JaVale McGee only received two contract offers in summer, along with offer from China
Mired by a reputation of being solely an athletic talent who’s erratically prone to making bizarre basketball plays, JaVale McGee rolled into 2016 free agency fielding calls from all comers.
After equal stints with the Washington Wizards and the Denver Nuggets, plus a cup of coffee with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks last season — the 29-year-old faced a pivotal point in his career with his production decreasing just as rapidly as the faith he saw from various front offices around the league.
The 7-footer received only two contract offers this past offseason, along with an offer to play in China. One, a fully guaranteed deal from a unspecified non-playoff team, and a non-guaranteed one-year deal from the Golden State Warriors for $1.4 million, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
Despite trying to extend his career, McGee opted for the less lucrative contract with Golden State after being heavily recommended from former Nuggets teammate Andre Iguodala, who claimed all McGee needed was a change of environment.
“JaVale has always been a unique and talented player who worked hard and was well-liked by his teammates,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said. “We hoped he could provide us with a different element at the center position. Furthermore, when we were going through the process, several people, including Andre Iguodala, had extremely positive things to say about him.”
His bet in himself has resulted in an unforeseen payout, career-low numbers in 9.6 minutes per game through 77 games and 10 starts, coupled with the most efficient season of his career, logging 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 65.2 percent.
During his only season with the Warriors, McGee is leading all NBA reserves in dunks and field goal percentage, making his contributions a sure-shot bang-for-your-buck in limited minutes.
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