Sam Amick: Mavs pursuing big man Dalembert after Chandler signs with Knicks - Sports Illustrated

Mavs pursuing big man Dalembert after Chandler signs with Knicks

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The Mavericks are exploring a sign-and-trade for free agent center Samuel Dalembert, a source close to the situation confirmed.

The possible deal would include Dalembert's former team, the Kings, as well as the sizable trade exception the Mavericks received in a sign-and-trade with New York for center Tyson Chandler. Because Dallas is attempting to preserve salary-cap space for the free agent class of 2012, the Dalembert deal would likely be for one year. first reported the Mavericks interest in Dalembert via sign-and-trade.

The Rockets, Pacers, Nets and Kings are among the teams in discussions with the 30-year-old who is entering his 10th season. With Chandler's departure leaving a huge void in the middle for Dallas, Dalembert is believed to be seriously considering this unique option despite the fact that it would be a short-term deal. The chance to join Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki and be showcased on a championship-caliber team might be intriguing enough to land Dalembert in Dallas eventually, but he is monitoring the Rockets' situation as well.

Houston is attempting to finalize a three-team deal with the Lakers and Hornets that would send Chris Paul to the L.A., and the Rockets' available salary-cap space could be greatly affected by the outcome of the deal. And while the Rockets are widely known to be pursuing free agent big man Nene, Dalembert remains in the mix.

While the Kings had to renounce Dalembert's rights in order to sign restricted free agent Marcus Thornton to a four-year, $31 million deal, they can still do this possible sign-and-trade because they are under the salary cap. They would need to receive only a second-round draft pick in return to make the deal work, but could certainly push for more assets as well.

Should Dalembert choose to let his other opportunities unfold, he'll likely have to wait for Nene to find a home first. Sources confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report from earlier this week that Nene had been offered a deal worth four years and approximately $60 million from the Nets, though the New York Daily News reported on Saturday that the offer had subsequently been increased. Sources say Indiana offered four years and approximately $52 million, while Denver's offer is believed to be for five years and approximately $60 million.