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Poll: Who Should Be The Mavs Starting Center?

The Mavericks had dreams of running a pick-and-roll offense centered around one of the league’s most efficient behemoths in DeAndre Jordan. Jordan’s decision to spurn Dallas in favor of returning to Los Angeles dampened those plans. The team made several moves this offseason to bring aboard players who could man the starting spot alongside Dirk Nowitzki and it hopes one of the players establishes himself as the clear-cut choice for the job.

Dallas acquired Zaza Pachulia from Milwaukee this summer. The big man started 45 games for last season’s playoff-bound Bucks team and has proven he can be a serviceable starting center, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors notes in his weekly chat. The Mavs’ acquisition of Pachulia is flying under the radar and perhaps it shouldn’t be. The big man had an impressive 2014/15 season, finishing second among centers in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus. While his underrated defense will help the Mavs cope this season, his presence on the roster isn’t going to make fans forget about DeAndreGate due to the 31-year-old’s lack of upside.

The team added another proven player that lacks upside in Samuel Dalembert. The center previously played with the Mavs during the 2013/14 season. The team made the playoffs and nearly knocked off the eventual champion Spurs with Dalembert in the lineup. The 34-year-old wasn’t a top option on that team, but coach Rick Carlisle knows what he has in the center and could look to give a known commodity the nod. Still, as Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors explains in his weekly mailbag, Dalembert is better suited for a reserve role at this point in his career.

The most intriguing addition came earlier this month when the team finally signed JaVale McGee. McGee hasn’t developed into the player that many expected him to be when he was selected with the No. 18 pick in the 2008 draft. He has shown flashes of potential and if Carlisle can aid him in reaching his ceiling, Dallas might have found a player that can reach All-Star level heights. The team will need that type of player to emerge if it’s going to compete in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. McGee may not even make the team, as we explained in last week’s Shootaround. Dallas has 15 fully guaranteed contracts on the books and McGee is not one of them.

Salah Mejri, who signed with the team this offseason, is one of those players whose salary is fully guaranteed. Mejri is a long-armed, agile center, who helped Real Madrid win the Spanish League title last season. Dallas likes the 29-year-old and he should get an opportunity to compete for team’s starting five spot.

Dallas also has Jarrid Famous and Dwight Powell on the roster, but neither player possesses a fully guaranteed contract. Both players are more likely to be cut prior to opening night and spend time with the Texas Legends, the team’s D-League affiliate.

The Mavs have a bevy of options to choose from when considering their starting center. Who should start at the five?  In addition to making your selection, let us know what your pitch to Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle would be in the comment section below.

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11 thoughts on “Poll: Who Should Be The Mavs Starting Center?

  1. You need some intelligence to fit into that offense. Sorry Javale

  2. Bobby

    I really don’t see Dwight getting cut.

  3. Mathew Clouser

    Mavs need to try to swing a deal for one of the glut of decent bigs on the t-wolves… I’m sure they’d be happy to part ways with either Dieng or Peckovic if we took on Anthony Bennet…. Not that we have anything to offer, really, but it’d be worth a shot!

    • Daniel

      Hey why not get Kevin martin in that deal send peckovic and Anthony Bennett in the deal? Even though the mavs might have some players that can play for Parsons but Kevin Martin is a great defender and a great shooter. If you do trade for those three guys would u give them zaza AMD dalembert

      • Chris Crouse

        I’m not sure the Wolves would just give Bennett away. The Mavs might be able to pry Pekovic away from them for cheap, but Dallas only has six eligible to be traded right now, so a deal may be tricky.

  4. Bboy Mew

    Whichever guy fits the best that night. The Mavs have a “Might Duck” style rotation at the C position. Pachulia is the best fundamental player but is a defensive and rebounding liability, Dalembert is the most balanced center, but is too old and inconsistant, JaVale is the most athletic, best defensive, and the C with the most upside, but he can be a bonehead. I think the answer at C for the Mavs is… Look at the other C that you have to go up against and start the guy on your roster that matches up with him the best. All three should see minutes on most nights, and while they don’t have one clear starter, they do have a very solid C rotation where they can be versatile and match up with anyone.

  5. Bboy Mew

    I DO understand why many pick Mcgee though. Rick Carlisle can solve his only weakness, much like he did for Monta Ellis. Carlisle has a way of getting guys that play reckless to play with more intellect and poise, and that is all anyone could argue JaVale is missing. I do think that Shaq picks on him a bit. He does make bonehead plays, but not to the degree that the media world makes it seem.

  6. mike

    It doesn’t matter because they’re all terrible.

  7. B. hannon

    I am impressed with Mejri’s play in Spain. He could be the starter later in the season if his talent translates to the NBA.

    • Chris Crouse

      Mejri might be the team’s best shot at finding an above average player at that spot. McGee has the ceiling, but his floor remains low. Zaza and Sammy don’t have that ceiling.

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