Coming into the offseason, it was no secret that the Dallas Mavericks had to get better at the center position. With Dwight Howard joining the division-rival Houston Rockets, Dallas needed to upgrade or face the same situation last season. Last season, the Mavericks had a hard time controlling the play around the rim as they were out rebounded most of their games.
One of the priorities for the Mavericks was retaining center Bernard James. James was acquired by Dallas from the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2012 summer along with Jae Crowder and Jared Cunningham. James made 11 starts for the Mavericks last year and played in 46 games. With the addition of Samuel Dalembert and Brandan Wright to the team, James will probably be delegated to third-string.
James spent six years in the United States Air Force where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. James was deployed to Iraq, Qatar and Afghanistan as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The Cavaliers selected James 33rd overall in the 2012 NBA draft before he was eventually traded to the Mavericks.
James is a big body that the Mavericks are hoping can be used in case of foul trouble and/or injury to Dalembert or Wright. Bringing James back was critical for the Mavericks. For salary cap reasons, they had to put him through waivers but as soon as he cleared, they resigned him.
James didn’t score a lot of points as he only averaged 2.8 points a game. He also averaged 2.8 rebounds per game and had .8 blocked shots. All of this was done in just under 10 minutes a game, though. If he can provide the same type of numbers as a third center for the Mavericks, I think Rick Carlisle will be happy. If he wants to produce a little more, though, I’m sure nobody would complain.