 3.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 24 games for the Mavs during the ’14-15 campaign, much was expected of the young big man entering last season.

However, Powell would find it hard to consistently crack Mavs coach Rick Carlisle’s rotation much of last season before turning heads at the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend. He then returned to his hometown of Toronto to show he deserves to be mentioned with the game’s other up-and-coming players by scoring 12 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, dishing two assists and recording two steals for the World team in a 157-154 loss. That performance proved to be just the first time Powell had his hard work pay off, leading to a featured role down the stretch of the season. Much more success would come his way from there, setting the stage for his big payday this summer.

With the Mavericks falling three games below .500 following a 133-111 loss in Sacramento on March 27, Carlisle entrusted Powell to make his first career start the following night in Denver. Powell quickly made the most of the opportunity, scoring a career-high 16 points and grabbing seven rebounds in a 97-88 victory to spark a six-game winning streak. Carlisle now says Powell will be counted on heavily this season to continue to develop as the Mavs fight for Western Conference supremacy.

“You know, he’s a developing young player that’s getting better all the time,” Carlisle said while praising Powell’s work ethic last season. “Your first two years in the NBA you’re going to go through a lot of ups and downs. There’s going to be times you feel like you have it figured out, and then you get smashed in the face. That’s just how it is. That’s how it was when I played in the league, but he always learns from the tough stretches. He’s a guy with great energy, and he goes extremely hard. He’s really loved by all his teammates. And I’m very happy for him that he was named to the Rising Stars Game, because he deserves it.”

Mavs summer-league big man Perry Ellis looks forward to proving his worth in Las Vegas

One-on-one with A.J. Hammons

Earl K. Sneed goes one-on-one with the newest Maverick, second-round pick A.J. Hammons.

DALLAS — After leaving college as one of the most experienced players in the nation during his four seasons at Kansas, undrafted rookie big man Perry Ellis now hopes to make a strong impression during the NBA Las Vegas Summer League.

Joining the Dallas Mavericks’ summer-league squad in hopes of impressing the front office, Ellis looks forward to showing what he can do on the big stage. Last season, Ellis filled up the stat sheet for the Jayhawks as a senior while averaging 16.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists an outing during his 38 appearances. He also garnered plenty of accolades, earning Consensus All-America Second Team and All-Big 12 First Team honors while walking away with his second straight Big 12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Still, after being passed up in the draft, Ellis says he still has a lot left to prove when the Mavericks’ summer team begins play this weekend.

“You know, I’m just going to come out here and play hard,” Ellis said after going through his second practice with the Mavs’ summer squad on Wednesday. “It’s a great opportunity for me. You know, it’s an honor to be here, and I just want to go out here and just play my game and play with a high energy.”

He added: “I just want to go out here, and my main focus is to just go out here and play well and play hard. We’ll go from there and see what happens.”

Practice Report: Jamahl Mosley

Mavs summer league head coach Jamahl Mosley addresses the media after practice on Wednesday.

Finishing as a finalist for the Wooden Award as one of college basketball’s top players last season, Ellis comes to Dallas with an already well-rounded game. The 6-foot-8, 225-pounder also finished as one of only three players in the Big 12 to rank in the top 11 in scoring and rebounding, showcasing an ability to help a team inside.

All told, the 22-year-old Ellis played 144 total games during his four collegiate seasons, making 109 starts during that span. He also displayed an inside-outside game while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 43.1 percent from three-point range for his college career. With that said, Mavs summer-league head coach Jamahl Mosley expects for Ellis’ experience and maturity to serve the team well in Las Vegas.

“He’s played a great amount of basketball,” Mosley said while speaking highly of Ellis. “I mean, he played four years in college, and he’s very experienced. He knows how to play the game, so I think that’s going to be a big key for us. He knows how to play, he’s in the right position, and he makes the simple and easy play.”

Practice Report: Mark Cuban

Mavs head honcho Mark Cuban talks to reporters after the team's summer league practice on Wednesday.

