Houston Rockets trade target #8: JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee finds himself in a peculiar situation in the 13th season of his NBA career, as he’s getting marginal playing time on the rebuilding Cleveland Cavaliers. McGee, of course, was the starting center on the 2019-20 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and finished ninth in blocked shots last season, while playing the fewest minutes of any player ahead of him.
McGee’s title with the Lakers was the third of his career, as he previously won consecutive titles with the Golden State Warriors, although in a reserve role. At age 33, McGee is still capable of being a positive on the defensive end of the floor, as he finished last season with 2.4 defensive win shares, which was the third-best mark of his career. McGee finished the prior season 12th in defensive win shares, showing that he can still contribute on that end of the floor.
It’s been stated ad nauseam that the Rockets are in dire need of another big man, and McGee has prior experience with Rockets point guard John Wall, as the two were teammates with the Washington Wizards. McGee would present a great lob threat and interior presence, and with the non-contending Cavs having acquired Jarrett Allen in the James Harden trade, rumors have started swirling regarding the 7-foot center potentially being on the move.
McGee recently responded to these trade reports:
“I’m just trying to go day by day and make sure I stay focused and focused on myself. If a team comes and gets me, then it is what it is. But yeah, that’s all I can do, is just stay in shape and stay myself and stay bouncy and stay dunking on people. That’s all I can really do.”
McGee is on an expiring deal that pays him $4.1 million this season, meaning the Rockets could acquire him with the James Harden trade exception and still have over $6 million remaining, which they could use before January of next season.
Next: No. 7