Nuggets Retain JaVale McGee
When he was with the Washington Wizards, JaVale McGee was considered a player who could excite with a fantastic play and then, moments later, making an equally stunning mistake. So, when they traded him to the Denver Nuggets at mid-season not too many Wizards fans were upset.
There are probably a few who wishes the 7-foot, long-armed, wiry forward was back on Washington’s team now. While still wild at times and definitely not a finished product, McGee went to Denver and became a factor. Under coach George Karl, McGee played more under control and used his height, wing span and athleticism to became a part of the Nuggets core going forward.
Denver hammered home its point by re-signing McGee to a four-year contract worth $44 million. So, in a short period of time he went from laughable in Washington to “how you like me now?” in Denver.
McGee was steady most of the season but he really asserted himself — and became an important Nugget cog — when he play brilliantly in Denver’s first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers. With every game on national television, McGee at time outplayed Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum by beating them down the floor and showing effective moves in the low post.
“I don’t think I’ve ever coached a guy like this. He has the moves of a 6-6 player,” Karl said.
Only 24, McGee averaged 11.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.16 blocked shots in 61 games last year for the Washington Wizards and the Nuggets.
Masai Ujiri, Denver’s executive vice president of basketball operations, said re-signing McGee was a priority. The Nuggets did not want to see his talent and potential move on to another team. Earlier this summer, the Nuggets also re-signed free agent point guard Andre Miller, whose on-court leadership and experience was vital in keeping McGee under control as the season progressed.