Countdown: No. 9 Ian Mahinmi
Ian Mahinmi recorded career-best statistics across the board in his second season with the Dallas Mavericks -- his fourth in the league and first as a true backup center.
Even in a lockout-shortened schedule, he played a career-high 61 games this season and average 5.8 points and 4.8 rebounds, also career bests. The 18.7 minutes a game he averaged were 10 full minutes more than he averaged during his career-high last season as the Mavs' third-string center.
So where is Mahinmi's ceiling?
How much is an improving, yet still semi-raw big man worth? How many years is a team willing to give him? Is he starting material or is he destined to be a career backup? Can he become a low-post scoring threat? Can he become a better rebounder? Can he hold his ground better defensively? Can he stop fouling on the perimeter?
All these questions will determine the fashionable Frenchman's worth and whether he'll be back in Dallas or continuing to grow his career with a third team in his fifth season.
The Countdown rolls on at No. 9 ...
Ht./Wt.: 6-foot-11, 230
Experience: 4 years
Age: 25 (Nov. 5, 1986)
2011-12 stats: 5.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 18.7 mpg
Contract status: Unrestricted free agent
2011-12 salary: $915,852
2012-13 salary: TBD
His outlook: As stated above, where is Mahinmi's ceiling, and how far will a team go to sign him in free agency? If one takes a leap, it would likely mean he'll say goodbye to Dallas. The Mavs, though, have an interesting dilemma potentially brewing. If they use the amnesty clause on Haywood, they will be in need of a starting center. Do they believe Mahinmi can fill that space? Not likely if the goal is to be a top team in the West. Wright, as was seen all season, isn't a true center and doesn't have the body to battle down low for extended minutes. As with everything else tied to the Mavs' roster as the summer approaches, what transpires in free agency (i.e. landing a "big fish") will determine the direction the club takes with Mahinmi and a number of players.
No. 15 Lamar Odom
No. 14 Brian Cardinal
No. 13 Yi Jianlian
No. 12 Dominique Jones
No. 11 Brendan Haywood
No. 10 Kelenna Azubuike
No. 9 Ian Mahinmi
No. 8 Coming Wednesday
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.