News that Marcus Camby is available is not phasing the Mavs, a source telling DB.com that the club passed on the idea of Camby to instead lock down a deal for Samuel Dalembert. Meanwhile, we dig into some issues involving another center, Bernard James - who the Mavs DO wish to retain in some form. Here's the scoop:
News that Marcus Camby was made available on Wednesday via his buyout from Toronto did not phase the Dallas Mavericks, a source telling DB.com that the club passed on the idea of Camby to instead lock down a deal for Samuel Dalembert.
The team isn't done adding bigs; Dallas will almost certainly add three or four more players to Nowitzki to fill the roster at PF and C.
Brandan Wright is an easy call. He and the Mavs are rumored to have settled on a two-year deal nearing $4M, with Wright telling DB.com he's "sitting tight'' because his Early Bird rights here mean he will have to be signed after the Mavs have otherwise used up their cap room.
We have no indication yet the Mavs are done trying to court Greg Oden. But it's also clear that their courtship with Dalembert includes the notion of him as Dallas' starting center.
The Mavs brought him to town to talk about a deal last week. There are still a variety of ways to acquire him and to fit him inside the cap; The current cap room is about $10,658,574, so among the simplest formulas is allowing perhaps $8 million to Ellis, and $2.6M to Dalembert.
So does all this damage Bernard James' status?
James does have some mystery involving him. What we know:
*He has not been waived.
*So he is either on the team with a contract that became guaranteed on July 15 (as first reported by DB.com on Monday), or he is on the team with the deadline-to-waive date having been moved to a later date.
*Mavs are being kinda close-mouthed about him, even as he leaves S-League.
*But their statements to DB.com seemed to indicate the deadline has been moved to later.
*As long as he is non-guaranteed, the Mavs can do the waive (removing him from eating up cap room) -and-re-sign (to a minimum salary exception deal, which doesn't use cap room) process with him. Doing so would free up about $300,000 in cap room to use on another player between his waiver and the re-signing.
*But neither player nor team would want there to be a huge gap between waiver and re-signing.
*If they don't need the extra $300,000 in cap room, the Mavs won't do the waive and re-sign.
*If he gets injured in summer league, the non-guaranteed becomes guaranteed-if-waived until he gets well.
*The Mavs have been negotiating on several fronts and trying to maximize cap room, and they haven't known how much cap room they might need. That may clear up now that Dalembert is about to be in the fold.
*But, they so need to get all their cap space deals lined up. And Oden is still in the mix.
So ... we believe they agreed to move his deadline until later in the summer. Then they sent him home so that an untimely injury wouldn't somehow impair their ability to do a waive-and-re-sign. They may not need the extra slice of cap room, but just in case it would make a difference, they want to have it available.
Does any of this hurt James? Nope, because they have no intention to skip the "and re-sign him" part. He will come out in the same place, and perhaps better. Our sense of things is that the re-sign would add another year to his deal.
The reason we can safely assume they have plans to keep him, one way or the other, is that if they didn't want him, there's no need for any of the machinations. Just waive him and be done. But you delay the deadline date (as the Mavs have done) to give yourself an opportunity to do a new deal right after the old one goes away.
The Mavs would not have changed other terms in the deal. Only the guarantee amount and date can be changed per CBA rules, and increasing the amount from $0 pre-deadline would defeat the purpose. The incentive to James is the promise of a new NBA deal when he's waived, which he otherwise did not have.
That is coming. And so is a new deal for Samuel Dalembert as well.