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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mavericks interested in Nick Calathes


In the heat of the NBA Finals, it's hard to gauge where the Dallas Mavericks stand on their future at point guard.


Any long-term decisions could include Lake Howell and UF basketball standout Nick Calathes, who is coming off an outstanding second season of pro ball in Greece.

Dallas gained the NBA rights to Calathes in a 2009 trade with Minnesota, which took the 6-foot-6 guard in the second round of that year's draft after he signed a deal with Greek power Panathinaikos.

Calathes was scheduled to fly back to Orlando on Wednesday after turning in an outstanding performance in the final game of the Greek A1 League championship series Sunday. He had 16 points, 11 assists and five rebounds in a 101-94 overtime win over Olympiakos. That capped a postseason in which he helped his team also take the overall Euroleague title.

Calathes, who was Florida Mr. Basketball after leading Lake Howell to its 2007 state championship, was selected as one of five all-league players. He also was chosen as the Greek league's most improved player and a member of the all-defensive team.



He still has an option year left on his contract and has said an NBA team would need to pay a $500,000 buyout to bring him back to the United States for the 2011-12 season. More difficult might be matching his sweet deal, which is said to be comparable to an NBA lottery-like contract. Made more luctrative because of Calathes' Greek heritage and eligibility to play for its national teams, the contract is said to approach $2 million per year and includes tax-free money, a free home and a car.

Dallas has an undrafted overachiever, former Miami Christian standout J.J. Barea, backing up 38-year-old starter Jason Kidd, at the point. Its 2009 first-round draft pick out of France, Rodrigue Beaubois, has been labeled be a starter in waiting, but NBA analysts say Beaubois has looked much more at home as a shooting guard than at point in his young career.


source : orlandosentinel.com

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