Veteran center JaVale McGee is headed back to the Dallas Mavericks, agreeing to a three-year, $20.1 million deal, with the third year as a player option, according to multiple reports on Thursday.
The 7-footer had a successful 2021-22 season as the backup center and stopgap starter for the Phoenix Suns, averaging 9.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in 74 games.
McGee, 34, told ESPN he expects to be the starting center and is excited about how he’ll fit on the court with Mavericks All-NBA guard Luka Doncic.
“I saw some opportunities out there where I was like, ‘Oh yeah, if they had a rolling big, they could dominate in a different aspect,’” McGee told ESPN.
Among McGee’s 821 career games are 34 played with the Mavericks during the 2015-16 campaign. Playing under coach Rick Carlisle, McGee clocked under 11 minutes a game, scoring 5.1 points and grabbing 3.9 rebounds.
His return to Dallas re-connects McGee with two former colleagues from his days with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he earned one of his three championship rings.
Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd was an assistant coach with the Lakers, and Dallas assistant coach Jared Dudley was a reserve on the 2020 title-winning Lakers team.
Going into his 15th season in the NBA, McGee has averaged 1.5 blocks while shooting 57.6 percent from the field for his career.
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