The same need for salary cap room that forced the Mavs to waive Bernard James is prompting them to do the same with Josh Akognon, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Akognon, who spent most of last season in China, will have lucrative offers to return there, but he'd prefer to stay in the NBA, as Stein also tweets. The Mavs would like to give him the opportunity to do so with a training camp invitation if he clears waivers, Stein adds (Twitter link).
Akognon has been on a non-guaranteed minimum-salary deal with Dallas, who originally signed him to a 10-day contract in April. Any team can claim him off waivers and short-circuit the Mavs' plans of bringing him back on board, just as is the case with James. He's the leading scorer on the summer-league Mavs at 17.5 points per game, so there could well be interest from other NBA clubs. The 5'11" 27-year-old also lit up scoreboards in China, pouring in 29.0 PPG this past season and 28.2 in 2011/12.
The Dallas front office is trying to accomodate several deals they've already agreed upon with free agents this summer. As our Free Agent Tracker shows, Dallas has landed five new players this month, and the Mavs are still chasing Greg Oden. The agreements with Monta Ellis and Wayne Ellington haven't become official yet, so it appears the releases of James and Akognon are to make room for them.
Akognon is a client of the Alpha Basketball Agency, according to the Hoops Rumors Agency Database.