The Dallas Mavericks have emerged as a bidder for free agent centers Greg Oden and Brandan Wright, but they are also busy negotiating with veteran big man Samuel Dalembert after an all-day meeting on Thursday, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. Dalembert is a proven rebounder and a shot-blocking presence in the paint. The 32-year-old center is among the top NBA free agents still available to be signed.
After striking out in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, the Mavericks' roster is very thin at the center position. Bernard James is the only real big man signed at the moment, which is why Dallas is considered a serious landing spot for Dalembert, Wright and even Oden.
Dalembert is coming off a solid season. He posted an 18.6 Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in 16.3 minutes per contest for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012-13, but his tenure with the team wasn't without controversy. A late arrival to a game against the Mavericks earned Dalembert a suspension and a place in Scott Skiles' dog house for the early portion of the season. Skiles and the Bucks eventually parted ways and Dalembert worked his way back into the rotation, but he never quite emerged as a reliable backup center for the Bucks.
Of course, Dallas just needs to add bodies to the frontcourt, and Dalembert is one of the best options still on the table. The 11-year vet made $6.7 million in the final year of his previous contract, but it's likely that he will come at a smaller price on his next deal.