Mavericks sign Dalembert for two years, $7.5 million

Posted Saturday, Jul. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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With an eye on making the playoffs next season, the Dallas Mavericks signed free agent center Samuel Dalembert to a two-year, $7.5 million contract on Friday.

After missing out on Dwight Howard and not offering a deal to Andrew Bynum, the Mavs signed Dalembert, a 32-year journeyman who averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.

“We are glad to have Sam on board,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He is a rebounder/rim protector who I believe is a bit underrated offensively. He’s by far the best unrestricted free agent center available at this time.”

In 11 seasons, Dalembert has averaged 8.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 774 career games. The only Haitian-born player in the NBA, Dalembert was the 26th overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, and also has played for the Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets.

The Mavs become Dalembert’s fifth team in the past five seasons. He fills a void in the middle of the lineup vacated when the Mavs decided not to re-sign Chris Kaman and Elton Brand.

Kaman signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers and Brand signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks.

Despite the signing of Dalembert, the Mavs are still courting free-agent center Greg Oden.

They also are committed to signing one of their own free-agent centers, Brandan Wright.

Unless things change, Dalembert (6-11, 250) will likely be the Mavs’ starting center alongside a front line that includes Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, with Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon manning the backcourt.

The youngest player in that lineup is Ellis, who turns 28 on Oct. 26. Nowitzki and Marion are 35 years old, and Calderon will be 32 on Sept. 28.

It’s an aging lineup owner Mark Cuban has assembled. But the Mavs are hoping their quality young players, such as Jae Crowder, Bernard James, Gal Mekel, Ricky Ledo and Shane Larkin — and perhaps Jackie Carmichael — will be able to help the veterans.

Still, securing Dalembert was the key to the off-season.

Mavs end with loss

The Mavericks finished their Las Vegas Summer League schedule with a 94-87 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

Dallas finished summer league play with a 2-4 record.

The Mavs played the Bulls without their top two veterans, Jae Crowder and Bernard James.

Crowder missed Friday’s game after spraining his left ankle during Thursday’s loss to the Golden State Warriors.

James missed the past three games because of personal reasons, and also sat out last Sunday’s game against Charlotte with an illness.

In addition, guard D.J. Stephens sat out Friday’s game after suffering a bone bruise in his left knee in the loss to the Warriors.

Mekel tunes shooting

In six summer league games, Gal Mekel has proven that he is a skilled passer.

The Mavs want him to work on perfecting his jump shot.

“He can pass, he can control a game,” Mark Cuban said. “He’s a pass-first [point guard]. He knows how to control a game. He also knows when to score, too.’’

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