Former Suns C JaVale McGee reportedly agrees to deal with Mavericks

Jun 30, 2022, 4:46 PM | Updated: 4:52 pm
JaVale McGee #00 of the Phoenix Suns takes a free-throw shot during the second half of Game Two of ...
JaVale McGee #00 of the Phoenix Suns takes a free-throw shot during the second half of Game Two of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 19, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Pelicans defeated the Suns 125-114. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Former Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee has agreed to a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports it is a three-year deal for McGee worth $20.1 million that includes a player option for the third year.

The 34-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Suns last offseason worth $5 million. McGee provided strong minutes to Phoenix’s center rotation behind Deandre Ayton, averaging 9.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game across just 15.8 minutes a night.

He quickly became a fan favorite thanks to his energy on the court and knack for a highlight play, oftentimes one you wouldn’t expect from a player of his size.

The best example of this was in the Western Conference semifinals when McGee stole the ball from Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic and went coast-to-coast for a dunk.

McGee was an important signing for the Suns after backup center Dario Saric tore his ACL in Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals, leaving Phoenix in need of a replacement. The Suns also signed veteran Bismack Biyombo in the middle of the season after a knee injury kept Frank Kaminsky out since mid-November. Phoenix also used 2021 first-round pick Jalen Smith before trading him to Indiana as part of a deal for Torrey Craig.

Saric was the only Suns center entering the offseason under contract. Ayton is a restricted free agent while the contracts of McGee and Biyombo both expired. Kaminsky was waived shortly before the postseason in order for the Suns to add two-way wing Ish Wainright to the playoff roster.

McGee was the 18th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft to the Washington Wizards and spent his first four-plus seasons there. After two years with the Denver Nuggets, he spent time with the Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks before both teams released him. McGee’s career took a huge turn when he signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

In Golden State, he not only earned a roster spot, but McGee showed he could develop into a reliable screen setter, diver and rim protector that would be a positive contributor on limited minutes for a contender. He won championships back-to-back years with the Warriors before leaving in free agency to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would win the third title of his career in 2020.

McGee was traded by the Lakers to the Cleveland Cavaliers shortly before the 2020 season got underway and then was acquired by the Nuggets at the trade deadline the year before he signed with the Suns.

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