Big men get paid in the NBA. It was ever thus.
And it continues — JaVale McGee tweeted out the news (with a picture) of him signing to stay with the Denver Nuggets. According to Marc Spears of Yahoo it is a four-year, $44 million deal.
That is more money per year but a shorter length and less of an overall commitment than the previously reported five-year, $50 million offer.
McGee came to Denver in the middle of last season from Washington as the centerpiece of a deal that sent Nene to the nations’ capital. McGee averaged10.3 points and 5.8 rebounds a game in that half a season and did it efficiently — he shot 61.2 percent with a PER of 20.2.
The question, as always with McGee, is will he bring the effort and mental focus every night. His blunders are the thing you YouTube legend. But the environment in Washington — with Gilbert Arenas first, then him and Andray Blatche and Nick Young running the room — was not conducive to professional preparation and behavior. That is not the way it will be under George Karl in Denver. Not in the least.
The Nuggets reached a deal with Anthony Randolph earlier in the day. They are now the team of bigs with untapped potential. If Karl can get McGee to play near his physical potential — he is arguably the most athletically gifted big man in the game — this contract will be a steal. If not… well, he’s another overpaid big man.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.