The free agent market has mostly dried up but the Mavericks still have multiple roster spots to fill before the summer is over. The most pressing needs are at the two spots where the team made major free agent acquisitions: center and shooting guard. Reports, meanwhile, continue to link Dallas to point guard Jeremy Lin -- most likely spelling the end of Raymond Felton's tenure with the team.
Assuming Lin is added to take over the starting point guard job and Felton is traded or waived, the Mavs will be left with three open roster spots. End of bench players won't normally make or break a team but with injury concerns surrounding Wesley Matthews and Chandler Parsons, depth will be key to start the season.
We decided to put ourselves in Mavs GM Donnie Nelson's shoes and pick our favorite players to round out the roster at veteran minimum salaries.
A couple of ex-Mavericks and a flier on one more dude who could be a reclamation project but is more likely the next Dahntay Jones. Which is fine. Dahntay Jones did this once, remember? Dalembert is a poor starter two seasons ago but he'd be great behind DeAndre Jordan. He'll block shots and just generally be a big dude, which is my preference for the backup four. Terry doesn't have the best size or defense, but he's a nice enough replacement for the time Wes Matthews is likely to miss. He shot nearly 40 percent on threes last season. And c'mon, it's JET. You can turn down an opportunity to bring back a lovable, aerodynamic player like that. Nab Lin, fill the roster with these guys and I may cry tears of joy.
The Mavs need a backup center. Dalembert fits perfectly as a defensive guy off the bench who will complement the offensive games of Dirk, Powell, Charlie V, and Jeremy Evans (to the extent DUNKZ are considered "offense"). Plus he knows the system already. Question is whether he will come back to Dallas for the min.
I'm a big fan of filling all the remaining roster slots with so-called "3 and D" guys. Wright probably won't play at all, but if he does, he can guard 2s and 3s and will shoot about 38% from three. He hasn't had the greatest time in Portland, so probably would be available for the minimum.
Ellington is another 3 and D guy, but can really only play the 2. I really like Ellington, and he had a nice season in LA. Probably nice enough that he'll get more than the minimum somewhere. Also, Rick Carlisle wouldn't play him last time he was here, so why would that have changed? Still, I can hope. "Make it Wayne" is just too much fun to say.
Holiday had a few stints in the Warriors rotation over the course of the regular season as a 25-year old rookie and he has the combination of size, athleticism and shooting ability as a 6'6" wing that every team is looking for in terms of a 3-and-D player. He could instantly walk into a role as a backup SG in Dallas. James is a solid reserve big man who knows his role and is very comfortable in Carlisle's system. Mitchell, a 2nd round pick of the Pistons in 2013, is a local kid from North Texas with freakish athleticism who would spend most of the season in Frisco and is still young enough to where he could be molded into something.
Dalembert is a body to put behind DeAndre and seems like the only reasonable choice left at center. Mbah a Moute is only good for defense, and I'd be fine keeping him at power forward while interchanging him and Jeremy Evans at the backup 3 and 4. And the reason for Austin Rivers is why the hell not? Stick another dagger into the Clippers by prying Doc's son away for the vet minimum and make him Wes' backup.
Dalembert was a source of regular frustration for Carlisle during the 2013-2014 season but was a plus defender and was a key contributor in the first round series against San Antonio that year. He'll not much of a weapon in the pick and roll but he showed last year he can still contribute as a rebounder and rim protector in limited minutes. We know from seeing Terry in the playoffs that he can still come in and knock down a few long range bombs, plus it would be nice to see him wrap up his career in Dallas. Jenkins is a former first round pick who washed out of Atlanta because of injuries but is still only 24. He's not a great defender but he has good length for his position and is an excellent outside shooter.