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Dallas Mavericks news gathered from around the net.

Nowitzki Will Begin Practicing With German National Team.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has given Maverick forward Dirk Nowitzki permission to join the German national team for warmup games before next month's European championship.

The NBA star's insurance against injury covers the Sept. 16-25 championship in Serbia-Montenegro.

Via ESPN

Mavs Hire Blackman

The Mavs hired Rolando Blackman, the team's all-time leading scorer, and Joe Prunty as assistant coaches on Friday.

Blackman had spent five years with the Mavericks' player development staff before serving as the team's television analyst last year. He played 11 of his 13 seasons with the Mavericks, averaging 19.2 points.

Via ESPN

Dallas Lands Diop And Christie

The Mavericks will virtually complete their off-season work Friday when they sign center DeSagana Diop and swingman Doug Christie to free agent contracts.

Both players will be introduced at a news conference at 10:30 today at American Airlines Center.

Diop, 7-0, 300 pounds, is an unrestricted free agent, who spent his first four seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He will sign a three-year deal with the Mavericks on Friday morning.

Mavs coach Avery Johnson is estactic that he finally knows who will back up starting center Erick Dampier this season.

?We feel Diop is a mobile center, he?s in great shape right now, he?s been in the league for four years, and we think he?s ready to just take off.?? Johnson said. ?A couple of years ago I probably wouldn?t have done this deal.

?But he came in, I worked him out personally, I evaluated him personally, and he looks to be ready to make a move in his career right now.??

Diop was the eighth overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft out of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy. But in 193 career games with the Cavs, he developed slowly and averaged just 1.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in only 10.8 minutes.

Now, Diop will be asked to replace Shawn Bradley, who is in the process of working on a retirement package with the Mavs.

Via Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Friend Of Cuban Buys A Stake In Mavericks

The long business partnership between Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner now includes basketball.

Wagner has purchased a minority stake in the Mavericks.

Cuban remains the primary owner, decision-maker and face of the franchise.

"Mark runs the Mavs. I'm just there as a friend," Wagner said. "This is more support for what Mark has done. In five short years, I think it's nothing short of amazing what he's accomplished for the franchise."

Wagner, 44, declined to disclose his ownership percentage, although he described it as a "small stake."

At one time, Wagner and Cuban looked at buying several pro franchises. During the 2002-03 season, Wagner briefly explored buying the Stars from Tom Hicks.

The association between Cuban and Wagner goes back 20 years. The familiarity was reflected in Cuban's e-mail reply when asked about the Mavericks.

"Todd and I are partners in every other business," Cuban wrote. "It didn't seem right we weren't in the Mavs together. As far as his role, his seats are midcourt. So his primary job is to grab me if I ever make it that far."

The two founded AudioNet in 1995 as a way to listen to Indiana University basketball games and sold the company (renamed Broadcast.com) to Yahoo! in 1999 for $5.7 billion.

Via Dallas Morning News

Mavs Waive Finley In The 11th Hour

After failing to move Michael Finley, the Mavericks elected to waive him as expected just before the deadline.

Under a one-time amnesty provision in the NBA's new labor contract, the Mavericks saved $51 million in luxury taxes over the next three years by waiving Finley, who became an unrestricted free agent.

Finley will still be guaranteed the $51 million left on his contract, plus whatever money he gets from a new team. He won't be able to re-sign with the Mavericks until his original contract expires after the 2007-08 season, when he will be 35.

Among the teams expected to try to sign Finley are the Suns, Spurs, Heat, Pistons and Nuggets, according to Stein.

Via ESPN

Dallas Still Trying To Trade Finley

The Mavericks are still trying to find a taker for Michael Finley via trade.

If the club isn't able to execute a trade before the midnight EST deadline, then he will become the final victim of the NBA's amnesty clause that was part of the new CBA.

Few teams are likely to take on Finley since Dallas has made it so clear that they plan on waiving the veteran guard.

Via RealGM

Mavericks Sign Darrell Armstrong

Darrell Armstrong will return to the Dallas Mavericks after signing a one-year contract under the veteran?s exception. Armstrong, 37, gives the Mavericks a third point guard to complement Jason Terry and Devin Harris. The signing also apparently closes the door on a possible Dallas return for Nick Van Exel.

After being acquired from New Orleans in December, Armstrong averaged 2.3 points and 2.2 assists in 52 games. His top moment as a Maverick was a 4-for-4 shooting performance in Game 7 of the first-round playoff series against Houston.

?He had a lot of choices,? agent Glen Schwartzman said. ?The Mavericks and the coaching staff know they can look to him, and he can contribute with his play and leadership. He felt this was the best situation to try to compete and win a championship."

Via Dallas Morning News

Mavs Decision On Finley Coming Today

After weeks of anxiety, rumors and talk, the Mavericks will finally make the call on longtime star Michael Finley.

They must decide by midnight Monday, Dallas time, about using the NBA's new luxury-tax amnesty provision and waiving Finley. Or they could trade him for useable assets.

Either way, Finley, 32, will be a former Maverick by 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. On the floor, he was a two-time All-Star and a key figure in the Mavericks' rise from the dark days of the 1990s. Off the court, he was a solid citizen who held a charity golf tournament each summer.

"In this scenario, no matter what comes of it, Michael either experiences free agency or we get something that helps us," said Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations. "It's a win-win situation."

Via Dallas Morning News

Suns Off-Season Not Over Yet As Finley May Join The Run-N-Gun Ranks

The Suns' off season has not yet come to an end.

They still have the opportunity to add to an already strong team. With the possibility of Michael Finley being waived this week, the Suns could look to add him to replace Joe Johnson.

There are also other remaining free agents that Phoenix could pursue to add depth.

Via Casey OGrady/RealGM

Diop, Moore and Johnson On Radar for Dallas

The Mavericks were unable to sign the inside player they coveted the most this off-season when Phoenix Suns free agent center Steven Hunter signed a five-year, $17 million contract Thursday with the Philadelphia 76ers.

With free agents Dale Davis and Brian Grant probably out of their price range -- and with Dikembe Mutombo leaning toward re-signing with Houston -- the Mavs are hoping to sign either DeSagana Diop, Mikki Moore or Ervin Johnson to serve as Erick Dampier's backup.

Diop, a restricted free agent with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has climbed the Mavs' wish list after a solid showing in the Las Vegas summer league. Diop struggled with the Cavs.

Via Dallas Star-Telegram

Dallas Mavericks Archives

Mavs Agree To Contract With Christie

The Mavericks have reached an oral agreement with veteran swingman Doug Christie on a one-year, $3 million deal, a source said.

Christie Wants To Sign One-Year Pact With Dallas

O'Connor Denies Rumors Of Boozer, Harpring Trades

Van Exel Leans Towards Houston, Dallas Could Target Christie

Mavericks Trying To Sign Van Exel?

Strong Summer Lands Powell A 2-Year Deal

Buckner Waits On Denver While Denver Waits On Finley

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