Dallas Mavericks: Dwayne Jones
Another 7-foot center is about to become available, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Minnesota is set to release Mark Blount, who has averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in his nine NBA seasons.
Blount and the Timberwolves mutually agreed during the preseason that he would not join the team -- after being re-acquired in an August deal with Miami for Quentin Richardson -- while Minnesota attempted to find a new home for Blount via trade.
But, Blount remains on Minnesota's roster.
With the Mavs playing so well and Erick Dampier returning at some point from a dislocated finger, picking up a guy who has not played all season might not make much sense. The Mavs certainly could use a big body to back up Brendan Haywood, but they've already passed on D-Leaguer Dwayne Jones and might be better suited to wait on Dampier's return.
For the Toros, Jones averaged 16.8 points and 15.4 rebounds in 32 games. A monster on the boards, he posted 26 points and 26 rebounds in a win Sunday night. It took the Mavs' braintrust one workout session to decide to send Jones, as ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports, back to Austin.
Stein also reports that the Mavs are on the verge of handing out a 10-day contract to long-distance shooter Von Wafer. Wafer averaged 9.7 points for the Rockets last season. He started this season in Greece, then failed a physical for the Rockets in December because of a bulging disk problem in his back.
Signing Wafer gives the Mavs depth, but at a position that would seem to be last on the priority list. Unless Wafer can handle the basketball, which is not his strength, he would seem to be backing up Jason Terry. Of course, the Mavs also have J.J. Barea and rookie Roddy Beaubois back there, not to mention Matt Carroll, a pretty good 3-point shooter once upon a time, who hasn't been able to get off the bench since he arrived from Charlotte last season.
The Mavs head into Wednesday's game against the Lakers with no backup center and Eduardo Najera as the lone reserve power forward/center. That's why Jones would have seemed to be a slam dunk as an extra body to at least participate in practice and grab a rebound or two in a couple of minutes during a game.
Instead, he'll go back to being a double-double machine for the Toros.
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