Samuel Dalembert

The Dallas Mavericks, similar to last season, are losing in almost every big free agency battle they’re in, and moving on to less attractive choices, just like their new interest in Samuel Dalembert to become their center next season.

The Mavs aren’t going to land Monta Ellis or Andrew Bynum, and they were never really in contention to win the Dwight Howard contest. They met with Bynum, but it’s not clear why they didn’t make him an offer.

Either because of his medical history and future concerns, or simply because they were unwilling to pay him what the Cavs offered ($24 million for two years), Dallas passed, and decided to try and focus on pretty much the only viable option left at the position, although far less enthusiasm inducing in Dalembert.

The Haitian center has played on four teams these last four seasons, last doing his thing for the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 6.7 points and 5.9 rebounds last season, but played in only 47 games, featuring 16.3 minutes a night. To suddenly bring him to playing over 24 minutes each game is possible, but it’s not certain his body can hold on to that kind of “punishment” for an entire season.

The Mavs, despite some big words and talk before the offseason, might be exactly where they were last season, and possibly even worse off. Yes, Dirk Nowitzki is healthy, but the team hasn’t been able to get a consistent and reliable scorer to pair up with him, and probably overpaid Jose Calderon in both the amount and the length of his deal.

Playoffs? Mark Cuban doesn’t like to talk about tanking, and the Mavs aren’t, but at the moment, it seems like they’ll be in the running for both a top free agent in 12 months from now, and be part of the discussion on who will get one of the very promising college basketball talents predicted to be entering the NBA after only one season next year.

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