The Dallas Mavericks had two major priorities heading into this offseason: re-signing Jalen Brunson and improving at center position.
The former doesn’t look great as multiple reports indicate that Brunson intends to sign a four-year contract with the New York Knicks. However, the latter looks pretty good, as the Mavs traded a trade for Houston Rockets big man Christian Wood ahead of the draft. And now another reinforcement is on the way.
According Shams Charania, JaVale McGee has agreed to sign a three-deal deal worth $20.1 million. The final year of the deal is a player option. The Mavs targeted McGee early in free agency and seemingly beat competition from the Milwaukee Bucks to sign him.
McGee, though 34, is one of the league’s most valuable substitute bigs, averaging 9.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks for the Phoenix Suns last season all playing just 15.8 minutes per game. McGee shot 62.9% from the field. He also had a memorable moment against future teammate Luka Doncic in the second round of the playoffs.
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As Mavs fans will surely remember, this isn’t McGee’s first stint in Dallas. He was with the 2015-16 team that went 42-40 and finished sixth in the Western Conference. McGee only appeared in 34 games for then-coach Rick Carlisle and averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in just 10.9 minutes per game.
According to another report by Tim McMahon, McGee says he expects to be the Mavs’ starting center … which is a curious statement to make given the trade for Wood, but we’ll see how it all plays out in training camp. Mavs coach Jason Kidd and assistant Jared Dudley were factors in McGee’s pick in Dallas.
The elephant in the room now, with the acquisitions of Wood and McGee, is what will happen with Dwight Powell, who has an expiring $11 million contract? As strongly as the Mavs think of Powell, his spot on the roster may not make much sense anymore. We’re keeping our eyes peeled for another trade at some point this offseason.