An interesting person to watch during the 2014-15 NBA season will be Javale McGee, starting center for the Denver Nuggets. After six years in the NBA, the potential tag is beginning to wear off for the center. Now it’s time to either put up or shut up because, according to the Denver Post, McGee could be dealt in 2015-16 if the big man doesn’t prove to be a top center in the NBA.
I’d say yes, Dustin, this is a very pivotal year for JaVale McGee. He’s got to stay healthy and play well to live up to the contract he inked after playing well a couple of years ago. If not, sure, there’s a possibility he could be dealt. McGee has two years and nearly $24 million left on his deal. His last season is $12 million, which isn’t impossible to deal, particularly because it would be an expiring deal. But we’ll see.
McGee has shown flashes from time to time, but he’s yet to put it all together and separate himself from those who are still using potential to get by. Last season, when given the reigns to the starting center spot in Denver under first-time head coach Brian Shaw, an injury wiped away McGee’s season five games in, adding more frustration to an already climbing pile.
Now the Nuggets are putting themselves in a situation to be proactive. As the above blurb mentions, McGee’s $12 million expiring could draw interest in the open market. There’s either a team that thinks they can tap into McGee’s hidden potential or a team who’ll use McGee’s price tag to clear cap space going into the summer of 2016 where Kevin Durant is expected to be a free agent.
With Jusuf Nurkic–the Nuggets 2014 first-round pick–and an improving Timofey Mosgov in the fold, pressure adds to McGee’s return. We’ll see if he’s the man for the job or if we’ll spend the rest of his career wondering what could’ve been.