Recent Stony Brook University graduate Jameel Warney has agreed to play with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks on the team’s Summer League roster, according to multiple sources. Michael Scotto of the Associated Press was the first to report the deal.
After not being selected in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, Warney became an undrafted free agent. Negotiations ensued and the three-time America East Player of the Year reached an agreement very early on Friday morning with the Mavericks to vie for a permanent spot on the team.
The Mavericks were among several NBA teams that Warney had workouts with leading up to the draft. The forward practiced for the team on June 14.
“They talked to my agent throughout the draft,” Warney said. “We thought it was the best. Ideal situation is, ‘you go to the Mavericks.’ It was unbelievable.”
NBA competition next begins at Orlando Summer League, where the Mavericks are first in action on July 2 at 9 a.m. The team will participate in Las Vegas Summer League as well, with its opening contest on July 9 at 10 p.m. EDT.
The NBA Summer League consists of 40-minute exhibition games between league prospects — mostly first- and second-year players and unsigned free agents — looking to impress and earn training camp invites from teams.
Warney graduated Stony Brook as the school’s all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots, and led the Seawolves to their first-ever America East Championship and NCAA Tournament berth in 2016.
“[Stony Brook] already got one football player, a lot of baseball guys, they’re missing basketball,” Warney said. “I feel like I want to be the first one to do that.”
The Dallas Mavericks, coached by Rick Carlisle, finished sixth in the NBA’s Western Conference last season with a 42-40 record. The Mavericks lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Dallas ranked No. 26 in the NBA in rebounding differential last season, getting out-rebounded by an average of 2.7 boards per game. Warney has shown proficiency in rebounding the ball — grabbing an America East record 1,275 in his career — and his abilities could be valuable to the Mavericks.
In Thursday’s draft, the Mavericks selected A.J. Hammons 46th overall in the second round. Hammons, a 7-foot center from Purdue University, will be among Warney’s competition to make it on the team. Hammons averaged 15.0 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game as a senior with the Boilermakers.
“I know he’s a really big guy, another great rebounder,” Warney said. “He’s a really great player. I’m happy to compete against him and go on the same team as him.”
Five of the 15 Mavericks official roster spots are guaranteed to returning players under contract, while guard Deron Williams has a player option to return to the team. Of the nine remaining spots, several are likely to be occupied by veteran free agent signings this summer.
Kunal Kohli contributed reporting to this article.