The Dallas Mavericks are sinking lower and lower down the tree of eligible free agents in an attempt to fill out their roster with players that can help them make the playoffs, going after JaVale McGee to be their backup center.
The Mavs seem to be quite close to coming to terms with McGee. The center played just 23 times all of last season, including six times for the Philadelphia 76ers before they waived him, despite his $12 million salary in the 2015-2016 season, remnants of the bad deal the Denver Nuggets signed him in 2012.
But the Mavericks are desperate. Consider this: Zaza Pachulia is something of a success for them after DeAndre Jordan pulled a painful 180 on them. And McGee is supposed to back him up, although don’t be surprised to see a lot of small ball from the Mavs next season.
McGee is a very good defensive player, but he hasn’t been actually relevant in almost three years. Injuries and simply not taking the game too seriously have aided his decline, although above all it might be getting paid a lot more than he ever deserved which took his eyes off the ball.
He averaged just 4.6 points in 11.1 minutes a night last season, as the two teams playing him were doing quite terribly during his minutes on the floor. The Mavericks can’t expect to get anything but someone who puts his body on the floor for 10-15 minutes a night out of McGee, who looked for a short moment like a center the Nuggets can count on, but has disappointed or ran into some sort of misfortune whenever he was actually put to the test.