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Friday, October 18, 2013
Meet the Mavs: Samuel Dalembert

By Tim MacMahon

With nine new players on the Dallas Mavericks' roster, introductions are necessary. Over a 15-day span, ESPNDallas.com will take a look at each of the team's players with guaranteed deals.

Samuel Dalembert
Samuel Dalembert's per-minute rebounding and shot-blocking numbers are impressive.

Samuel Dalembert

Age: 32 | Position: C | Salary: $3,700,748

Role for Mavs in 2013-14: The Mavs signed the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Dalembert to be their starting center. They need him to provide rebounding and rim protection for a starting lineup loaded with offensive potential but flawed defensively.

Dalembert drifted in and out of Milwaukee’s rotation last season, and the Mavs are his fifth team in five years, but his per-minute rebounding and shot-blocking numbers have always been impressive. He’s a limited offensive player who turns the ball over too much for a center and shoots more jumpers than he should, but he understands and accepts that the Mavs won’t ask much from him on that end other than to set screens, rebound and catch and finish around the basket.

What happened this summer?: Dalembert slipped through the cracks, setting for a two-year, $7.6 million deal with the Mavs after the free-agency frenzy has died down. The second season includes only $1.8 million in guaranteed money. Dallas had a desperate need for a center who could provide an interior defensive presence, and Dalembert was by far the best option on the market by the time his deal got done.

What does the future hold?: That’s really up to Dalembert. If he consistently plays with passion and energy, his stay in Dallas will last at least two years. If he doesn’t, the Mavs could be searching for a starting center again next summer. He certainly got off to a rough start, with coach Rick Carlisle publicly calling out Dalembert about conditioning after the preseason opener, but he's played well in the preseason since then.

Bottom line: Dalembert has flaws, but he’s a better fit to pair with Dirk Nowitzki than 2012 free-agent bust Chris Kaman.