The Dallas Mavericks have been in the market for what seems like every center that has come on the market in NBA Free Agency. They were in heavy pursuit of Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, they landed Samuel Dalembert, they re-signed Brandan Wright and Bernard James, and are still in pursuit of Greg Oden in the former number one pick’s NBA return.
The Mavericks’ center-centric off-season continued on Tuesday as they reportedly reached a deal with undersized big man DeJuan Blair, per ESPN’s Marc Stein. There are no reports yet on what the deal is worth, but it does appear clear that Blair is headed to Dallas to play alongside or behind Dirk Nowitzki.
In four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, Blair averaged 7.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 18.9 minutes per game while shooting a solid 52.8 percent from the field. Though he wasn’t incredibly productive, he always gave the Spurs energy and a bit of grit whenever he was on the floor.
Blair seems like a solid pick-up for the Mavs for a couple of reason. The first is that he gives them a reliable reserve frontcourt player that can play either the four or the five. Blair is undersized for both positions, but he uses his lengthy wingspan and 265-pound frame effectively in the post to grab rebounds and makes a lot of good things happen.
The other big reason Blair fits well with the Mavericks is the toughness he will bring to the table. Though the Mavericks have a lot of skill with Nowitzki and Wright in their frontcourt, Dalembert is the only guy that’s really willing to lay it all on the floor from a physicality standpoint. Blair will give them another player with that frame of mind as a player.
Assuming that this is a relatively inexpensive deal, it’s a good signing by Dallas. Blair brings a lot to the table for the Mavericks and will give them the ability to throw different looks on the floor. He obviously won’t be an All-Star candidate or anything, but he will help solidify their rotation.