Mavericks Urged to Sign 21-Year-Old ‘Defensive Monster’

Usman Garuba

Getty Usman Garuba

The Dallas Mavericks have been urged to sign a 21-year-old “defensive monster.”

On August 21, Jack Bonin of Mavs Moneyball pushed the Mavericks to go after Usman Garuba, who was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

“Garuba is a defensive monster at the four/five spot who can guard every position and make plays,” Bonin wrote. “He moves incredibly well and has an extremely high basketball IQ. … In a lot of ways, Garuba reminds me of a F/C version of Josh Green: raw, great defender, great passer, high motor, and a work in progress offensively. But he’s the type of defensive talent that this Mavericks team needs more of. He fits with the theme of an offseason that has seen Dallas get younger, more athletic, and better defensively.

“Garuba needs to clear waivers, and there’s no guarantee he does so, especially since he’s still on his rookie deal. There could be interested teams with worse 2022-2023 records than Dallas, giving them waiver priority. But the Mavericks should still do their due diligence. It’s been reported ad nauseam that the Mavericks will not go into training camp with JaVale McGee on the roster. With Garuba suddenly on the market, it would behoove Dallas to go ahead and waive McGee and sign Garuba if he clears waivers. The more talented young players you acquire, the better chance you have at developing some of them into valuable rotation pieces. Garuba represents an excellent opportunity for Dallas to do just that.”

Garuba has career averages of 3.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 75 games with the Houston Rockets. He was teammates with Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic in Real Madrid. In 2021, Garuba was named a EuroLeague Rising Star.

Josh Green’s Future With Mavericks Receives Massive Update

The Mavericks have “opened initial talks on a contract extension” with Josh Green, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.

Green will become a restricted free agent next summer if he and the Mavericks don’t agree to a rookie scale extension by October 23.

Green appeared in 60 games for the Mavericks last season. He averaged 9.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 53.7% from the floor, 40.2% from 3 and 72.3% from the free-throw line.

Green has career averages of 5.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 166 games with the Mavericks. Dallas drafted him with the 18th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft out of Arizona. The Mavericks are 91-75 when Green plays, per StatMuse.

During an interview with Olgun Uluc of ESPN, Green said he’s hopeful for a contract extension with the Mavericks. The 22-year-old combo guard is currently playing for Australia in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

“I’ve really just focused on this. Whatever happens kind of happens. Obviously, it’s a cool feeling to be in that situation but, at the same time, I put so much work to be able to be in this position now, that you wanna continue to work,” Green said. “I hope it happens. I want to be in Dallas. I love Dallas. I love the fanbase, love the guys. To think I could be in Dallas long-term would be amazing.”

Kyrie Irving Strongly Claps Back at Adrian Wojnarowski over James Harden Tweet

Kyrie Irving clapped back at Adrian Wojnarowski after the ESPN insider described Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden as “disgruntled.”

During an event in China as part of a marketing tour for Adidas, Harden called Sixers president Daryl Morey a “liar” and said he won’t play for Philadelphia again. After Harden’s quotes went viral, Wojnarowski tweeted a link to his ESPN article titled, “Disgruntled 76ers star James Harden slams ‘liar’ Daryl Morey.”

Irving responded to Wojnarowski’s tweet by saying, “Is he Disgruntled Adrian?? Or is he holding Darryl Morey accountable for his dishonesty and lack of transparency throughout the contract negotiation process this summer?”

Irving and Harden were teammates on the Brooklyn Nets for 35 games. Both All-Stars wound up requesting trades from the organization. Harden has requested trades from the Houston Rockets, Nets and Sixers, while Irving has demanded trades from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Nets.

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