16 Players the Mavericks never should have gambled on

The Dallas Mavericks regretted acquiring these talents.

Dallas Mavericks, Rajon Rondo
Dallas Mavericks, Rajon Rondo / Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
5 of 16

12. JaVale McGee

McGee could appear on this list twice as he had two forgettable stints with the franchise. The 18th overall pick in 2008 played for three different teams in his first seven NBA seasons before joining the Mavericks in the summer of 2015.

Things got off to a bad start as McGee dealt with a preseason leg injury. He was only healthy enough to appear in 34 games and his 5.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 10.9 minutes per game were not enough. The Mavs waived him after one season.

McGee won three championships in the next four years and remade his career. After leaving Dallas, the seven-footer played for the Warriors, Lakers, Cavaliers, Nuggets, and Suns before coming back to the Mavericks in 2022. He made the playoffs five times and played 59 postseason games over that stretch.

Head coach Jason Kidd hyped him as their starting center after signing, but the experiment lasted just seven games. They wanted a roll man to pair with Luka Doncic, but the 35-year-old did not fit and was quickly removed from the rotation. He signed a three-year $17 million contract, but the Dallas Mavericks waived him after one season.

Both of JaVale McGee’s stints in Dallas did not go as planned and left the Mavs searching for alternatives quickly.