Big D welcomes back George with new contract

Updated: August 21, 2008, 1:37 AM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Devean George's stay in Big D is going to last longer than anyone imagined.

Devean George

George

George and the Dallas Mavericks have reached an agreement on a new two-year contract worth about $4 million, according to his representative.

Agent Mark Bartelstein told ESPN.com on Wednesday that the deal soon will be made official and includes a player option for George to return to free agency after the coming season.

George, 30, appeared to have little future in Dallas beyond last season after his controversial refusal in February to be included in the Mavericks' trade with the New Jersey Nets for Jason Kidd.

Kobe Bryant has the NBA's only active no-trade clause, but George was able to prevent his inclusion in the deal on Feb. 13 by citing a little-known league rule applicable to a handful of players on one-year contracts. In a game that same night, George missed all 11 of his field-goal attempts in a home loss to Portland and was roundly booed by fans in Dallas.

The Mavericks and Nets completed a reworked trade without George days later, but the second version of the deal cost Mavs owner Mark Cuban more than $11 million extra last season alone in additional payroll and luxury-tax obligations. Fan discontent with George, though, faded quickly, as did any friction within the organization.

New coach Rick Carlisle was eager for the Mavericks to retain George, who spent the last two seasons in Dallas and is regarded as a perimeter threat and versatile defender off the bench when healthy after winning a ring with the Los Angeles Lakers in each of his first three pro seasons.

Injuries limited George to 53 games last season and averages of 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 15.5 minutes per game.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here

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Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics