Jameer Nelson signs with Mavericks, could start at point guard

Posted Thursday, Jul. 24, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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This summer’s hot streak of bagging players who will be in their rotation next season continued Thursday for the Dallas Mavericks when they signed point guard Jameer Nelson to a two-year contract worth $5.586 million.

Nelson will collect $2.732 million next season with a player option for 2015-16 that will pay him $2.854 million.

The addition of Nelson brings the number of players the Mavs have signed to guaranteed contracts or traded for this off-season to eight. That list includes Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Richard Jefferson, Devin Harris, Greg Smith and Nelson.

Dallas also is closing in on signing free-agent forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who has agreed to a two-year, $2.1 million contract. Earlier this month, forward Eric Griffin signed a four-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Mavs worth $3.6 million.

All told, this has been the most productive off-season in Mavs history as management has steadfastly pieced together what it hopes is another run to a championship.

Nelson had played his entire 10-year career with Orlando before the Magic waived him on June 30. Last year, the 6-foot, 190-pounder averaged 12.1 points and seven assists in 32 minutes per contest while starting all 68 games he played in.

One of the NBA’s fastest players, Nelson shot 39.4 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from 3-point range.

Nelson has career averages of 12.6 points and 5.4 assists in 29.2 minutes per game, shooting 44.2 percent from the floor and 37.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

Of course, it’s way too early to determine if the Mavs will use Nelson or Felton as their starting point guard. But they have said they plan to continue bringing Harris off the bench so he can maintain his effective pick-and-roll connection with Brandan Wright.

In Nelson, the Mavs acquired a player who was the 20th overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft out of Saint Joseph’s. He also played in the 2009 NBA All-Star game.

The 32-year-old Nelson was such a fixture and fan favorite in Orlando that the Magic rented two billboards around town to thank him for his decade of service. The Mavs expect him to bring that same on-court and locker room presence to their organization.

With Nelson signed, the Mavs now have just two slots left to hand out guaranteed contracts. One of them is going to Aminu, and the other they will likely save to secure a big man who might get waived from another team.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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