After failing to sign free agent big men Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, the Dallas Mavericks are finally about to secure a rim-protecting center. ESPN's Marc Stein reports the Mavs are closing in on a deal with Milwaukee Bucks free agent center Samuel Dalembert.
Stein added that Dallas is still interested in free agent center Greg Oden but was set on getting a deal with Dalembert finalized having missed on the two other center targets. A miss on Oden could have left Dallas without a center at all. Oden is also being courted by the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings.
Though terms of a deal with Dalembert were not known, Stein previously reported that the Mavericks had earmarked just more than $3 million to pay a free agent center.
The New York Knicks were another team thought to be interested in signing Dalembert.
Dalembert averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in 2012-13 despite playing just 16.3 minutes a night. He lost playing time to Larry Sanders, who burst onto the scene as one of the NBA's premiere shot-blockers last season.