Mavs waived Bernard James to clear cap space

7/21/13 in NBA   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The Dallas Mavericks were forced to make a move they had been putting off this whole week. The team waived center Bernard James on Friday in order to get enough cap space to complete the Monta Ellis signing, according to multiple reports.
Earlier this week, Bernard James voluntarily pushed back the July 15 guarantee date on his contract, which the Dallas Mavericks hoped would give them the additional needed to tweak the roster and still have room for James’ $788,872 salary in the 2013-14 season. The Dallas Mavericks had already agreed to terms on a three-year deal, worth over $25 million last week, but they needed to clear a small amount of cap space to fit his contract under the cap, and the removal of Bernard James’ salary cap hold from their pay roll served that purpose.
The Dallas Mavericks still hope to re-sign Bernard James, per ESPN’s Marc Stein. But there’s a strong chance Bernard James wouldn’t clear waivers as he despite being extremely raw he showed good ability in his rookie season, rebounding as well as blocking shots and finishing well around the rim when left open. Even though Bernard James always seemed a bit behind on defensive rotations and often could be easily out-muscled in the paint, those issues could be cleared over time and following proper development.
The 6-foot-10 Bernard James initially decided to forgo his basketball career out of high school in favor of serving six-years as a staff sergeant in the Air Force, with three tours of duty overseas. But the Dallas Mavericks front office still believed Bernard James had potential as the team selected him with the 33rd overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. Consequently, Bernard James proved to more than a feel-good-story .handful of spot-starts.
The 28-year-old Bernard James started 11 games for the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 2.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per contest last season. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle expected Bernard James to “dominate” in the Las Vegas Summer League. But Bernard James only played one game, scoring two points, nine rebounds and three rebounds for the Dallas Mavericks this summer before being waived on Friday.
As an athletic and developing second-year big man, who earns less than $1 million per season, Bernard James is likely to be claimed on waivers by another team, thrashing the Dallas Mavericks’ hopes of re-signing him as a free agent if he happens to clear the waivers process.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks continue to be in the running or Greg Oden, despite signing Samuel Dalembert earlier this week. The Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans are also reportedly pursuing Greg Oden.
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