The Dallas Mavericks are preparing to enter training camp for the 2024 season, and as a result, some final roster changes are taking place. The Mavericks had a lot of unanswered questions about the center position. After electing not to bring back big man Christian Wood, who is still an unrestricted free agent, many expected the Mavericks to beef up their front line.
In an unexpected turn of events, the franchise has decided to change course completely. According to NBA insider Shams Charania of “The Athletic,” the Mavericks are waving center and three-time NBA champion JaVale McGee.
“The Dallas Mavericks have waived center JaVale McGee,” Charania tweeted on August 28. “McGee will be free to sign with a new team once he clears waivers.”
Kings Interested in Javale McGee
McGee averaged 4.4 points, and 2.5 rebounds while shooting a scorching 40% from beyond the arc in 42 games with the Mavericks last season. He also comes with experience. As a three-time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, McGee has had the opportunity to play with some all-time greats, such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Anthony Davis.
With championship experience and explosive athleticism at seven feet tall, McGee could be the perfect addition for a team looking to go from fringe competitor to a legit title contender. Per NBA insider Chris B. Haynes of Bleacher Report, one team already on the hunt for his services is the Sacramento Kings.
“Sacramento Kings have interest in signing the two-time NBA champ JaVale McGee upon him clearing waivers,” Haynes tweeted on August 29.
Mavs Could Use Small Ball Lineup With Kyrie, Luka
The Mavericks deciding to waive McGee is an interesting choice, especially considering the fact that they did not bring back Wood. Now two centers from last season’s roster are officially history.
So, the Mavericks’ current crop of centers now features Dwight Powell and 12th overall pick Derick Lively ll. The Mavericks have players who they can plug in at the center position, such as Maxi Kleber and Markieff Morris. However, in a Western Conference that features elite big men such as Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis, they are going to struggle to win matchups in the post.
Or it could be that the Mavericks are planning to go a completely different direction in their first full season with Kyrie Irving, who they acquired at the NBA trade deadline in February. Irving and Luka Doncic both play point guard. And with two elite playmakers at the helm, the Mavericks could elect to play small ball.
Lineups without a traditional center have been effective in the past. The Golden State Warriors “death lineup,” which featured their primary playmaker Draymond Green at the center position along with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, and Kevin Durant, helped the franchise win back-to-back championships.
The Mavericks can implore a similar lineup. With the acquisition of Grant Williams from the Boston Celtics this summer, the Mavericks can slide him into a lineup that includes their All-Star duo of Doncic and Irving and plug and play big men such as Kleber and Morris to employ their own “death lineup.”