It took some time and some patience, but the Dallas Mavericks finally got their center.
Before Wednesday’s summer league game against the Los Angeles Clippers, owner Mark Cuban said his team had come to terms with free-agent center Samuel Dalembert on a multi-year contract.
The 6-foot-11, 250-pound Dalembert helps salvage a summer in which the Mavs lost out on Dwight Howard, and also made overtures to Andrew Bynum.
“It’s not ‘signed’ signed,” Cuban said of the contract with Dalembert. “But it’s agreed upon.”
Cuban said adding Dalembert does not affect the Mavs’ hot pursuit of another center — Greg Oden.
“It doesn’t mean [trying to sign Oden is over],” Cuban said. “It’s a totally different thing, because Greg, who knows when he’ll be able to play, so we’ll see.
“We just looked at the medical side [of Oden] and we haven’t talked to him about deals or anything yet. So whether or not we have a shot, I don’t know.”
In 774 career games, Dalembert has averages of 8.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game and has shot 52 percent from the floor. In 47 games for the Milwaukee Bucks last season he averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while shooting 54.2 percent from the field.
The Mavs become the fifth team in the past five years for Dalembert, a 32-year old journeyman who played for Philadelphia, Sacramento, Houston and the Bucks before joining the Mavs.
“He’s a shot-blocker and a rebounder,’’ Cuban said. “He averaged a rebound every three minutes when he started last year — I think he was like 14 [points] and 10 [rebounds].
“He’ll add a new dimension that we haven’t had since we had Tyson [Chandler], so we’ll see what happens.”
Chandler helped the Mavs win the 2011 NBA title in his only season in Dallas before leaving via free agency the ensuing summer to play for the New York Knicks.
Mavs keeping Harris
Mark Cuban confirmed that free-agent point guard Devin Harris isn’t leaving the Mavs.
Two weeks ago the Mavs and Harris had verbally agreed on a three-year, $9 million contract. But the Mavs discovered Harris needed toe surgery, so the two parties got together to work out a restructured contract to keep Harris after he returns from surgery.
“He’s coming back,” Cuban said. “We just restructured the deal and once we have something to announce we’ll get it all out there.”
Wright on hold
Brandan Wright will sign a new contract with the Mavs probably by this weekend, Mark Cuban said.
Because Wright is the Mavs’ free agent, they are allowed to go over the salary cap to sign him.
“You have to do all the stuff, and you have to do certain things to optimize your cap room,” Cuban said. “So you have to go through those different steps.”
Wright will likely receive a contract starting at around $4 million per year.