As far as president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson is concerned, the Mavericks don’t have to make a decision about Samuel Dalembert’s partially guaranteed contract this summer.

That decision has already been made.

The Mavs signed Dalembert to a two-year deal this summer, but only $1.8 million of the big man’s $3.87 million salary next season is guaranteed. However, Nelson said the Mavs fully intend to have Dalembert return next season.

“Absolutely we’ll have Sam back,” Nelson said of the center who is averaging 6.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20.3 minutes per game this season.

That would at least temporarily halt the 32-year-old center’s tour around the NBA. The Mavs are the fifth team Dalembert has played for in the last five seasons.

Nelson acknowledges that the Mavs signed Dalembert late last summer in what was essentially a desperation move. After missing out on Dwight Howard and spending the majority of their cap space on guards Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon, the Mavs had a glaring hole at center. Dalembert, a part-time starter at his previous few stops, didn’t have any other teams offering him a starting job.