South Carolina Basketball: Former Gamecock star getting new NBA contract

Former South Carolina basketball star AJ Lawson had his 2-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks converted to a full-time contract.
Former South Carolina basketball star AJ Lawson
Former South Carolina basketball star AJ Lawson / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA G League has been kind to South Carolina basketball alums this season.

GG Jackson, who was taken in the 2nd round of the 2023 NBA Draft, started the year bouncing back and forth between the Memphis Grizzlies and their G League Affiliate (the Memphis Hustle). As he averaged over 20 points per game, he earned his way to a full-time contract with the Grizz as he burst onto the scene as one the association's most exciting young players.

Chris Silva has been one of the top frontcourt players in the G League this season. On the year, the power forward is averaging 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists. He even put up a 30-point, 20-rebound performance earlier this year as he works for another NBA contract.

Now, another former South Carolina basketball star has parlayed his NBA G League excellence into a full-time contract.

Wing AJ Lawson, after averaging over 20 points and 7 rebounds (and over 50% shooting), is no longer on a 2-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Legends. Instead, he will be with the Mavs the rest of the way as the Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving-led squad competes for an NBA Title.

Lawson had a strong finish to the season last year with the Mavericks. The Canadian-born scorer averaged 11 points and 4 rebounds in just 19 minutes per game down the stretch for Dallas, but a crowded room of guards and wings prevented him from anything more than a 2-way contract to start the 2023-2024 season.

Now, though, as he just kept producing, Lawson forced the Mavericks' hand. With the Mavs, he will fight for a role playing off the ball as a potential microwave scorer who can shoot the ball from outside and attack the hoop with length and athleticism. For his career at the NBA level, AJ Lawson has shot nearly 50% from the floor and over 35% from behind the 3-point arc.

As other Mavericks ahead of Lawson on the depth chart (namely Tim Hardaway, Jr.) haven't produced well enough, Lawson could get a chance to be in the rotation sooner rather than later.

Before becoming an NBA player, Lawson averaged over 14 points per game for the South Carolina Gamecocks despite entering college a year early.

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