Earl K. Sneed reports from Day 4 of the Mavericks' training camp on Monday, where the team welcomed in free-agent guard Vince Carter and welcomed back big man Brian Cardinal.
DALLAS -- Make some space in the locker room.
After entering training camp with just 10 players under contract, including swingman Rudy Fernandez who remains in Spain with visa issues, the Dallas Mavericks' roster slowly began to take shape over the weekend, acquiring guard Andy Rautins in the three-team exchange that sent center Tyson Chandler to New York and bringing in big man Brandan Wright and guard Drew Neitzel in free-agent signings before wheeling and dealing to add reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Monday, with Odom yet to arrive in Dallas, the defending champions filled even more space in the locker room, reportedly adding free-agent guard Vince Carter and re-signing one of last season's key contributors, forward Brian Cardinal, to a veteran-ladened rotation.
The Mavericks will retain the services of Cardinal, who showed he was ready to play every time Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle called his name last season after entering training camp on a non-guaranteed contract. In his 11th season and first with the Mavs, Cardinal knocked down a career-high 48.3 percent from behind the 3-point arc, posting 2.6 points and pulling down 1.1 rebounds in his 56 appearances while providing gritty defense in spot minutes of relief for Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki.
"We love this guy. [Cardinal] was as much about what our team was all about last year as anybody," Carlisle said. "It took three days to get things worked out, because there was some other things going on, but it's great having him here. He's in great shape, as we knew he would be, and he's ready to go. ... He epitomized what being a professional is all about and what being ready is all about."
"I'm excited to be here," Cardinal told reporters after his first practice back in Dallas. "I missed a few days, but it's exciting to be back with these guys and to be out on the court."
Carter, an eight-time All-Star, is expected to sign Monday afternoon after he spent 51 games with the Phoenix Suns following a start to the 2010-11 season that saw him suit up in 22 games with Orlando, averaging 14.0 points, 3.8 boards and 2.0 assists while starting all but 10 games in which he saw action. Holding career averages of 22.2 points, 5.2 boards and 4.0 assists an outing, the former Slam Dunk champion and North Carolina standout has proven to be far more than just a 6-foot-6, above-the-rim scorer in his 13 campaigns.
Meanwhile, with the deal not yet official, Carter -- who along with Odom is expected to speak for the first time at Media Day on Tuesday -- watched practice as an onlooker with his paperwork not yet fully worked out. He is expected to bolster a two-guard rotation that already features fellow newcomer Fernandez and veteran Jason Terry as well as up-and-comers Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones.
The Mavericks will then have 14 of their 15 roster spots filled, with everyone in camp except Fernandez in preparation for a two-game, home-and-home preseason series with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 18 (at the American Airlines Center) and Dec. 20.
"There's a lot of things that are still up in the air," Carlisle said when looking ahead to filling the final roster spot. "I'm sure that we're very active in talking to a lot of people about the possibilities of getting another guy in here. Time will tell on all those things. I don't have an answer for you right now."
Single-game tickets are on sale and available at the American Airlines Center North Box Office, online at mavs.com, via phone by calling 214-747-MAVS or 1-800-4NBA-TIX and all Ticketmaster outlets (Fiesta Grocery Stores, Wal-Mart, Simon Mall in Garland and the Shops at Willow Bend in Plano).
Rivalry Pack: Aside from being a season ticket holder, the only way for Mavs fans to attend the home opener against the Miami Heat or either of the two Los Angeles Lakers games is through the Rivalry Pack. Tickets to the Dec. 25 game vs. the Miami Heat and the Feb.22 and March 21 games vs. the Los Angeles Lakers can be purchased as part of a three-game package that includes one (1) of the three premium games and two (2) additional regular season games.
RPL Nights: RPL Nights return for the sixth season and will feature special discounted tickets for 10 pre-selected games. Tickets normally priced $9 will be $2, $15 will be $10, $31 will be $20 and $42 will be $32.
Tickets to the Mavs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder preseason game will also be available for purchase Saturday.
The Mavericks open up regular season play Dec. 25 vs. the Miami Heat (1:30 p.m.), with the regular season finale is set for April 20 vs. the Golden State (7:30 p.m.).