It’s been almost a month since JaVale McGee got waived by the Philadelphia 76ers. Looking for a playoff contender to take him in, the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors or Los Angeles Clippers could find some way to bring him into the fold.
McGee has barely played basketball these last couple of years. He was healthy for just five games last season in Denver and after playing 17 times this season he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, waiving him despite his $12 million contract for the 2015-2016 season, which is a very uncharacteristic move under the Sam Hinkie regime in Philly.
The 76ers will get some cap relief if McGee is picked up by someone in free agency next season, and McGee is angling to be on the market in July. He almost signed a deal with the Boston Celtics, but Danny Ainge insisted on a team option for next year which McGee couldn’t agree to, blowing up the negotiations. Other previous interests from the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks are gone as well.
So what’s left? Several media outlets are suggesting the Heat, Rockets, Raptors and Clippers are all trying to sign him. McGee will only sign for a team that’s going to play in the playoffs, which might make it a bit risky considering the Heat have been on the bubble for quite some time. They need a backup center, but so do the Rockets, Raptors and Clippers.
McGee, 27, is averaging just 4.6 points in 11.1 minutes a night. It’s not just his totals. His per minute and per possession numbers have dropped significantly, although offense has never been his strong suit, being more of a defensive stalwart on good days, which is what got him that $44 million over four years contract from the Nuggets back in 2012. Many are wondering if he still has what it takes to live up to that deal or even come close to it.