Since missing out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, the Dallas Mavericks have been hard at work trying to add some depth to their team.
In the last three weeks, Mark Cuban has signed Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis and now Samuel Dalembert. Some might say that not signing Howard was a good thing because instead of getting one player, the Mavs were able to sign four of them.
Cuban has been busy trying to fill the void at the five spot, not only talking to Howard, but also with the likes of Andrew Bynum and Greg Oden. Both have had their share of problems, so Cuban and the Mavs decided to take the safer route.
Dalembert is no push-over; he may lack the offensive skills that Howard has, but he is just as good defensively. The longtime Sixer, who played with Ellis last season in Milwaukee, has been known as one of the better shot-blockers of the league, of course, when healthy.
The 11-year vet has averaged 70 games a season, having played in all 82 in five of his seasons. Dalembert’s career totals span out to 8.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg and 1.8 bpg. His best year came in the 2007-08 season with Philly where he averaged 10.5 ppg, 10.4 rpg and 2.3 bpg, while shooting 51 percent from the field and 71 percent from the line.
One key component that Dalembert has that Howard may lack is making free throws. Dalembert’s 70 percent career free-throw shooting is far better than Howard’s 58 percent.
The Mavericks have had four different starting centers in as many years with Chris Kaman, Brendan Haywood, Tyson Chandler and Erick Dampier, but the pieces are starting to fall for Cuban now, as this year’s team is starting to look more like the team that won the title in 2011, consisting of Dirk and key journeymen players that have high IQ’s in the game and can contribute all around the court.
Last year’s team had some key names, but no one that played in the league long enough to take over a team when Dirk missed the first 27 games of the season due to knee surgery. The starting lineup is now projected to be Calderon, Ellis, Marion, Dirk and Dalembert. Not the sexiest bunch, but with a combined 57 years in the league, good things are to come for the Dallas Mavericks in 2013-14.