Mavs Signing 'Sarge' To 10-Day Contract

DALLAS - The Mavs' search for center help is bringing them back to Bernard James - at least temporarily, as 'Sarge' is now free from his commitment in China and is joining Dallas on a 10-day contract, GM Donnie Nelson tells

The Dallas Mavericks waived 6-10 center Bernard James just before the start of the season, despite his guaranteed contract. "Sarge" immediately decided to retain ties with the organization, agreeing to a deal with the D-League Texas Legends.

But a big-money opportunity took him from Frisco to China. And now that he's eligible to leave his CBA team, he's rebounding to DFW -- with the Mavs, on a 10-day contract, as Mavs GM Donnie Nelson tells

James, a 2012 second-round pick who re-signed with the Mavs this summer, had a guaranteed contract with Dallas this year worth $915,243. He retained that even as the Mavs replaced 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. He was to 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.

But he played two games for the Legends (averaging 11.5 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Legends) before signing in China. James, 30, now provides Dallas some at-least short-term relief (as first noted by Marc Stein) while they not only continue their search for help on the Jermaine O'Neal level but also work through a depth problem that might be caused by the ankle injury sustained by starter Tyson Chandler in Monday's loss to the Clippers. broke the story of Dallas' interest in Amare Stoudemire but that's a post-trade-deadline buyout opportunity. was also first to report on the club's investigation of Andray Blatche, who like James put up big numbers in China this year. But Blatche has reputed baggage and is an unknown quantity in Dallas.

Bernard James is a known quantity and a short-term helper for a team that really needs it right now.

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