Second-year NBA center Bernard James has had an interesting off-season, to say the least. Around the middle of July, the Dallas Mavericks were forced to waive the center that spent his rookie year with the Mavs last season. However, less than a week after he was waived, the Mavericks re-signed the big man, giving their frontcourt a bit of needed depth.
The 28-year-old James didn’t see the floor all that often for Dallas last season. He appeared in just 46 games for the Mavs, but did average 2.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in just 9.9 minutes per game. James also shot 51.5 percent from the field and put up impressive numbers in the pick-and-roll as he averaged 1.16 points per possession in those sets last season, albeit in a small sample size.
James is a capable offensive player who is at his best when cutting to the rim. He’s a solid finisher around the rim, as well. More than that, James is also a good rim-protector, though he still needs polishing in terms of his positioning, footwork and rotations on the defensive end of the floor.
As the Mavericks’ roster stands right now, James is going to be the third center in their rotation, playing behind the newly signed Samuel Dalembert and another player the Mavs’ re-signed in Brandan Wright. However, both Dalembert and Wright have dealt with numerous injuries over their careers that caused them to miss time. If either player goes down, James could wind up playing reserve minutes for Dallas.
If James does somehow find his way into the rotation for the Mavs, he should be able to impress some people. Obviously he is older than most second-year players in the league, but he’s got the skills to succeed at this level. There’s no guarantee he finds himself getting quality minutes, but if he does, James should be able to do some nice things for the Mavericks.