The JaVale McGee era in Denver has been a disaster.
He hasn’t stayed healthy. He was indirectly the source of a rift between George Karl and management that led to Karl’s ouster. And he’s paid a lot of money.
So Denver is cutting its losses.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
This somewhere between mostly and all about the draft pick. As a result of the Timofey Mozgov trade, the Nuggets had a Thunder first rounder top-18 protected this year and top-15 protected the next two years. If not conveyed by 2017, it becomes 2018 and 2019 second rounders.
The 76ers have enough cap space to absorb McGee, who makes $11.25 million this season and $12 million next season, without sending out salary. They could try to buy him out this month or keep him as a trade chip during the summer/next season. The latter could be combined with trying to help him achieve his high potential. Despite everything else, McGee remains talented.
As a fan of his antics, I sure hope he finds way onto the floor somewhere.
This lines up well with Sam Hinkie’s plan of renting out his cap space for draft picks as he builds with a young roster. This nearly all upside for Philadelphia, which isn’t ready to spend the money it’ll pay McGee elsewhere.
Are the Nuggets? I don’t think so, which is why I don’t like this trade for them. They would have been better off stomaching another season of McGee on the books and using the draft pick to upgrade a disjointed roster.
This deal gives Denver a chance to upgrade in free agency this summer, but going for the quick fix too often is what created the Nuggets’ mess in the first place.