Mavs Moves: 'Sarge' + Mike James Join Legends
The Dallas Mavericks' three moves of the moment:
1) The Mavs recently waived young center Bernard James despite his guaranteed contract. But "Sarge" has decided to retain ties with the organization, NBA sources telling me he's agreeing to a deal with the D-League Texas Legends.
James, a 2012 second-round pick who re-signed with the team this summer, had a guaranteed contract with Dallas this year worth $915,243. He retains that even as the Mavs replace him on the 15-man roster with Charlie Villanueva, a nine-year veteran who signed a non-guaranteed contract to come to camp with the Mavs.
"Sarge,'' a high-character guy with an Air Force background, never climbed Dallas' depth chart. But he will work to develop in Frisco with the D-League Texas Legends, with whom he was dominant in his single assignment last February, scoring 38 points on 18-of-20 shooting, with 18 rebounds and four blocks.
2) Mike James, the 39-year-old NBA veteran guard who played with Dallas in the 2012-13 season, is back in basketball and back in the Metroplex, sources telling me he's also signing on with the Legends to likely serve as the starting point guard. He'll also help mentor young Yuki Togashi, who will come off the bench at the 1 in Frisco.
The 6-2 James averaged six points and three assists in his year in Dallas, when he started 23 of his 45 games with the club.
3) As DB.com reported earlier Wednesday, J.J. Barea is investing in a repeat of his success in Dallas under the terms of a one-year, $1,310,286 deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
To make roster room, Dallas will waive guard Gal Mekel, and DB.com is told the club will work to help him land elsewhere.
Barea would had been due his $4.5 million salary had he been claimed off waivers from Minnesota. But he cleared waivers at 4 p.m. and shortly thereafter forged a deal with the Mavericks.
Barea was an undrafted street free agent in 2006 when he surprised and made the roster. Shortly thereafter he became a rotation player, his high mark coming when he started the last three games in the NBA Finals in 2011.
Barea parlayed that success into a handsome four-year, $18-million contract with the Wolves, but now the 5-11 waterbug starts anew with Dallas, where the undersized backcourt features point guards Jameer Nelson and Devin Harris. But the Mavericks are using a combo-guard concept so Barea could also play some 2-guard behind Monta Ellis.
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