Samuel Dalembert is expected to be the Mavericks' starting center. (David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Mavericks' post-Dwight Howard pursuit of a center could come to an end soon, but the team may have yet another major post move to come. Dallas is nearing a deal with center Samuel Dalembert, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
Dalembert, 32, remains an effective player in the paint having averaged 5.9 rebounds and nearly three blocked shots per game for the Bucks last season. He is expected to be the Mavericks' starting center with Brandan Wright being the only backup currently on the roster.
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But Dalembert may have another free-agent backing him up. According to Stein, owner Mark Cuban and general manager Donnie Nelson have had Dalembert in their sights for years.
The Mavericks have discussed the prospect of acquiring Dalembert via trade for years -- including talks with Milwaukee last season that could have sent starting center Chris Kaman to the Bucks -- because they've seen the defensive-minded 7-footer from Haiti as a good stylistic fit next to star Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki.
Stein also reports the Mavericks are still pursuing center Greg Oden in addition to Dalembert. The Mavericks were called "legit" contenders -- along with the Heat, Kings, Pelicans and Spurs -- for Oden last week.