Schedule

Sat. July 9 vs. Miami, 9 p.m. CT, TXA 21 and Mavs.com
Mon. July 11 vs. Toronto, 5:30 p.m. CT, Mavs.com
Tues. July 12 vs. Boston, 5 p.m. CT, Mavs.com
Games 4 and 5 TBD after seeding

Mavs’ plan in free agency wasn’t impacted by drafting A.J. Hammons

DALLAS — Believing that they may have come out of the second round with the steal of the NBA Draft last week, the Dallas Mavericks now turn their attention to adding top-level talent to improve the roster when free agency gets underway on Friday.

Selecting 7-foot big man A.J. Hammons out of Purdue with the 46th overall pick last Thursday, the Mavericks may have filled a hole at center by integrating an experienced four-year collegiate player. The Mavs may have also acquired a player capable of protecting the rim by drafting the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. But according to Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, that won’t stop the team from possibly pursuing a big man that can serve as an anchor inside during free agency.

“This was all about taking the most valuable guy at 46, and I don’t think there’s any relation to what our strategy is going to become on July 1,” Nelson said shortly after selecting Hammons in the second round. “You can never have enough talent in your center bullpen. And given the guys that we have right now, we’ve got shot blocking, we’ve got athleticism, we’ve got more thin rim runners, and A.J. gives us a low-post presence. He’s a guy that’s got a thicker body, a guy that can take some of the pressure off of Dirk (Nowitzki) with that big body, and he’s smart. He knows how to play the game, so he checks off a lot of boxes.”

With veteran big man Zaza Pachulia set to test the open market in free agency to leave a hole inside, the Mavericks enter the summer with only Tunisian center Salah Mejri and seldom-used JaVale McGee under contract for next season. That made the drafting of Hammons important as the Mavs added depth along the front line.

Pachulia, 32, served as the Mavs’ starting center for much of the 2015-16 season, sliding into the first unit 69 times during his 76 appearances. He also averaged 8.6 points and a career-high 9.4 rebounds a game, recording 26 double-doubles. As a senior, the 23-year-old Hammons averaged 15.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 24.6 minutes in 33 games for the Boilermakers, earning Honorable Mention All-America and First Team All-Big Ten honors in the process. He also departed ranked 17th in school history with 1,593 points, third with 930 rebounds and second with 343 blocked shots. But although Hammons could be asked to step in right away and contribute next season, the Mavericks likely will still look to add a proven veteran this summer.

“You know, we’re always looking to maximize impact in terms of talent, and that will be the same,” Nelson said while foreshadowing the team’s summer strategy. “We’re optimistic, and I think it’s an exciting time. This was a good first step to what will hopefully be a great summer for the Mavericks.”

Dwight Powell hopes his hard work pays off in free agency this summer

DALLAS — Coming on strong to close his second season, 6-foot-11 forward Dwight Powell was a big reason for the Dallas Mavericks’ late surge to reach the playoffs for a 15th time in the last 16 years. Now, Powell enters this summer as a restricted free agent, hoping to continue to grow as a player in Dallas by re-signing with the team.

Making two starts during his 69 appearances this season, the 24-year-old Powell averaged 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 14.4 minutes a game. He also increased his production during the Mavericks’ first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City, posting 6.0 points and 4.3 boards an outing while appearing in four of the five games. But after showing glimpses of stardom throughout his second season, Powell admittedly will enter a summer of uncertainty with hopes that his hard work leads him to the right opportunity.

“I mean, for me, it’s business as usual. I show up to the gym and I work. That’s it,” Powell said while making an appearance at the annual Heroes celebrity baseball game last week.

He added: “I have agents that are kind of trying to take care of that stuff for me, and my job is to be ready for whatever opportunity I find myself presented with and be ready to perform at the highest level. For me, it’s business as usual. Just in the gym grinding.”

Powell’s hard work certainly paid off while holding his own at the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend, returning to his hometown of Toronto to show he should be mentioned as one of the NBA’s up-and-coming players with 12 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals for the World team in a 157-154 loss. He also turned heads during the season after seeing the Mavs fall three games below .500 following a 133-111 loss in Sacramento on March 27, leading to his first career start the following night in Denver.

