The Mavericks will virtually complete their off-season work Friday when they sign center DeSagana Diop and swingman Doug Christie to free agent contracts.
Both players will be introduced at a news conference at 10:30 today at American Airlines Center.
Diop, 7-0, 300 pounds, is an unrestricted free agent, who spent his first four seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He will sign a three-year deal with the Mavericks on Friday morning.
Mavs coach Avery Johnson is estactic that he finally knows who will back up starting center Erick Dampier this season.
?We feel Diop is a mobile center, he?s in great shape right now, he?s been in the league for four years, and we think he?s ready to just take off.?? Johnson said. ?A couple of years ago I probably wouldn?t have done this deal.
?But he came in, I worked him out personally, I evaluated him personally, and he looks to be ready to make a move in his career right now.??
Diop was the eighth overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft out of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy. But in 193 career games with the Cavs, he developed slowly and averaged just 1.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in only 10.8 minutes.
Now, Diop will be asked to replace Shawn Bradley, who is in the process of working on a retirement package with the Mavs.