Mavericks land DeJuan Blair, will make formal pitch to Greg Oden this week
San Antonio Spurs free agent big man DeJuan Blair announced Tuesday afternoon on Twitter that he is signing with the Dallas Mavericks for next season.
The Spurs had explored deals for the power forward-center before the February trade deadline last season but opted to keep him. San Antonio used him only sparingly throughout its playoff run to the NBA Finals, playing him only 18 minutes total in the Finals against the Miami Heat.
The Mavs will add Blair to a crowded front court that includes the newly-added Samuel Dalembert as well as Brandan Wright and Bernard James to shoulder some of the burden on defense for the 35-year-old Dirk Nowitzki. Blair had shown some promise as a young big man, averaging 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in 21 minutes per game during his 2011-12 campaign. Last season, however, Blair struggled to find a role in head coach Gregg Popovich's rotation, finishing the season with career-low averages of 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 14 minutes per game.
The Mavericks could also add center Greg Oden to the mix. Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that Dallas is one of six teams expected to lay out "financial specifics" and details of the medical care that will be made available to the oft-injured 2007 No. 1 overall pick. The Heat, Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings are also expected to make offers to Oden. The former Ohio State standout and Portland Trail Blazers center has played in just 82 games in his entire NBA career because of various knee surgeries but insists he will be ready for next season. He is expected to announce which team he will sign with later this week.