NBA News and Rumors – September 15, 2009

Singleton stays with Dallas Mavericks, Buckner waived

Miami Heat president, coach to take pay cuts

Jazz planning to sign Dupree
Singleton stays with Dallas Mavericks, Buckner waived


A busy Monday for the Mavericks started with retaining James Singleton, jettisoning Greg Buckner, finding out one of their new players has a knee injury and learning that there’s now a familiar name on the waiting list to join the squad.

Singleton signed the qualifying offer that the Mavericks had on the table since early this summer. It will pay him just over $1 million for the 2009-10 season, $175,000 more than the league minimum that other teams were offering.

However, the roster did not expand to 17 guaranteed contracts because in a separate transaction the Mavericks waived Greg Buckner, a move that was not a surprise. Buckner, a 6-4 swingman, has a $4 million expiring contract, only $1 million of which is guaranteed.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks learned that 6-10 forward Tim Thomas suffered a knee injury of undetermined severity during a pick-up game.

Apparently, the injury is at least a sprain, but could include some cartilage damage. A sprain would mean he probably would be able to participate in part of training camp, which starts Sept. 28, if not all.

Cartilage damage would require perhaps four to eight weeks of recovery time. The Mavericks hope to know more when their doctors examine Thomas.

Miami Heat president, coach to take pay cuts


Economic problems have forced Heat president Pat Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra and several members of the team’s front-office to take pay cuts entering the season.

Spoelstra said recently that he expected to open his second season as coach with his entire staff of assistants intact. But financial problems that led to reductions of about 20 employees on the business staff earlier this year have apparently spilled over to basketball operations.

The Heat is already facing the prospect of having to pay about $3 million in NBA luxury tax fees for operating beyond the league’s $69.9 million threshold for excessive payrolls. Miami has only 13 players under guaranteed contracts entering the season, two less than the league maximum.

It was unclear Monday how much of a paycut the coaching and administrative staffs are facing. The Heat opens training camp Sept. 28 and plays its season opener Oct. 28 against New York.

The Heat is one of several league teams that have had to endure pay cuts or reduce their scouting, coaching or administrative staffs in recent months amid the global economic downturn. The Heat reportedly was among several NBA teams that saw a big drop in ticket revenue last season, with Miami’s dip estimated at about $3 million.

Jazz planning to sign Dupree

Ross Sitler

As they meet this week to decide Matt Harpring’s playing future, the Jazz have identified one potential replacement in forward Ronald Dupree, who has played with four teams in parts of five NBA seasons.

Dupree, who finished last season with the NBA Development League’s Utah Flash, has accepted an invitation to Jazz training camp and is expected to sign this week, agent Mark Bartelstein said Monday.

Bartelstein added that Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor and vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin long have expressed interest in Dupree.

"With Matt Harpring’s issues with his ankles and his knees, there’s an opportunity there for someone," Bartelstein said. "I think this is a case where a team benefits from doing their homework over the years. They’ve constantly stayed in contact about Ron, constantly told us how much they liked Ron."

Bartelstein declined to say whether the Jazz had officially determined that Harpring would not be able to play this season. O’Connor didn’t return messages Monday.

Harpring, however, has struggled to overcome the effects of an infection he suffered last summer after undergoing ankle surgery as well as the multiple knee surgeries during his career.

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