Contrary to popular belief, Tyson Chandler’s departure from Dallas did not leave a gaping hole where a starting center should be. The Mavs may have lost a valuable contributor and an invaluable leader from their championship squad, but they retain Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahinmi, a capable starter and reserve, respectively, to fill minutes in the middle. It’s certainly not an optimal arrangement, but considering the circumstances, Dallas is likely better off relying on their in-house bigs rather than re-signing Chandler to a team-stymying contract.
But even after giving Haywood and Mahinmi every benefit of the doubt, the Mavs were still in need of another utility big. With that need in mind, Donnie Nelson, Rick Carlisle, and Mark Cuban scanned the free agent market, considered the available possibilities, and…signed the unproven, 24-year-old Brandan Wright to a one-year deal for the league’s minimum salary. Wright may not be the free agent big man Mavs fans had in mind, but Carlisle clearly sees Wright’s potential as a reserve center.
But what, exactly does Carlisle see?