Mavericks’ crazy day: Lewis out, Nelson and Aminu in, Felton pleads

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Jameer Nelson is expected to sign a one-year free-agent contract worth $2.73 million with the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, a source said.

Nelson is slated to meet with Mavericks officials in Dallas on Thursday. If all goes well he could then sign his new contract, the source said.

Wednesday’s news regarding the 6-foot point guard was part of a whirlwind day that also saw the Mavericks void the contract of power forward Rashard Lewis, in addition to seeing point guard Raymond Felton plead guilty in a New York courtroom to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm.

The Mavs also didn’t waste time fretting over the loss of Lewis as they reached an agreement late Wednesday with forward Al-Farouq Aminu (6-9, 215) on a two-year contract worth $2.1 million. The second year of the contract includes a player option for $1.1 million.

Aminu, who turns 24 on Sept. 21, averaged 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the floor last season for New Orleans.

In 68 games, all starts, for the Orlando Magic last season, Nelson averaged 12.1 points and seven assists in 32 minutes per game. He also shot 39.4 percent from the field, including 34.8 percent on 3-pointers.

Plans are for the Mavericks to use Nelson, whose contract involves the Mavericks’ $2.73 million salary cap room exception, in a three-platoon rotation at point guard along with Devin Harris and Felton.

Shooting guard Monta Ellis can also play the point, but the Mavericks would prefer he not run up his minutes at point guard.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks voided the one-year, $1.4 million free agent contract Lewis signed Saturday after discovering he needs surgery on his right knee. It is unclear how long Lewis, who turns 35 on Aug. 8, will be sidelined.

In a statement released to the media, Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks’ president of basketball operations, said: “It came to our attention during Rashard Lewis’ physical that he is in need of a medical procedure on his right knee. We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery and continued success in his remarkable career.”

Lewis was projected to be a backup for starting power forward Dirk Nowitzki and starting small forward Chandler Parsons. But for now that role has been filled by Aminu.

Felton, obtained along with Tyson Chandler from the Knicks in a June 25 trade, could be facing a suspension by the NBA after his guilty plea Wednesday. According to The Associated Press, Felton admitted to having a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a pistol without a license.

“Are those charges true?” Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Larry Stephen asked Felton, according to the AP.

“Yes, sir,” Felton said, later adding in a soft voice, “I apologize.”

That admission could subject Felton to being suspended. Last year the NBA suspended then-Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd for the first two games of the regular season after he pleaded guilty to a DUI charge.

Felton, 30, was sentenced Wednesday to 500 hours of community service and also must pay a $5,000 fine. Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Rebold told the AP that Felton will be allowed to complete the community service outside of New York.

For the Mavericks, that’s a welcome sign because they’ll depend on Felton at point guard.

Jameer Nelson, 32, has plenty of point guard experience.

He was chosen by the Denver Nuggets with the 20th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. His draft rights were quickly traded to Orlando, where Nelson has spent his entire 10-year career.

In 651 career games, Nelson has averaged 12.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 29.2 minutes. The 6-foot, 190-pounder is known for his speed in pushing the ball up the court and for his strong locker room presence.

Dwight Howard, Nelson and Lewis were each All-Stars for the Magic in 2009 when Orlando lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

NBA briefs

•  Sterling trial: Testimony ended Wednesday in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling’s estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers in a proposed $2 billion deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Court resumes Monday with closing arguments.

•  Tucker re-signed: The Phoenix Suns re-signed forward P.J. Tucker, a former Texas standout, to a multiyear contract. Terms were not disclosed. Tucker had career highs of 9.4 points and 6.5 rebounds last season.

This report includes material from The Associated Press.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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