The Dallas Mavericks have some shooters on the roster — Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Vince Carter. They got Jose Calderon to set those guys up.
What they didn’t have was a real defender in the paint — but they have solved that problem. Or at least tried to solve it.
The Mavericks have reached a verbal agreement with Samuel Dalembert, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Dalembert has agreed to sign with the Mavericks as they continue to work on the final points of a contract.
Dalembert would start for them.
The Mavericks are also in the Greg Oden sweepstakes (is it really a sweepstakes?) but even if they land the former No. 1 pick you want another big on the roster. Oden may not be the most reliable big ever. Just sayin’.
This will be Dalmbert’s fifth different team in five seasons. Dalembert spent last season in Milwaukee where he only played 47 games. He is a more efficient scorer than he gets credit for, but you don’t really want him shooting that’s not why he is on the floor — he’s a solid defensive big man in the paint. That’s what Dallas needs. Dalembert struggles defensively with guys who spread the floor, but mostly it’s just about rim protection.
The Mavs needed that and got a solid pickup.
The Mavs may keep Bernard James on the roster as a backup big, Stein adds.
Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.
He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.
Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.
Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.
General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.
McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.