DALLAS --After tonight's game against the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks' brass will decide whether to sign point guard Mike James to a contract for the remainder of the reason, or whether to waive him.
James' second 10-day contract expires tonight at midnight, and the aforementioned two options are the only ones the Mavs have in regards to his future with the franchise. In short, the Mavs appear to leaning towards retaining the 37-year old journeyman.
"He's done well,'' said Donnie Nelson, the Mavs' president of basketball operations. "If he were sitting here talking to us I don't think he or we think that he's absolutely hit the ball out of the ballpark.
"But it's been a positive influence on our team and it's one that we're looking very hard at.''
In eight games with the Mavs, James has averaged 3.4 points, one rebound and 1.1 assists in 11 minutes per game. Beyond the numbers, he's also brought some stability to the point guard position.
James said he's gotten no indication from management concerning his future with the Mavs, who are a respectable 5-3 since his arrival.
"That's not my concern,'' James said. "Like I said before, it's not in my control.
"The only thing that I can control is the things that I do on the court, and those are the things that I'm going to keep trying to control.''
Has that been easy for James to do?
"It's just the reality of life,'' he said. "It's what it is, so you just take advantage of your situations, and when your situations come whichever way they come, you just take advantage of them.''Nelson said the James decision will be less about the financial commitment they'll have to make to him and more about how he can help the Mavs.
"Certainly we're not talking about a max deal here,'' Nelson said. "So I'd say it's more about all the positive things he has brought to the table versus the roster spot for the rest of the season.
Nelson also mentioned 38-year old Derek Fisher, who was the Mavs' starting point guard before he decided he missed his family in Southern California and left the Mavs after just 24 days. Nelson believes James has given the Mavs some of the same intangibles Fisher gave them.
"The Fisher influence, where a seasoned vet that can kind of calm the waters a little bit when we need that gear, it certainly has its place,'' Nelson said. "We have young developing point guards.
"To have a veteran that can kind of help guide them as they're working through their development and step into fourth-quarter crunch time minutes and not be intimidated by a huge shot or a huge possession or playoff action, those are the things that kind of go into that.''
In all, Nelson had nothing but good things to say about James, adding that: "He's put himself in a really good position and we'll just have to see how tonight goes and have the postgame conversation and see where things are at that point.''
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter