When the Dallas Mavericks open training camp in September, former Stony Brook star Jameel Warney will be there with a shot to become the first member of the Seawolves to make an NBA roster. On Tuesday, Warney said he agreed to a partially guaranteed contract with the Mavs worth $20,000 that assures him of a training camp roster spot.
“If I make the cut, I’m on the team and we’ll go from there,” Warney said of the chance to earn a regular-season contract. “It means a lot because of all the hard work I put in.”
Warney struggled at the Portsmouth Invitational pre-draft tryouts and went undrafted, but he delivered a solid performance with the Mavs summer league team in Las Vegas. In six games, he averaged 6.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks and shot a team-best .593 percent from the field. His 4.5 offensive rebounds per game led the entire Las Vegas Summer League, and he did it in only 16.5 minutes playing time per game.
“I got over my Portsmouth struggles,” Warney said. “It was great to have a team see my true skill set. I thought I did little things right. I was great in the minutes I played, great at rebounding and defending and great off the court.”
Asked about the Mavs’ reaction to his rebounding success, Warney said, “I guess they were surprised I can deal with people who are more athletic than me. Everyone was very encouraging. It was a great confidence-booster.”
From now until training camp, Warney will bounce between Stony Brook, where he works out with some of his former teammates, and Rutgers, where he works with former coach Steve Pikiell and his staff. The 6-8, 260-pound power forward said he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to make the Mavs.
“If I do what I always do,” Warney said, “I’m confident I’ll put myself in a great position.”