JaVale McGee has shown flashes of becoming an impact player in the NBA. When the former No. 18 overall pick agreed to a buyout with the Sixers last spring, he failed to generate much interest as a free agent. His lack of development, along with his health concerns, were major reasons why teams weren’t champing at the bit to sign the center.
The Mavs finally signed McGee earlier this week. Dallas previously had serious concerns about the center’s health, but it has apparently cleared that hurdle, as the Mavs remain confident that his injured leg will heal in time for the 27-year-old to join the team in training camp.
McGee’s deal, which covers two seasons, is only guaranteed for $250K, with another $250K becoming guaranteed if he remains on the roster past September 29th. Dallas currently has 20 players under contract, as our Roster Counts page shows, but it needs to trim that down to 15 by opening night. The Mavs have 15 players with fully guaranteed deals on the roster and opening up a regular season roster spot for McGee will be especially difficult, as the team only has six players who are eligible to be traded prior to the season.
Dallas has shown a willingness to eat guaranteed money in the past, waiving Bernard James and Gal Mekel last fall despite their fully guaranteed salaries. Even if McGee makes the roster, he will face competition for minutes at the center spot. Samuel Dalembert and trade acquisition Zaza Pachulia are likely to see significant minutes. The team presumably will prioritize getting free agent signee Salah Mejri on the court to give the 2011 FIBA African Championship MVP a chance at locking down the team’s open starting center spot.
If McGee can defy the long odds of becoming the team’s starter at the five, or at least crack the rotation, he could put himself in great position to remain relevant in the NBA and potentially raise his stock for the summer of 2017, when he could become a 29-year-old free agent. Dallas is a franchise that has a history of rehabilitating player values, as I illustrated in the Free Agent Stock Watch of Wesley Matthews. The team employs Rick Carlisle, who is one of the best coaches in the league and has demonstrated he can get the most out of players.
So here’s the topic of the day: Will JaVale McGee make an impact on the Mavs? Can a good environment in Dallas rehabilitate his value? Will he even make the team?
Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to reading what you have to say.
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