• JaVale McGee has signed a three-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks
  • McGee will bring his defensive capabilities to a team that desperately needed a big man
  • His age may come into play sooner rather than later

The Dallas Mavericks are going guns blazing into the 2022-23 season with the signing of free-agent center JaVale McGee.

Shams Charania of The Athletic revealed that McGee was handed a three-year, $20.1 million deal plus a third-year player option by the Mavericks.

McGee had been a serviceable center ever since he joined the Golden State Warriors back in 2016 and eventually won two titles with them.

His third came with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2020 NBA Orlando Bubble.

The Olympic gold medal winning center would have stops in Cleveland and Denver before having a solid year with the Phoenix Suns last season.

In 74 games played, McGee put up 9.2 points on 62.9% field goal shooting, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks as the main backup to Deandre Ayton.

Suns fans cannot value enough his contributions to the team as he was an important piece of their team that set a new franchise-record for wins (64) and was instrumental in forming a three-headed center group alongside Ayton and Bismack Biyombo.

They had hoped to re-sign McGee to the team because of his instant impact on the squad, but the Mavericks will now have his services potentially until the 2024-25 season.

Back in Dallas for the first time since his 34-game run with them in the 2015-16 season, he could be the missing piece they need for an even deeper playoff run this time around.

After the Mavericks had ousted the Suns in the second round of the playoffs, it became apparent that their lack of size was going to be exploited by the guard-heavy play of the Golden State Warriors.

McGee comes in at the perfect time for a Dallas team that had acquired big man Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets.

He can come in and do his damage in 15-minute bursts, which helps to preserve both Wood and other backup big men like Maxi Kleber and Davis Bertans from being exposed to much quicker forwards.

McGee’s length already dissuades smaller players from trying to take him head-on in the paint, but they can try and fish him for fouls as he has a tendency to rack up the numbers in that category.

A counterpoint to all of this is that McGee will be turning 35 in January, which may slowly erode into his durability.

However, he will still be a defensive presence plus a lob-threat on offense when he is on the floor as he marches towards the tail end of his career.

Overall, this is a great signing for Dallas as they look to become a contender in the perennially stacked Western Conference, and McGee could be part of a bigger move that eventually pushes them over the hump to bring home their second NBA title.

Javale McGee
Javale McGee of Team United States bites his gold medal during the Men's Basketball medal ceremony on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 07, 2021 in Saitama, Japan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images