DALLAS — And then there were 15.
Following their latest two transactions, the Dallas Mavericks’ roster for the 2013-14 season appears complete.
Last Wednesday, the Mavericks officially announced the signing of free-agent guard Devin Harris, reuniting the former staple in the backcourt with the franchise that the combo guard suited up for during the first 3 ½ seasons of his now nine-year career.
Before being dealt away in the trade that brought back future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd, Harris averaged 9.4 points, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 251 outings during his first stint with the Mavs while helping to lead the franchise to its first NBA Finals series in 2006. The one-time All-Star now returns to Big D after stints in New Jersey, Utah and Atlanta, holding career marks of 12.8 points, 4.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 601 games.
Harris, who split time at both the point and 2-guard positions last season for the Hawks, is expected to add veteran depth to a Dallas backcourt that also features newly-acquired Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis and Wayne Ellington, in addition to eight-time All-Star Vince Carter and rookies Shane Larkin, Gal Mekel and Ricky Ledo.
When the deal was announced, Harris immediately took to Twitter to show his excitement to be back in a Mavericks uniform by saying, “I guess y’all heard! It feels good to be back with the @dallasmavs! Can’t wait to see everyone again! #Roots #GuessWhosBack”
Later that night, big man DeJuan Blair also used social media to break the news that he would be joining the Mavs after spending his first four seasons with in-state rival San Antonio, posting a picture to his Instagram page with a photoshopped image of himself in a Dallas jersey that read, “DALLAS ITS OFFICIAL!!!!”
The team then made its own announcement when the signing became official Wednesday.
After starting 65 of 81 games for the Spurs in the 2010-11 campaign, Blair was in the first unit 62 of his 64 appearances the following season. However, after finding himself on the outside looking into Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s rotation last season, Blair started just 16 of his 61 outings while averaging a career-low 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds.
He hopes to rekindle his career in Dallas, bringing along averages of 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in 288 games.
The undersized 6-foot-7, 270-pound Blair saw the bulk of his time at center while in San Antonio. But, with the free-agent signing of center Samuel Dalembert and the re-signings of big men Brandan Wright and Bernard James, Blair could relieve versatile forward Shawn Marion of the backup power forward minutes on a front line that will try to add support around 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.
Whatever the case, the Mavericks appear built for a return to the postseason, after the franchise’s 12-year stretch of consecutive playoff berths came to an end following a 41-41 season.