The Dallas Mavericks are nearing a deal with free-agent point guard Jameer Nelson.
"The Mavericks lost a big shooter Wednesday but likely will gain a small one Thursday.
"And they will finalize their roster with a defensive-minded addition.
"When it was determined that 6-10 Rashard Lewis could not pass his physical because of a problem with his right knee, the Mavericks voided the contract he signed last week. The severity of the injury was not known. But the Mavericks elected to void the deal, and Lewis will return to the marketplace as an unrestricted free agent when he recovers from the expected knee surgery.
"It's possible the Mavericks could sign him again during the season, but a source said at this time that appears unlikely.
"Meanwhile, two sources said the Mavericks were preparing to welcome 6-foot Jameer Nelson to town on Thursday. He is expected to take a physical and if everything is in order, will sign with the Mavericks for their cap-room exception of $2.7 million.
"They also reached an agreement on a two-year, $2.1 million contract with New Orleans free agent Al-Farouq Aminu, who has a nose for rebounding and defense but is limited offensively. He would be an option when it comes to guarding the toughest offensive matchups in the Western Conference such as Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.
"Nelson, who has spent all 10 years of his career with Orlando, is considered a strong leader who has good pick-and-roll skills and is a solid 3-point shooter.
"The 20th pick of the 2004 draft, Nelson averaged 12.1 points and seven assists last season in 68 games with the (Orlando) Magic. He is a career 37.4 percent 3-point shooter.
"He would likely split time at the point guard with Raymond Felton. Devin Harris also can play the position but spent a lot of time at shooting guard last season. The Mavericks would keep all three, which would play to the strength of coach Rick Carlisle's philosophy that quality depth at all positions is crucial.
"Aminu, 23, is a 6-9 product out of Wake Forest who has averaged nearly seven rebounds over the last two seasons in about 26 minutes of playing time per game for the Pelicans. He will sign for the veteran's minimum and the two-year deal will include a player option for the second season."
In a related development, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told ESPN Dallas' Tim McMahon on July 23 that the team is not trying to trade point guard Raymond Felton in light of the impending Nelson acquisition:
"The planned signing of point guard Jameer Nelson is not a sign that the Mavs will try to push Raymond Felton out the door.
"That comes straight from owner Mark Cuban, who offered an emphatic 'no' when asked whether the Mavs would look to move Felton, who was acquired along with center Tyson Chandler in last month's six-player trade with the New York Knicks.
"'We like him and think he will have a great year,' Cuban told ESPNDAllas.com via the Cyber Dust messaging app. 'Do quote me on that.'
"The Mavs envision Nelson, Felton and Devin Harris all getting significant playing time at point guard and some minutes at shooting guard behind Monta Ellis, as well.
"Nobody, least of all Felton, denies that the nine-year veteran point guard is coming off a dreadful season in New York. Felton averaged a career-low 9.7 points and a near-career-low 5.6 assists for a disappointing Knicks team that failed to make the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference.
"Felton, who has averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 assists during his career, dealt with injury issues (a groin strain) and off-court problems (a divorce and arrest on gun charges) last season. He's healthy now and hungry to prove himself again.
"'Just to show everybody that I've still got it, I still can play,' Felton said on a recent conference call with Dallas reporters. 'I still can play the game at this level. I still play as an elite point guard at this level. That's just all.
"'When you come off a season like I had last year, there's always a point where you've got to prove yourself coming back the next season. And trust me, I look forward to it.'
"So do the Mavs, Cuban insists."