** If you don't recognize my name, this is my first post for Mavs Moneyball. I'll put up a more formal introduction in a second, but when breaking news of this magnitude happens, we break in!
Just as everyone figured, the Mavs had big plans for the roster spot created by waiving Chris Douglas-Roberts. Marc Stein is reporting that Dallas will sign Mike James to a 10-day contract after he plays for the Texas Legends in Reno on Monday:
Reno must be Mike James' lucky city. Going online now: Mavericks will be signing James to 10-day deal after Texas Legends play here Monday— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 7, 2013
Where to even begin?
James is a 6'2 190 combo guard whose played in 10 NBA seasons since 2001. Pardon me if this scouting report is a bit rusty, as asides from brief cups of coffee with the Bulls in 2011 (11 games) and the Wizards in 2009 (6 games), his last time in an NBA rotation came in 2008.
He's most remembered for a break-out season in Toronto in 2005, when he started 79 games and averaged 20 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds on 47/44/84 shooting. Dallas was one of several teams who pursued him in free agency that summer, but he ended up signing with Minnesota on a 4-year $25 million deal.
"We felt like we needed a guy with some swagger," Stack said. "That's one thing people know Mike James to be: A guy who's not afraid to step up in the fourth quarter."
Unsurprisingly, that logic didn't exactly work out well for Minnesota. Regardless of his swag levels, his play quickly fell off in his age-31 season, as his PER dropped from 19.4 to 13.3. One year after signing the deal, James was in Houston, where his PER dipped to 9.8.
You read that right, Dallas is signing a guy who began declining in 2007.
Here's the good news: he played pretty well in his one-game stint with the Legends, putting up 26 points and 4 assists on 10-20 shooting. That is apparently enough to get someone a spot with the Mavs, where I assume he will quickly take over as the back up PG.
If anyone saw that game, or, you know, played in a church league with him over the last few years, what did you think of how he looked?
Personally, I would rather take a chance on a 22-year old PG like Scott Machado, who averaged 10 assists a game in college last season. But for a win-now team with championship aspirations like the Mavs, I guess veteran experience is, once again, the name of the day.