12:43pm: The Mavs have officially waived Jackson and Onu, per the team. Dallas’ roster is now at 17 players (including a pair of two-ways) and appears set for the regular season, barring any last-minute changes.
6:39am: The Mavericks have officially signed forwards Justin Jackson and E.J. Onu to their preseason roster, the team announced late on Friday night. The club had open spots on its roster after cutting Tyrell Terry, Carlik Jones, and Feron Hunt earlier in the evening.
Jackson, the 15th overall pick in the 2017 draft, has 248 NBA regular season games under his belt, including 94 with Dallas from 2019-20. He has also spent time with the Kings, Thunder, and Bucks, recording career averages of 6.6 PPG and 2.5 RPG on .427/.321/.797 shooting in 19.1 minutes per contest.
A 6’11” forward, Onu played four seasons at Shawnee State before going undrafted this year. He averaged 16.9 points and 8.1 rebounds as a senior and helped the Bears capture the NAIA championship. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Mid-South Conference three times and was selected as MSC Player of the Year this season. Onu played for Dallas’ Summer League team in August.
This type of signing would typically be for G League purposes, and it’s certainly possible that’s the case here. However, the deal with Onu is slightly perplexing, since Dallas already signed him to an Exhibit 10 contract and subsequently cut him earlier in the offseason, so the team could’ve made him an affiliate player without re-signing him. Perhaps the new deal gives him a more favorable bonus if he reports to the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League team.