Bernard James didn’t want to be the Mavericks’ fourth center again.
He figured either he or DeJuan Blair, Dallas’ No. 3 center last year, would return and fill that role. But Blair heading to the Wizards didn’t clear a direct path for James.
James could beat Smith for a rotation spot or maybe Wright or Smith would play more power forward. There are minutes up for grabs.
And James is pursuing them.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Dallas renounced James – and Vince Carter and Shawn Marion – to clear cap space to sign Chandler Parsons. The Mavericks also used the room exception on Jameer Nelson, leaving them nothing but a minimum offer available for James.
Because James would have bird rights after his one-year contract, he can veto any trade next season. So, he will get some security (the same security he received last year on a one-year deal).
The 29-year-old third-year big man from Florida State is a solid defender, especially as a shot-blocker. Despite his limited offensive skills, he can still fill a small role.
The Mavericks now have 17 players under contract – two more than the regular-season limit. Ivan Johnson (just $25,000 guaranteed), Eric Griffin (just $150,000 guaranteed) or maybe even James himself are prime candidates to get waived unless Dallas makes another move. James’ guarantee is not clear, but usually, a non-fully guaranteed contract is reported as such.