of Dallas Mavericks They have messed up in the early stages of this season. The Mavericks let Jaylen Brunson walk without making a competitive offer to retain his services. As much as the Mavericks would like to believe money wasn’t at the heart of this decision, their offer wasn’t financially competitive. Then the Mavericks made the gutsy decision to give JaVale McGee his second major contract despite his advanced age (34).
McGee signed a four-year contract worth $44 million Denver Nuggets In the year After completing his rookie deal in 2012. At the time, he was a highly promising 24-year-old center who was not yet a staple on the Shaktin-a-Ful. Following the deal, he signed four separate one-year minimum contracts. One of them He was with the Mavericks in 2015. Then he signed a two-year contract worth 8.2 million dollars Los Angeles Lakers A year before he finally signed a $5 million contract with Phoenix Sun Last season.
The contract he signed with the Mavericks, despite his advanced age, blew it all away. This contract length and player selection has angered many and is a clear overpayment. But this does not change the fact that McGee will help the Mavericks on the court this season. I clearly rolled it for him. Interviews about the exit of Mavericks in our podcast.
Dwight Powell has been the Mavericks’ only rim-running option for years. No matter how you feel about Powell, he’s truly masterful as a role model. Many would discount that ability by giving credit to Luka Doncic, but Pavel Doncic was a master before he came to Dallas. McGee is also a great role player. He was the fourth-best man in the league in tackles last season, although that efficiency came on low attempts. Most importantly, he has shown the ability to be in or above the 90th percentile every season.
The difference between McGee and Powell is that McGee is also a superior rim protector and rebounder. Powell is terrible in both areas, requiring the Mavericks to choose between having a rim rusher or a capable rim protector in Maxi Kleber. McGee doesn’t want that choice. Powell allowed opponents to shoot 63.6 percent at the rim last season. McGee is allowing opponents to shoot 51.8 percent in the same situation.
Rebounds are not valued by NBA teams for various reasons, but all things being equal, it is better to get a rebound than to allow an opponent to do it. McGee grabbed 29.7 percent of all defensive rebounds while on the court last season. Dwight Powell grabbed 14.3 percent of his defensive rebounds when he was on the court last season. Some of this may be due to the Mavericks’ desire for Doncic to grab as many rebounds as possible, but Paul is undoubtedly a lower rebounder than McGee.
One of the most surprising things for Mavericks fans who may have forgotten about McGinn from his former Mavericks days is how much more different he is from Powell. Powell has shot 70.8 percent of his shots from within three feet of the basket this season. McGee shot just 53.5 percent from the same distance.
McGee overcame the urge to try bold shots that were part of his “Shaqtin a Fool” pedigree. But last season he made 37.1 percent of his shots from 3-10 feet, finishing floaters and even added some short “dirk fades.” He made them an incredible 58.8 percent.
McGee isn’t the biggest thing since sliced bread. Who wins the playoffs won’t change the outcome much. But he’s an upgrade over Powell, averaging 13-15 minutes per game in the regular season and playoffs. He’ll need a different defense than the one Powell played in, though. McGee is essentially a “drop” big man. McGee converted 43 total screens last season, per Synergy Sports Data.
Kleber and Christian Wood are a big part of absorbing some of the wear and tear that would be best saved for the offseason. The Mavericks showed their bread is buttered by playing five fouls. McGee is clearly not a part of that. But he’s going to help and maybe overpaid, which is the only move the Mavericks have made since free agency that actually makes sense.