Needing centers, two Mavs have eye on

July, 1, 2012
7/01/12
2:22
AM CT
The Dallas Mavericks have shown initial interest as free agency opens in two 7-footers, Joel Przybilla and Hasheem Thabeet, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed.

Brendan Haywood remains under contract for three more seasons, but if Deron Williams decides he wants to play for the Dallas Mavericks, Haywood is a prime amnesty candidate so the club can create cap space for Williams.

It also appears that Ian Mahinmi will be changing teams in free agency, so Dallas could be looking at a gaping hole in the middle. If Williams does agree to sign, dollars will be tight to plug the hole.

Dallas had interest in Przybilla, 32, last season when he put off retirement and returned to the Portland Trail Blazers at mid-season. The 12-year veteran has battled injuries and averaged 2.0 points and 5.1 rebounds in 27 games last season with the Blazers. The source said Przybilla does plan to play a 13th season.

The 7-foot-3 Thabeet has been a draft bust since the Memphis Grizzles picked the former UConn Huskies center with the second overall pick in 2009. He's played for three teams and in just 135 games in his three seasons in the league -- including a 2010 demotion to the D-League, becoming the highest-drafted player to be sent down.

Thabeet, 25, was traded by the Houston Rockets in March to Portland, a deal that netted Houston center Marcus Camby, who is also an unrestricted free agent. Mavs interest in acquiring the 38-year-old Camby, who averaged 9.0 boards a game last season for Portland and Houston, has not been confirmed.

Others the Mavs could show interest in are New Orleans Hornets center Chris Kaman, an unrestricted free agent, and Indiana Pacers restricted free agent Roy Hibbert. Dallas will likely only be in the market for either if Williams re-signs with the Brooklyn. The Pacers are expected to match any offer made for the 7-2 Hibbert, whose stock rose dramatically with postseason performance and could be offered a max deal.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
19.7 4.2 1.2 32.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 10.8
AssistsD. Harris 4.4
StealsD. Harris 1.3
BlocksT. Chandler 1.7