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Offseason Target Roundtable Discussions: Samuel Dalembert

Feb 28, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; If a Calderon (8) shoots over a Dalembert (21) and no-one is there to see it, did it really happen? Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US Presswire
Feb 28, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; If a Calderon (8) shoots over a Dalembert (21) and no-one is there to see it, did it really happen? Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US Presswire

Earlier today, Alex Kennedy tweeted the following:

Samuel Dalembert, with one year and just over $7 million left on his contract, is perhaps an ideal candidate as a replacement for Brendan Haywood and one year stop-gap in the continued pursuit of Dwight Howard(who, apparently, is back on the trading block again as the drama wheel continues to spin in Orlando). Of course, Dallas has to have something Houston would want. The Mavs Moneyball team sat down to discuss, in the second installment of OFFSEASON TARGET ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS:

Alan Smithee:
Apparently, Houston may be shopping Samuel Dalembert, perhaps with their 16th pick.

Dalembert is a guy that makes a lot of sense for Dallas. He makes less than Haywood or Odom, and is a mobile shotblocker and terrific rebounder. He also has some offensive skill, at least compared to Big Wood. Thought maybe this could be another offseason target roundtable discussion?

The main impediment is that Houston has basically no bad contracts, a ton of cap space, and two picks already. So, Dallas doesn't have much to offer them, beyond more cap space and Roddy and Brandon Wright. Houston is probably looking to send of Dalembert and whoever else to add salary and take back someone's salary dump in exchange for extra talent.

I've always felt Dalembert made sense. I feel like, when it comes to centers, Dallas has a real allergy to "more than serviceable", though obviously that isn't quite true in their hopes for Brendan Haywood.

Dalembert is pretty much a no-brainer for Dallas, I agree. His age (31) scares me a little for a big man, but his minutes have been kept fairly low for such a productive player over the last four years, so his legs might be a tad fresher than the normal 31-year-old starting center.

Perhaps the thing I love most about Dalembert is his touch. He shoots over 70 percent from the free throw line, which can be such a huge weapon for a big man. Last year, Tyson Chandler usually racked up double-digit scoring games because of high free throw attempts. I wonder if Jason Kidd and the Mavericks gave Chandler more touches and took more chances with delivering the ball to him inside knowing that even if it wasn't a perfect pass, he could collect it, get fouled and knock down his free throws. As much as we say Dallas desperately needs a defensive center, they really could use some offense from the position. It was a huge factor in their title run.

But, like you said, there isn't much Houston would want from Dallas. Perhaps Daryl Morey thinks he can reclaim Lamar Odom? Even if they don't retain Goran Dragic, they still have Kyle Lowrey, so there isn't much need for Beaubois or Jones. Also, Morey has been searching ever since the McGrady-Yao era ended for their next big star. He's made shrewd and savvy moves to stay under the cap while picking up desirable trade assets, but has nothing to show for it. I can't imagine Morey wanting to make another stop gap move: he wants a star, come hell or high water.

Alan Smithee:
Yeah, if Dallas does get involved, maybe it's in a three-team arrangement, with Dallas taking on somebody else's high salary contract, Houston getting the star, and that third team getting cap relief in the form of Odom, with Roddy, etc. as young talent sprinkling.

I'll see what some possibilities might be. Off-hand, maybe Utah and Al Jefferson are in the mix. Kevin McHale coached AlJeff in Minnesota, Houston could send Utah Kyle Lowry since if they resign Dragic Lowry will be overqualified. Utah doesn't have a pick, so I'm sure they'd love to jump back in at #16. Really, Dallas isn't needed in this scenario, but it's interesting.

I wanted us to get Dalembert last year. The rumor is that the Mavericks always overpay for centers, but it's not 100% based in reality. While obviously the production of Dampier and Haywood do not match the dollars, the fact that they so far haven't spent any money at all to thereby make the center position DECENT when those didn't work out. It's fairer to say that they thought they were paying a market price for something that didn't pan out and they didn't bother to correct those mistakes. In short, they were paying for answers but were not committed enough to the position, and have not been committed enough to the position, to spend money to MAKE SURE it's sturdy.

Dalembert is the epitome of sturdy, maybe even more than that. tells me that defensively he's just a notch behind Chandler (.82 ppp allowed v. .8), and while not nearly as good in ISO, where Chandler is super-elite, he is nearly as good in the post (.75 to .71) and better on the P&R man (.87, 1). He doesn't have much of an offensive game, but it's better than Haywood's.

Salaries, trades, I don't know how this would work, but it would certainly give me a lot more confidence at the 5, next year.

Alan Smithee:
I wanted Dalembert, too. The sad part is just that, pre-2010, Haywood and Dalembert were comparable centers, and you could have made the argument Haywood was better. Somewhere along the way he just lost his confidence.

Tom Kanti:
Haywood lost his confidence once his $50 million contract was paid over. Even if he gets cut/amnestied he will receive it.

Alan Smithee:
You'd think $50 million would, y'know, help your confidence...

I think if he is amnestied he doesn't get the last year, so he ends up with something like $39 mil. I know, I know; how will he live?