The Mavericks were reportedly interested in JaVale McGee, and then the Lakers joined the mix.
Dallas got its man – the one who has played just 28 games the last two seasons and has more than his share of mental lapses.
The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free-agent center JaVale McGee.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Note to Kings: This is how you get value on a talented player who has underachieved and is trying to prove himself. If McGee plays well this season, the Mavericks get him on a minimum contract for next season. If he doesn’t, they don’t have to pay him anything next season. And they’re not paying him $9.5 million this year to find out whether he still has it.
But before looking to 2016-17 McGee must just make this year’s team.
McGee gives Dallas the offseason limit of 20 players. At least 15 – the regular-season roster limit – have fully guaranteed salaries:
- Wesley Matthews
- Chandler Parsons
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Deron Williams
- Zaza Pachulia
- J.J. Barea
- Devin Harris
- Raymond Felton
- Justin Anderson
- Jeremy Evans
- John Jenkins
- Charlie Villanueva
- Samuel Dalembert
- Maurice N’Dour
- Salah Mejri
The other four:
McGee’s guarantee is unclear, as is his place on the roster. Even if McGee’s salary is fully guaranteed, he’ll have to best at least one player in the same boat for a regular-season roster spot.
He’ll compete with Pachulia, Dalembert, Mejri and Famous to fill the center role vacated by DeAndre Jordan. If he’s healthy and focused – two longshots – McGee can help. He’s 7-foot and at least had excellent hops.
There’s nothing wrong with Dallas betting on these longshots. Jordan’s defection left the Mavericks desperate. They’re throwing a bunch of players against the wall and hoping one sticks. McGee makes sense with that strategy.
I’m a bit surprised McGee accepted this deal, though. The 76ers owed him $12 million this season. After Philadelphia’s set-off, McGee will make just an extra $1,043,723 from Dallas. Was that really worth locking himself into a minimum salary for next season – especially because even that isn’t guaranteed? At some point McGee needs to reestablish his viability as an NBA player, but I would have held out for a one-year contract. The fallback would have been sitting and getting paid by the 76ers, not a two-year minimum contract with a team option.
The Mavericks need McGee to make better decisions, but he probably made a poor one merely by signing with them.
McGee remains a paradox.