DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks made a pair of very critical and eye-popping moves Thursday that probably signaled the end of Delonte West's career in Dallas.
Early Thursday morning, the Mavs handed West an indefinite suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. It was West's second suspension since Oct. 15, when the Mavs suspended him for less than a day for conduct detrimental to the team.
Later Thursday, the Mavs addressed their lack of height and strength in the middle when they were awarded free-agent center Eddy Curry on a waiver claim. San Antonio waived him this week.
The fourth overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft, Curry (7-foot, 295 pounds) can fill a void left by injuries to Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Kaman and Brandan Wright.
"We are excited to bring Eddy Curry to Dallas," said Donnie Nelson, Mavs president of basketball operations. "He has worked extremely hard this off-season and can provide our front line with much needed depth."
Curry is expected to be at this morning's shootaround and will likely play in tonight's 7:30 preseason finale against the Charlotte Bobcats at American Airlines Center. Curry has career averages of 13 points and 5.2 rebounds in 24.9 minutes while playing for Chicago, New York and Miami.
The acquisition of Curry brings the Mavs' roster to 16 -- one over the NBA maximum. Monday is the deadline to cut the roster to 15, and West is the most likely candidate to either be waived or traded.
"That's my buddy," forward Vince Carter said of West. "Man, I tell you what, he's a great guy.
"I don't know what's going on, so I kind of stay out it. But if he wants to sit and talk and vent, that's what I'm down for. I enjoy it."
Forward Shawn Marion described West as the ultimate teammate.
"We've still got to go on and focus on our task at hand," Marion said. "You can think about it, but at the same time we can't harp on it all day.
"We'll grasp it and then kind of push it to the side and go do what we need to do. They're going to handle it upstairs. Let them deal with it. It's not in our hands."
West went on a rant on his Twitter account, saying that an argument broke out between two Mavs teammates and that he was an innocent bystander. Some of West's tweets read:
"That my name showin up in any fashion in a negative light is the worst thing that can happen. everything Ived worked towards out d window.
"Just ask u to talk with me ... I'm a grown man ... that's not above logic and reason ... Before u go to the papers wit false information.
"And it just ain't right ... imma leave it at that... no ill will towards no one ... I'm just sittin here across from the arena wit tear in my eyes."
Carter sympathizes with West. "We're losing a competitor," Carter said. "Everybody goes through their differences, but that's one guy you can rely on. And I feel for him. It's a sensitive situation right now and it's not much that I can say."
Kaman's status iffy
Coach Rick Carlisle didn't sound too optimistic that center Chris Kaman will be able to play in the regular-season opener Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kaman has missed the last three games while nursing a strained right calf. The 7-footer has been penciled in as the Mavs' starting center.
Meanwhile, center Brandan Wright, who sprained his left ankle Wednesday night against Oklahoma City, won't play tonight against Charlotte.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760