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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / January 22.
  • Jersey's Thomas to Big D; Irving Lights it Up Again; Rosario a 'Diaper Dandy'; Fontan Working Out at Fordham

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    The Dallas Mavericks traded for Tim Thomas on Tuesday but you have to wonder if the Paterson, N.J. native will stay there for long.

    The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Thomas, 32, signed a one-year deal for $1.3 million with the Mavs, his fourth team since last November.

    The deal is low-risk for Dallas, which didn’t use any of its midlevel exception or bi-annual exception to land Thomas.

    “Number one, the organization is chasing what I’m chasing, a ring,” Thomas told Keith Idec of The Bergen Record. “And it was important for me to go somewhere that I’m wanted, somewhere that I feel, overall, is just a great fit for me because I can help them in so many different ways. Once my agent told me Dallas was available and how interested they were, it was a no-brainer.”

    After losing out on Brandon Bass and missing out on Orlando center Marcin Gortat, the Mavs went out and got Drew Gooden for one year and $4.5 million and Thomas and now have seven power forwards under contract: Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Shawne Williams, Kris Humphries, Nathan Jawai, Gooden and Thomas.

    You have to think a trade of some sort of trade is on the horizon.

    Still, Mavs owner Mark Cuban said the acquisition of Thomas, who starred at Paterson (N.J.) Catholic High School and was chosen No. 7 by the Nets in the 1997 NBA Draft, would benefit the team.

    “He is a really good three-point shooter that can spread the floor for us and will immediately make us a better three-point-shooting team,” Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. “Plus, he is a far better one-on-one post defender than he gets credit for. His length and experience really pay off.”

    IRVING LIGHTS IT UP AGAIN

    Kyrie Irving dropped 39 points Tuesday but his New Jersey Roadrunners team lost to Will Barton and the Baltimore Stars in pool play at the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Fla.

    The Memphis-bound Barton scored 21 points.

    Irving previously scored 37 points in an overtime victory against Team Final in the AAU Supershowcase.

    Irving is a 6-2 point guard being recruited by Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, UConn, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and others.

    ROSARIO, FONTAN NOTES

    Staying in New Jersey, Dick Vitale, an East Rutherford, N.J. native, has officially proclaimed Rutgers guard Mike Rosario a “diaper dandy.”

    Writing in the August issue of Basketball Times — which also features articles by yours truly on Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson — Vitale says: “There is a sophomore at Rutgers to keep an eye on. I’m talking about Mike Rosario, who played for Puerto Rico in the FIBA U19 tournament. Rosario had 54 points in a game against France. As a diaper dandy, he showed that he can be a big-time scorer.”

    **Jio Fontan, Rosario’s teammate on the Puerto Rico team, has been working out at Fordham for several days now in preparation for next season.

    As first reported by ZAGSBLOG, Fontan opted to return to Fordham instead of sitting out next season.

    “It’s the best thing,” said Jorge Fontan, Jio’s dad. “He’s motivated. He’s enjoying playing and he wants to continue to play and if he sat that couldn’t happen.

    “He’s been working out and going there every day. I think he can move back to campus July 31. He’s been going there and working out and stuff like that.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.