The Mavericks have at least 14 players with guaranteed salaries for next season.
One name in that group is a bit of a surprise, at least once you get past Dallas’ well-publicized pursuit of Maurice NDour.
The Mavericks also gave a fully guaranteed 2015-16 salary to Salah Mejri, whom they’d been linked to for a while.
Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:
Dallas’ 14 players with reportedly guaranteed salaries for next season:
- Wesley Matthews
- Chandler Parsons
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Deron Williams
- Zaza Pachulia
- J.J. Barea
- Devin Harris
- Raymond Felton
- Justin Anderson
- Jeremy Evans
- John Jenkins
- Charlie Villanueva
- Maurice N’Dour
- Salah Mejri
Those are 19 players competing for 15 regular-season roster spots.
Mejri’s guarantee would seem to give him a leg up, but Dallas hasn’t shied from eating guaranteed contracts in the past. He’ll have to earn his roster spot in training camp just like everyone else.
Mejri is a 29-year-old, 7-foot-2 center who played for Real Madrid last season and represented Tunisia in the 2012 London Olympics. He uses his size relatively well on both ends of the floor – finishing at the rim, defending the paint and crashing the glass – but facing NBA athleticism will be a major adjustment.
The Mavericks are desperate at center after DeAndre Jordan reneged and re-signed with the Clippers. Maybe Mejri will help. The best thing I can say about him: Dallas believed in him enough to fully guarantee his 2015-16 salary. That’s either a positive signal or sign of desperation – or maybe a bit of both.