JaVale McGee came to the Sixers at the trade deadline, primarily because Philadelphia has plenty of cap space to take on undesirable players in the final year of their contract, as long as a future draft pick is attached.
Initially, McGee said he wanted to finish the year with his new team, partly to mentor Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid — but also to get every last penny of the more than $23 million remaining on his deal.
Now, with the deadline to be waived in time to join another team for the playoffs rapidly approaching, it appears as though he is in fact exploring his buyout options.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
Sources told ESPN.com that McGee, after initially saying upon being dealt to the Sixers that he did not want a buyout, has his representatives on the hunt for a team interested in signing the 7-footer once he clears waivers before signing off on a buyout.
McGee would have to be waived by Philadelphia by midnight Sunday to be eligible to play in the 2015 playoffs with another team. But his willingness to surrender salary — with a guaranteed $12 million scheduled to come his way next season as well as the rest of this season’s $11.25 million — will almost certainly depend on what sort of deal can be had with a new team once the 27-year-old becomes a free agent.
You can bet that McGee’s representatives won’t complete the buyout negotiations without having a destination or two in mind first. But an added benefit to joining a playoff squad would be an opportunity for McGee to showcase his abilities on the postseason stage, before then becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer.
McGee has played sparingly with the Sixers, but hasn’t exactly impressed. In five appearances, he’s averaged 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds on 43.8 percent shooting in 10.8 minutes per contest — all of which are career lows.