SAN ANTONIO -- With San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan expected to sit out with an ankle injury, the Dallas Mavericks will get a heavy dose of 6-7, 265-pound rookie DeJuan Blair.
If Mark Cuban had his way, Blair would have been a Maverick.
Blair, the Big East co-Player of the Year as a sophomore last season, was projected to be a lottery pick but slid in the draft because of concerns about his knees. Once the second round started, the Mavs offered $1 million to every team that went on the clock in an effort to acquire a pick to take Blair. There were no takers, and the Spurs selected Blair with the 37th overall pick.
Six games into his career, Blair certainly looks like a second-round steal. He joined Duncan and David Robinson -- pretty darn good company -- as the only Spurs to debut with double-doubles. Blair has averaged 7.5 points (on 61.1-percent shooting) and 7.5 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game.
"He's a fine player -- physical presence, athleticism, toughness, a guy that goes and gets the ball," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's played well so far. He's going to be a good player for a long time."