It was a slow day of news for Dallas, as the Summer League roster had the day off and free agency proceeds with all deliberate speed. The Mavericks will meet with Greg Oden in Vegas at some point this week and Elton Brand signed a one year deal with the Atlanta Hawks. The Oden report courtesy of ESPN’s Marc Stein
“Free-agent center Greg Oden will be in Las Vegas this week for face-to-face meetings with officials from the Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans, according to sources with knowledge of Oden’s plans.
The sitdown with Mavericks officials, sources said, is scheduled for later Monday, as Dallas pushes to join the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat at the forefront of the race to resurrect the career of 2007′s No. 1 overall pick.”
Considering Dallas has a single traditional big man on the roster at the moment in second year player Bernard James, signing Greg Oden would be a coup, even with the inherent risks that come with signing an injury prone player. Oden hasn’t played since late 2009, but according to recent reports he is in phenomenal shape. However, with the two recent NBA Finals participants interested in signing him, Dallas may be in distant third place.
However, Dallas does offer one of the best medical staffs in the league, lead by head trainer Casey Smith. Minutes would also be available immediately, given the current bare cupboard of big men in Dallas.
The Mavericks also learned that veteran presence Elton Brand will sign a one year contract with the Atlanta Hawks.
“Source told ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst that Brand received a one-year contract worth $4 million.”
With the plans for other off-season signings, Dallas only would’ve been able to offer Brand the veteran minimum. It’s disappointing, because Brand brought toughness, maturity, and a defensive mindset to a team in dire need of all three qualities. Though his overall season numbers were rather bland (7.2 points, 6 rebounds), he had a fantastic December and January. The Mavericks may have asked too much of Brand as the season wore along, so he may have wanted an opportunity which would require fewer minutes over the course of a long 82 game season. The Mavericks will struggle to replace his contributions as the big man pool of free agency grows ever smaller.
Be sure to check out TMG’s Bryan Gutierrez as he contributes to ESPN Dallas during LSVL.
Kirk is a member of the Two Man Game family. Follow him on Twitter @KirkSeriousFace for ranting about Dallas basketball, TV, movies, video games, and his dog.