Apparently the gap between NBA talent and the NBADL is as wide as the Grand Canyon. Take 7-foot center Dwayne Jones of the Austin Toros. The Mavericks brought him in Tuesday to kick the tires and see if he was worthy of a 10-day contract, a stop-gap until injured center Erick Dampier returns.
For the Toros, Jones averaged 16.8 points and 15.4 rebounds in 32 games. A monster on the boards, he posted 26 points and 26 rebounds in a win Sunday night. It took the Mavs' braintrust one workout session to decide to send Jones, as ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports, back to Austin.
Stein also reports that the Mavs are on the verge of handing out a 10-day contract to long-distance shooter Von Wafer. Wafer averaged 9.7 points for the Rockets last season. He started this season in Greece, then failed a physical for the Rockets in December because of a bulging disk problem in his back.
Signing Wafer gives the Mavs depth, but at a position that would seem to be last on the priority list. Unless Wafer can handle the basketball, which is not his strength, he would seem to be backing up Jason Terry. Of course, the Mavs also have J.J. Barea and rookie Roddy Beaubois back there, not to mention Matt Carroll, a pretty good 3-point shooter once upon a time, who hasn't been able to get off the bench since he arrived from Charlotte last season.
The Mavs head into Wednesday's game against the Lakers with no backup center and Eduardo Najera as the lone reserve power forward/center. That's why Jones would have seemed to be a slam dunk as an extra body to at least participate in practice and grab a rebound or two in a couple of minutes during a game.
Instead, he'll go back to being a double-double machine for the Toros.