Over the past four weeks, Charlie Villanueva beat some big odds and dealt with the death of a family member, all while trying to make the Dallas Mavericks’ 15-man roster.
The stress and the agony of the unknown finally paid off for Villanueva, who learned Saturday through social media that he was officially a member of the Mavs’ final roster.
“I found out [Saturday] when everybody found out,” Villanueva said after Sunday’s practice. “I started just getting text messages, congratulations on making the team. From there I kind of knew what was going on.”
Despite having a non-guaranteed contract, Villaneuva was chosen over second-year pro Bernard James, who has most of his $915,243 contract for this season guaranteed.
But the Mavs, who open the regular season Tuesday in San Antonio, decided Villanueva’s value as a 3-point specialist behind Dirk Nowitzki was immeasurable.
“I want to thank God for giving me the strength, because on Oct. 14 I ended up losing my grandmother and it’s just been hard,” Villanueva said. “So it’s kind of a bittersweet feeling right now.
“I’ve been trying to get through every day as strong as possible, but I’m thankful for this opportunity. It’s been a roller coaster ride for me.”
Felton back soon
Guard Raymond Felton may be more than a week away from being able to play.
Felton has been sidelined since suffering a high right ankle sprain Oct. 10 against Oklahoma City. Felton has ditched the crutches, but is nowhere near ready to engage in any physical practice sessions.
“It’s going to be at least a week, probably longer,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s walking, but he’s quite a ways away.
“We’re going to make sure he’s right. He’s made big-time progress, but we’re not close to him being healthy yet.”
When Felton returns, he’ll begin serving his NBA-mandated four-game suspension after he pleaded guilty to gun charges stemming from an incident earlier this year in New York.
Point guard J.J. Barea might be returning to the Mavericks, according to a source.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are considering waiving Barea or buying out his contract. If that happens, it would pave the way for the 30-year old Barea to rejoin the Mavericks, who he helped win the 2011 NBA title.
In 79 games for the Timberwolves last season, Barea averaged 8.4 points and 3.8 assists in 18.6 minutes per game. But he struggled with his shooting, converting only 38.7 percent of his field goals and 34.7 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Barea flourished in Carlisle’s system, averaging 9.5 points and 3.9 assists during the 2010-11 season. Barea played for Dallas from 2006 until he signed a four-year, $19 million free agent contract with Minnesota following the Mavs’ 2011 championship season.
The Mavs are in a “wait and see” mode on small forward Chandler Parsons.
It doesn’t appear to be anything serious, but Parsons sat out the last 30 minutes of Sunday’s practice after concerns about a knee.
With 6:06 remaining in the third period of Friday’s preseason game in Orlando, Parsons made a 3-pointer and his knee collided with Luke Ridnour’s knee on the play.
Parsons stayed in the game, and then left for good with 33.9 seconds to go in the third quarter.
“He went through most of [Sunday’s] practice,” Carlisle said. “We precautionarily held him out the last 30 minutes.
“He’s done better the last two days. We expect him to do everything [Monday], but we’ll wait and see.”