DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Mavs organization benefited from a trio of positive personnel reports on Tuesday: Devin Harris practiced with the team for the first time all year; Shawn Marion pronounced his shoulder healed enough for him to rejoin the lineup; and college star P.J. Hairston is now property of the Texas Legends.
Let’s handle the flood of positive Dallas Mavericks news one droplet at a time:
Guard Devin Harris’ return to health following offseason toe surgery has been an arduous process. But on Tuesday he engaged in his first full practice with the team and now may be a week or so away from a return to the court.
“Devin is doing good,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s getting better and better, and he’s on the right path. … He’s done everything that he’s supposed to and he’s getting to where he needs to get. So we’re getting closer and closer, but it won’t happen this week.”
Harris will not play during the 23-16 Mavs’ two-game roadie as they are at the Clippers on Wednesday and at Phoenix Suns on Friday. He also is not scheduled to play when the Mavs host Portland on Saturday, though he plans to address the media that day.
Shawn Marion will travel with the team as he plans to return from a four-game absence due to a right shoulder contusion and bruised ribs.
“I think it’s something I can tolerate now, so I’m just going to give it a go,” Marion said. “I was real close (to playing in Monday’s win over Orlando), but I couldn’t dunk where I could simply stretch my arm out without any pain. I did today, but I was able to fight through it a little bit easier, so we’ll see.”
“I can’t sit out any longer. It’s tolerable, so I’m going to give it a go so I can help my team on this road trip.”
Carlisle isn’t quite ready to pull the trigger, however.
P.J. Hairston will be an NBA prospect in the June draft, maybe even a first-rounder. The North Carolina junior’s eligibility means he can’t be called up by the Mavs or anybody else. But he’ll still play a season of pro basketball now with the D-League Texas Legends.
“Dallas, here I come!” tweeted Hairston on Tuesday.
The standout 2-guard was recently suspended from the team (and then suspended by the NCAA) after two arrests for driving incidents, one involving charges of possession of marijuana.
Hairston played for two seasons at the University of North Carolina, last playing during the 2012-13 season. He led the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game that year.
The D-League is about ‘development.’ The 6-5, 227-pound Hairston — just 21 — gets that chance in Frisco. The Mavs organization, of course, gets the best possible look at a prospect — and because the D-League is also about entertainment, the Legends get some marketable star power.
“I’m extremely grateful that the Texas Legends organization believes in my abilities, and thank them for signing me to their team,” Hairston said in a statement from the team. “I intend to take full advantage of this opportunity. This is another positive step towards accomplishing the goals I set out for myself. This is an exciting time.”
I’m told Hairston will practice with the team on Wednesday, will not make a Friday road trip, but will then debut with the Legends on Saturday night in Frisco. Get tickets to the Texas Legends games here.
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