The Dallas Mavericks struck out on re-signing Jalen Brunson, but they did reach a deal with a free agent on Thursday evening as JaVale McGee is set to come back to Dallas. He played 34 games for the Mavericks in the 2015-2016 season before going on to win three NBA championships.
Shams Charania reported that McGee’s new deal is for three years and worth $20.1 million with a player option in year thee. It means he accepted part of the team’s taxpayer mid-level exception as reported by Marc Stein. The remainder will go to second-round pick Jaden Hardy leaving Dallas just minimum deals to round out their roster in free agency.
McGee fills a glaring need for the Mavericks and the veteran brings plenty of playoff experience to a group that just reached the Western Conference Finals.
Rumors: Dallas Mavericks agree to deal with JaVale McGee
The Mavericks wanted a 3-and-D wing with their mid-level exception, but they shifted to targeting McGee. The seven-footer gives them a much-needed rim protector on their roster. The Mavs traded for Christian Wood, but he is not a deterrent inside. Dallas needed a big body that could rebound and keep attackers out of the paint.
McGee will play a 15-20 minute per game role for the Mavericks next season. He is a skilled big man that averaged 9.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 15.8 minutes per game last season for the Suns. He will compete with Christian Wood for the starting role at the five or Dallas could opt to play Wood at the four and go bigger in the regular season.
His role is likely to diminish in the postseason, but he has won three championships including the bubble title with the Lakers. The 7’0 center played with Jared Dudley in Los Angeles under now Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd, who was an assistant in LA. McGee helps his team win and will be an outstanding pick and roll partner for Luka Doncic.
The Dallas Mavericks are not done making moves. They still have multiple open roster spots, and they want to add more depth to their roster. Tim Cato reported that a trade could be on the horizon, so stay tuned for all the latest.