James, 30, most recently played for Yao Ming's team in China, but is now a free agent following the conclusion of the Shanghai Sharks' season. Stein reports the Mavericks are hoping to get James cleared to join the team for Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz.
The Mavericks drafted James with the No. 33 pick in the 2012 draft out of Florida State. In two seasons with the Mavericks, James averaged 2.1 points and 2.3 rebounds in 7.9 minutes.
Dallas has been searching for depth on the frontline since dealing power forward Brandan Wright to the Celtics to acquire point guard Rajon Rondo in December. Their need for a big man was exacerbated when center Tyson Chandler injured his ankle during Monday's loss to the Clippers.
The Mavericks are also believed to be the frontrunners to sign free agent center Jermaine O'Neal after the All-Star break, according to Stein.
The Mavericks have won five of their last seven games and are 35-19 on the season. They are currently the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.
- Paul Palladino