2012 NBA Free Agents
Published: May 22, 2012
2012 NBA Free Agents, JaVale McGee wasn’t exactly a well-known NBA player prior to joining the Denver Nuggets about midway through the 2011-12 season. For most NBA followers, he was simply the Washington Wizards’ big man who came up with a creative slam during the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk contest.
But after a productive season with Denver, which took the Los Angeles Lakers to seven games before bowing out of the playoffs, McGee might receive a little more attention on the free-agent market. He could be a reasonable find for a team looking to bolster its inside presence — a team like the Detroit Pistons.
Although the Pistons have Greg Monroe, one of the NBA’s most-improved players in 2011-12, they would benefit from McGee’s physical play, hustle and enormous 7-foot-6 wingspan. The 7-foot, 252-pound former Nevada standout made about $2.5 million this season with Denver. Depending how the Pistons’ financial situation plays out after the 2012 NBA Draft and negotiations with existing players — figuring in luxury taxes, if applicable — they could, in theory, swing a deal for McGee if interested.
The Pistons have an estimated payroll of $58 million. Depending on the option statuses of Monroe and Austin Daye, the payroll would be an estimated $50 million next season. The luxury tax threshold is about $70 million.
Now that the money matters are out of the way, back to how McGee could assist Detroit.
It seems that the best of McGee came out in the playoffs. He had two impressive double-doubles in the 2012 playoffs against the Lakers — a 21-point, 14-rebound showing in the Nuggets’ 102-99 Game 5 win, and a 16-point, 15-rebound outburst in the Nuggets’ 99-84 Game 3 win.
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