The Dallas Mavericks were unable to acquire Dwight Howard in the free agency sweepstakes, losing him to the in-state Houston Rockets. Instead, they’ll pick up Samuel Dalembert to be their new starting center.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, both Dalembert and the Mavericks have a verbal agreement. No details were given on the contract. After missing on Howard and Andrew Bynum, it appears that Dalembert isn’t the normal third choice for Dallas.
The Mavericks have discussed the prospect of acquiring Dalembert via trade for years — including talks with Milwaukee last season that could have sent starting center Chris Kamanto the Bucks — because they’ve seen the defensive-minded 7-footer from Haiti as a good stylistic fit next to star forward Dirk Nowitzki.
Dalembert played with the Philadelphia 76ers for eight years before playing with the Sacramento Kings in 2010 and Houston Rockets in 2011. The 11-year veteran averages eight points and 8.1 rebounds, and is shooting 70.4 percent from the free throw line, in his career.
Dallas is still pursuing Greg Oden, who wants to make a comeback in the NBA after suffering multiple knee injuries and having five surgeries during his time with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans were also in the mix of picking up Oden.