DALLAS -- No one could imagine the Dallas Mavericks entering this season without a point guard who didn't know the ins and outs of coach Rick Carlisle's system.
That's why when Delonte West agreed to a one-year contract with the Mavs on Tuesday, it should not have been a surprise.
The Mavs still had the veteran's minimum of $1.3 million and the $2.5 million "room exception'' available to give to West. A source said they agreed on a contract somewhere in the middle of those two numbers.
Last year West was the primary backup to Jason Kidd and averaged 9.6 points, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals while starting 33 games. With Kidd now playing for the New York Knicks, the Mavs were virutally forced to reunite forces with West, who is a gritty playmaker and a ferocious defender.
Darren Collison, who the Mavs acquired in a trade with the Indiana Pacers earlier this month, will likely become Dallas' starting point guard this season. But Collison has yet to learn Carlisle's playbook.
Meanwhile, rookie Jared Cunningham is in the same boat with Collison. And third-year veteran Rodrigue Beaubois has been so inconsistent that he can't be fully counted on to run the offense.
Sure, newcomer O.J. Mayo could be the quarterback at times. But Mayo has spent the balance of his four-year career as a shooting guard.
Dominique Jones, who will be entering his third season this fall, showed some promise as a point guard last week during summer league play. But is Carlisle really comfortable giving him the keys to his offense?
"Dominique Jones had a terrific summer league,'' general manager Donnie Nelson said. "He played point guard 80 percent of the time and he was on the first team All-Star team and really played well.
"And Collision, here’s a guy that was the starting point guard for an Indiana team that went deep in the playoffs.''
Despite the presence of Collison, Jones, Beaubois and Mayo, the Mavs came to the realization that they needed a solid point guard like West to help run the offense. Now entering his ninth season, West is very familiar with Carlisle's offense, which should be advantegous to the Mavs the season.
The addition of West gives the Mavs 14 players with guaranteed contracts -- one below the league maximum. The 15th spot will likely be taken by rookie forward Bernard James.
West, who turns 29 on Thursday, fractured his right ring finger last season and missed 22 games. The injury eventually required surgery.
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter