UPDATE: C BERNARD JAMES CLEARS WAIVERS, PAVES WAY FOR MAVERICKS RETURN.
The waiver wait on Bernard James is over and the Mavs are fortunate no team put a claim on the second-year center whose per 36-minute stats were 10.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3 blocks, per ESPNDallas.
According the Marc Stein, the Mavs will re-sign James as they intended if the 28-year-old indeed cleared. Dallas will retain “Sarge” at the league minimum once their remaining cap space is used.
This is great news for a Mavericks squad that sorely lacked the depth at the center position. Once James is back on board, it gives the Mavs a solid backup to new starter Samuel Dalembert.
It’ll be interesting to see whether or not this affects Dallas’ continual pursuit of Greg Oden. Oden is expected to meet with New Orleans and Sacramento this week.
And then there was one…again.
The Dallas Mavericks have waived C Bernard James, leaving the recently signed Samuel Dalembert as the only true center on the roster.
It wasn’t a decision the Mavs wanted to execute, but with commitments to Dalembert and the still unofficially signed G Monta Ellis, waiving James was the chosen avenue to create ample cap space.
When James left Las Vegas after just one Summer League game, it was reported as an illness. Later it came out that James left for Dallas for personal reasons. It had been said his deadline for his non-guaranteed was mutually moved back, which led many to believe his Vegas departure was a contract related issue.
James will hit the waiver wire and the Mavs would love to re-sign the 28-year-old center who started 11 games in his rookie season. James saw about 10 minutes per game and averaged 2.8 points with 2.8 boards and almost one block.
If James gets claimed, where do the Mavs turn from here in order to solidify the center position behind Dalembert?
Greg Oden would be a terrific gamble for the price the Mavs can offer, but no contract talk has actually taken place. Dallas and Oden did have two face-to-face meetings already which could be an encouraging sign, but no clear choice has emerged in the Oden sweepstakes.
The recently amnestied F/C Drew Gooden could be an option, right? Gooden has played for the organization before he was dealt to the Washington Wizards in the trade that saw Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson becomes Mavericks. Gooden can play both power forward and center off the bench and would be had for the vet minimum.
For now those two names appear the most likely targets if James indeed gets snagged by another team in the waiver process. It still leaves Mavs fans questioning why James and not the expendable guard Josh Akognon? Does the front office know something we don’t?
We’ll find out soon enough…