The fact JaVale McGee did not know he was about to be traded pretty much sums up JaVale McGee.
McGee spoke with Hoopsworld about the trade that sent him from Washington to Denver and said — while everybody else on the planet knew he was being shopped — he was surprised by the move.
“I was sleeping, taking my pregame nap,” McGee told HOOPSWORLD. “When I woke up, I found out that I had been traded. I had a bunch of text messages from different people and I talked to the team. I was shocked. I just asked, ‘When do I leave?’”
Washington wanted to move McGee as part of an effort to revamp their locker room culture. They felt it wasn’t very professional, from the Gilbert Arenas gun incident through the firing of Flip Saunders as he couldn’t get the players to respond. McGee and his famous mental lapses were part of that.
Since the trade he has been pretty much the same player — 10 points, seven boards and a couple a blocks a game. He is shooting at a slightly higher percentage, missing his free throws, turning the ball over more, making spectacular plays then disappearing for a stretch.
There is no doubt potential in McGee that George Karl is trying to tap into. McGee, for his part, loves Denver.
McGee is going to be a guy to watch this summer — he is a free agent and Denver can match any offer, but will a team be willing to take a big chance on him. Last summer DeAndre Jordan got a $10 million a year offer, would a team take that risk on the similarly talented but less focused McGee? Would the Nuggets match?
Big men get paid. One way or another McGee has some big checks coming his way. But that may be a surprise to him, too.
While the rampant speculation continues about whether the Celtics may or may not trade for a superstar, Danny Ainge is filling out his roster with veterans. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reports that they’ve agreed to a one-year minimum deal with guard Gerald Green:
Green was originally drafted by the Celtics in 2005 at No. 18 overall, and after bouncing around different teams and overseas in the first few years of his career, he’s carved out a nice niche for himself in the NBA as a scoring guard off the bench. He played 69 games for the Heat last season after two solid years in Phoenix.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.