The result was a 97-88 victory as Powell’s career-high 16 points and seven rebounds led the way, sparking the Mavericks to six straight wins and seven victories during their final nine games. But all of which came as no surprise to Powell, who is described as a “gym rat” by the Dallas front office and players within the locker room for his continuous commitment to bettering his overall game. And it’s that workman-like reputation that Powell hopes will lead to his return to Dallas next season.

“Hopefully it says that I’m an NBA player, that I belong in the league and that I’m able to perform. I’m willing to work and do whatever it takes to get better,” Powell explained. “I’m willing to put in the time and the effort and sacrifice to do that to help a team win. Hopefully it’s a positive. I mean, I do work. That’s something I’ve done my whole life and something I was taught at a young age, so it’s part of who I am.”

Mavs’ Dwight Powell dazzles on big stage at All-Star Weekend

Powell With Power

Emmanuel Mudiay hits Dwight Powell who throws down the monster jam.

DALLAS — Although his team came up on the losing end during the Rising Stars Challenge last Friday night at All-Star Weekend in Toronto, Dallas Mavericks big man Dwight Powell continued to show glimpses of a player on the rise while back in his hometown.

Powell, a Toronto native, suited up for the World team, which fell to a hard-fought 157-154 loss. He clocked 16 minutes in a reserve role, treating family and friends in the crowd to a show with 12 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals in a losing effort. And before returning stateside to help the Mavericks (29-26) make a push for the playoffs, Powell was able to impress the rest of the league in a game that featured some of the NBA’s up-and-coming players.

“I mean, it was fun to play,” Powell said while summing up his first All-Star experience. “Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose. It’s pretty frustrating, but we had a good time and had fun with the crowd and whatnot. It’s cool that we had it here in Toronto, so this was pretty fun.

“You know, obviously, I’m disappointed. We didn’t win, so it’s extremely frustrating. But hopefully I can try to forget about it soon, ’cause it doesn’t cost for my team towards this year’s season. It still counts for me, so it’s still frustrating.”

Dwight Powell Postgame

Mavs F Dwight Powell speaks to the media following his performance in the 2016 NBA Rising Stars Challenge

Powell saw himself on the move a lot during his rookie season after garnering All-Pac-12 First Team and Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year honors as a senior at Stanford, where he averaged 14.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game during his last collegiate campaign.

He was originally taken by Charlotte with the 45th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft before being dealt to Cleveland. Included in the five-player trade that brought four-time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo from Boston to Dallas last season, Powell then immediately set out to prove that he was much more than just a throw-in to complete the deal, appearing in 24 outings for the Mavs and averaging 3.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 9.5 minutes of work.

Now, after Powell saw limited playing time for the Mavericks following his midseason addition to the team during the ’14-15 schedule, the 6-foot-11 big man has worked his way into coach Rick Carlisle’s rotation by averaging 6.7 points and 4.6 rebounds in 52 appearances this season. And after showcasing what he can do on the big stage at All-Star Weekend, Powell hopes to provide much more for the Mavs in the second portion of the 82-game schedule.

“I’m still definitely in the middle of a long process of becoming a solid player, and there’s a lot of things I need to continue to work on and continue to improve,” Powell modestly said. “But it’s definitely a great honor to be receiving this accolade and to be involved in this game. … It’s motivation to continue to work hard and continue to improve, continuing to be looked at as a player that is worth something.”

“You know, he’s a developing young player that’s getting better all the time,” Carlisle added. “Your first two years in the NBA you’re going to go through a lot of ups and downs. There’s going to be times you feel like you have it figured out, and then you get smashed in the face. That’s just how it is. That’s how it was when I played in the league, but he always learns from the tough stretches. He’s a guy with great energy, and he goes extremely hard. He’s really loved by all his teammates. And I’m very happy for him that he was named to the Rising Stars Game, because he deserves it.”

Note: Coming out of the All-Star break, the Mavericks will resume play on the road against the Orlando Magic on Friday. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN.

The Mavericks will return to their home floor on Sunday, hosting the Philadelphia 76ers. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 92-86 road win on Nov. 16. That game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

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Injury updates presented by Baylor Emergency Medical Centers:

Devin Harris (left great toe sprain) — day-to-day