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.