A brand new contract for this NBA coach

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A brand new contract for this NBA coach

From Comcast SportsNet
DALLAS (AP) -- The coach who led the Dallas Mavericks to their only NBA championship is staying put. Rick Carlisle has signed a new contract with the Mavericks, a year after winning the title. While terms of the deal weren't released, owner Mark Cuban indicated in a statement Tuesday that it was for at least as long as the coach's initial four-year contract. "We are excited that Rick will be back with the Mavericks for at least the next four years," Cuban said. "He is a proven winner, a great teacher and a coach that will help the Mavericks improve as a team and as an organization." Carlisle just completed the final season of the four-year contract he got when he replaced Avery Johnson in 2008. Dallas made it to the playoffs for the 12th consecutive season, but was swept in the first round by Oklahoma City. Carlisle has a 198-114 regular season record in Dallas, and is 479-325 overall (.596 winning percentage) as a head coach. Before joining the Mavericks, Carlisle led Detroit and Indiana to the Eastern Conference finals. Cuban and Carlisle both repeatedly refused over the last several weeks of the season to discuss the coach's future. "These things, they take time and it's a very big commitment both ways and we had a lot of great conversations during the season and after the season," Carlisle said during an interview on ESPN Radio in Dallas, the team's flagship station. "I'm very happy to have the opportunity to return." Carlisle wouldn't elaborate on any details of his new contract during the extended interview. On the day after the season-ending Game 4 loss to the Thunder earlier this month, Carlisle would only say that Dallas "has been a great opportunity for me and my family and we love it here." When he attended a Texas Rangers game Sunday, he smiled without saying anything when asked about a new contract. Now that Carlisle is set to return, the Mavericks have plenty of decisions to make about players to surround 11-time All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who will be 34 next season. "It's a lot of work going forward because there's going to be a lot of big decisions that have to be made," Carlisle said during his radio interview. "We've got younger guys, we've got to continue to get better and there are some unknowns which to me make it exciting, and I want to be here. So I'm glad it worked out." Jason Kidd, their 39-year-old point guard whose 1,315 career regular-season games are more than any other active player, and guards Jason Terry and Delonte West are among six Dallas players who can become free agents. The Mavs have team options on four other players, including Vince Carter and Brandan Wright. The NBA lockout last summer led to a new collective bargaining agreement with different rules that affected how Cuban put together the team. In the process, some big pieces were let go and Dallas became the league's oldest team for a condensed and shortened season. After its championship, Dallas didn't keep center Tyson Chandler, DeShawn Stevenson, J.J. Barea or Caron Butler. Chandler went to the New York Knicks and was the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year. The roster could drastically change for the second offseason in a row, though Carlisle can't and didn't specifically talk Tuesday about any potential free-agent targets. "We have a destination that is going to be a desirable destination for players and we've got a great fan base. We still have one of the greatest players in the game and one of the greatest players ever to play the game in Dirk," Carlisle said. "We're going to have a busy summer, we're looking forward to it. And we're going to be very resourceful and opportunistic."

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the annual winter meetings get underway today, the market for arguably the best free-agent hitter may be -- against all logic -- lessening.

Edwin Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers a year over the last five seasons, should be a player in demand.

But in quick succession, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, two teams thought to be in the market for Encarnacion, opted to go with older hitters who required shorter deals -- Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Further, the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Steve Pearce to a two-year deal Monday, coupled with their earlier acquisition of Kendrys Morales, closes the door on a potential return to Toronto for Encarnacion.

Seemingly, all of that would position the Red Sox, in search of a DH to replace the retired David Ortiz, to swoop in and land Encarnacion for far less than they could have imagined only weeks ago.

And yet, it appears as though things would have to change considerably for the Red Sox to reach agreement with Encarnacion.

While the first baseman-DH is known to be Ortiz's first choice as his replacement, for now, the economics don't work for the Sox -- even as Enacarnacion's leverage drops.

Encarnacion is expecting a deal of at least four years, with an average annual value around $20 million.

The Red Sox, industry sources indicate, are very much mindful of the luxury tax threshold. The Sox have, however modestly, gone over the threshold in each of the last two seasons, and even with a bump due to last week's new CBA, the Sox are dangerously close to the 2018 limit of $195 million.

Should the Sox go over for a third straight year, their tax would similarly ratchet up.

That, and the fact that Encarnacion would cost the Sox their first-round pick next June -- for this offseason, compensation for players given a qualifying offer comes under the old CBA rules -- represents two huge disincentives.

It's far more likely that the Sox will seek a cheaper option at DH from among a group that includes Pedro Alvarez and Mike Napoli. Neither is in Encarnacion's class, but then again, neither would cost a draft pick in return, or the long-term investment that Encarnacion is said to be seeking.

Rajon Rondo suspended by Bulls for 'heated exchange'

Rajon Rondo suspended by Bulls for 'heated exchange'

Former Celtics and current Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo is up to his old tricks, apparently.

The Bulls have suspended Rondo for Monday’s game due to conduct detrimental to the team, with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical saying that the suspension is the result of a “heated exchange” the 30-year-old had with a Bulls assistant during or after the team’s 107-82 loss to the Mavericks Saturday. 

Rondo clashing with others is nothing new. He once shattered a television on which the Celtics were showing him game footage to critique him and had to be carried out kicking and screaming by Kevin Garnett. Chris Sheridan reported in 2013 that Doc Rivers had an “intense dislike” for Rondo and that the two almost fought.

After being traded out of Boston, Rondo was suspended for a game by the Mavericks after a shouting match with Rick Carlisle. Last December, he was suspended for calling referee Bill Kennedy a homophobic slur, leading to Kennedy coming out as gay. 

Interestingly enough, there's something of a pattern of Rondo's bigger infractions occuring in games against former teams. The Kennedy incident came in a game against the Celtics, while this recent one was against Dallas. 

This is the first season of a two-year, $28 million Rondo signed with the Bulls in the offseason. He is averaging 8.2 points per game, 7.2 assists per game and 6.7 rebounds a night.