Free agent center Samuel Dalembert has agreed to a one-year deal at the veteran's minimum with the Dallas Mavericks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, rejoining the team he played for two seasons ago.
In the 2013-14 season, Dalembert was the starting center on a team that lost to the Spurs in the first round as an eighth seed. This year, Dalembert will be the backup to Zaza Pachulia, who the Mavericks nabbed in a salary dump after their plans with DeAndre Jordan ignominiously fell through.
Dalembert played well for the Mavericks, especially in the final couple months of the year, but he's clearly better suited for the backup role, especially now. With New York last year, Dalembert was flat out bad, only playing 32 games after running out there 80 times for Dallas two years ago. If this signing works like Mark Cuban expects it to, Dalembert will quickly return to how he was playing with the Mavericks.
Dallas was needing a backup center, and while they were linked to nearly a dozen names, Dalembert was one of the clear frontrunners during the entire process because of the familiarity and dearth of other options. In theory, the Mavericks would have signed a better rim runner than ol' Sammy D, someone who could pair well with Deron Williams. Instead, they will have to revamp their offense that led the league in total pick and rolls run last season into one more designed around using that spacing from the excellent shooters they've acquired this summer. This could also lead to a bigger role for Jeremy Evans as a backup four than we originally expected.
All in all, given the options, Dalembert is a good signing, especially at the minimum. I was pining for Dalembert as the backup when Jordan was committed, and while I would have been okay with a riskier signing when the starter suddenly became Pachulia, Dalembert just makes sense. Get him an alarm clock and give him back that corner locker next to Dirk, like he had two seasons ago. It's open now that Al-Farouq Aminu has vacated it!