Report: Dallas Mavericks decided to sign JaVale McGee over Bruce Brown last year

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks reportedly decided to sign big man JaVale McGee over guard Bruce Brown last offseason.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on The Hoop Collective podcast, Brown was linked to Dallas before the team signed McGee.

“Our old buddy [Marc Stein] linked him to the Mavericks,” MacMahon said. “I’ve heard similar things. I actually heard that the Mavericks maybe could have had him last summer but thought that JaVale McGee was the bigger prize.”

McGee signed a three-year deal with the Mavericks last offseason. The final year of the deal is a player option, but it is likely that McGee will opt into it unless his production increases from the 2022-23 season. The entire contract is worth just over $17 million.

During the 2022-23 season, McGee fell out of the rotation in Dallas, appearing in just 42 games and making seven starts. He averaged 4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in only 8.5 minutes per game.

That’s certainly not the production Dallas was hoping for when it signed McGee, and it looks even worse when one considers that the team seemingly could have had Brown on a similar deal instead.

Brown signed a two-year deal with the Denver Nuggets last offseason for just north of $13 million. The second season on the deal was a player option, which Brown decided to opt out of this offseason. He should receive a much bigger contract on the open market.

The 26-year-old appeared in 80 games for Denver in the regular season and was an integral piece in the team’s championship run in the 2022-23 campaign.

Brown averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 35.8 percent from beyond the arc for Denver in the 2022-23 season. He was huge in the playoffs as well, averaging 12.0 points in 26.5 minutes per game.

Dallas is in a tough spot ahead of the 2023-24 season, as the team needs to find a way to either re-sign guard Kyrie Irving or move him in a sign-and-trade to truly fill out its roster. Missing out on a player like Brown certainly hurt Dallas in the 2022-23 season and was a reason why the Mavericks missed the playoffs.

Hopefully for Mavs fans, Dallas will make better use of its resources this offseason to build around Luka Doncic.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.