DALLAS - Salah Mejri is a 7-2, 235-pound center from Tunisia who carries with him the hopes of his homeland (he’s the first North African-born player to sign with the NBA) and carries some Mavs hopes as well. He’s got some springy skills and a guarantee in his $525,093 salary.
But he’s also got a “broken leg’’?
“Yeah, the guy played two games (in AfroBasket) with a broken leg,’’ Mavs owner Mark Cuban tells DB.com.
Clearly, it is about the least serious “break’’ there can bel Mejri did sit out his team’s final game at the end of August.
Said Cuban: “But it’s not serious. He’ll be back (to participating with the Mavs in camp) in a week or so.''
Mejri, 29, did a little bit of everything for Tunisia, from blocking shots to making three-pointers, before he was hurt. In a game against the eventual champions, Nigeria, he scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed seven rebounds and recorded three blocks as Tunisia upset Nigeria 70-59.
Is Mejri really ready to compete with the likes of ZaZa Pachulia, Samuel Dalembert and JaVale McGee for Mavs minutes at center?
It’s been our view that the 20-man competition (for 15 spots) that is about to ensue looks something like this:
We see maybe 11 known quantities bets
C: Zaza Pachulia, Sam Dalembert
PF: Dirk Nowitzki, Charlie Villanueva, Dwight Powell
SF: Chandler Parsons, Justin Anderson
SG: Wes Matthews, Devin Harris
PG: Deron Williams, J J Barea
And then the nine uncertain scramblers for five spots (in no set order)
It was nice to see Mejri have some success against NBA-level players in this tournament, including old friend Can Al-Farouq Aminu (now of the Blazers).
But the best news on Mejri is that is appears his chance in that “mad scramble’’ for a roster spot won’t be too hampered by the leg injury.