JaVale McGee was always going to be a reclamation project for the Mavs. The much-maligned big man has had a tumultuous career filled with Shaqtin-a-Fool moment after Shaqtin-a-Fool moment. With the Mavs seriously thin in the front court after the DeAndre Jordan debacle, it was apparent last summer that some help was needed to help stabilize the middle of the defense and help on the boards.
McGee was signed by the Mavs in August, but wouldn’t see the court until November 22nd against Oklahoma City. When he got the chance McGee was moderately productive for the Mavs, but had a hard time staying on the floor due to injury issues and inconsistent play, as well as the emergence of Salah Mejri down the final stretch of the season. (Read more about What Dallas Needs From Salah here).
On the year, McGee averaged 5.1 points, 3.9 boards, and .8 blocks in 10.9 minutes per game. McGee also had a PER of 20.00 on the season according the ESPN.com’s advanced stats, which would have placed him in the top 40 in the league if he could have sustained it over 500-plus minutes.
McGee has one year remaining on his deal at $1.4 million, and like fellow bench-roamer Jeremy Evans, his contract expires at the end of next season. On the one hand, McGee he has a chance to earn his way into next year's rotation, as it’s not outside the realm of possibility for McGee to find himself playing valuable minutes in 2016-17 in a Mavs uniform. And indeed, coach Rick Carlisle said positive things about him during Exit Interviews. On the other hand, when our David Lord does his roster-building and cap-filling exercise for the upcoming year, he suggests releasing McGee might be even more advantageous than playing him.
Dallas needs to use this summer to get better here. Read DB.com to get caught up on the Mavs' private thoughts on center candidates that include Hassan Whiteside, Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler. (click the link!)
And in the meantime, JaVale McGee's enigmatic existence continues.