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JaVale McGee jumps ship to the Dallas Mavericks for 3 years, $20 million

Chris Haynes broke the story roughly 90 minutes into free agency

2022 NBA Playoffs - Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The 7-foot big man was set to be the biggest unrestricted free agent from the Phoenix Suns this offseason, and JaVale McGee found his new home pretty early in the process.

It’s reportedly a three-year deal worth $20.1 million with a player option ahead of the third year. This comes out to roughly the full tax-payer mid-level exception that the Suns will likely use elsewhere.

Yahoo’s Chris Haynes broke the news following Arizona Sports’s John Gambadoro leaving breadcrumbs earlier in the day about the move possibly happening.

The big rotation in Phoenix is in flux at this point with Dario Saric — coming off a torn ACL during the 2020-21 NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks — as the only one under contract going forward; Deandre Ayton is a restricted free agent who could be traded elsewhere and Bismack Biyombo is an unrestricted free agent.

As for the new Maverick, McGee goes from 9.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in a backup role for Phoenix to likely a backup role in Dallas as well; they just traded the 26th pick and salary filler to the Houston Rockets for big man Christian Wood.

That 26th pick ended up being Duke’s Wendell Moore Jr., who was then traded to Minnesota for the 29th pick (Phoenix and Kentucky’s TyTy Washington) and future draft capital.

McGee is sure to play some minutes alongside Luka Doncic, who’s made good use of big men dating back to his Real Madrid days.

McGee could be in a position to meet some of his former teams in the postseason as he’s spent time with Golden State, Denver, LA Lakers, and now bidding farewell to Phoenix.