Jamal Sampson was the first casualty at Mavs camp Monday. The team waived the center after an ankle sprain took him out of action and ended his brief stay. It's too bad he couldn't get on the court because the Mavs need help at center.
They'll open the season with DeSagana Diop as the only true center. Basically a bucket-a-game scorer, Diop will be backed up by Brandon Bass, most likely, perhaps Nick Fazekas if he earns playing time and Dirk Nowitzki will have to take some time down there, too.
Who knows, maybe 6-7 Darvin Ham has shown enough to bump someone off the 15-man roster and get his nose dirty at the center spot. That's doubtful, but, hey, Avery really likes his hard-hat approach.
-- Jeff Caplan