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Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Meet the Mavs: Bernard James

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.

Bernard James
Bernard James should see time early while Brandan Wright recovers from a shoulder injury.

Bernard James

Age: 28 | Position: C | Salary: $788,872

Role for Mavs in 2013-14: James reported to camp as the fourth center on the roster. He should get some opportunities early in the season while Brandan Wright recovers from a shoulder injury, but James will have to earn meaningful minutes.

James, 28, a former Air Force sergeant in his second NBA season, needs to prove he can be a consistent energy player. He’s always going to be limited offensively, so he needs to be an impact player as a rebounder and defender to be a contributor. He averaged 10.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per 36 minutes in his limited playing time as a rookie, when he appeared in only 46 games, including 11 starts.

What happened this summer?: The Mavs waived James as they scrambled to create as much salary cap as possible and re-signed him to a minimum deal once they finalized Monta Ellis’ contract. The fact that no other team claimed James is evidence that he isn’t seen as anything more than a replacement-level player by front offices around the league.

What does the future hold?: James will be a restricted free agent this summer. He’s likely to end up signing another minimum contract or take his career overseas.

Bottom line: James is expected to be a bit player. Any significant contributions from him would be a bonus.