You may know him for his high flying, shot blocking acrobatics. You may know him for being the 2011-12 laughing stock of the NBA. For those of you who don’t know, JaVale McGee will be a restricted free agent at the seasons end. At 7 footer with a Yao Ming-esque wingspan of 7-foot-6 inches, the super-athletic physical specimen is an absolute freak, one that many teams should be drooling over in this upcoming offseason as he hits the free agent market for the first time.
Being a restricted free agent coming into the next year, the Denver Nuggets will have the opportunity to match any teams offer regardless of the offered amount.
The question is how much money are the Nuggets willing to spend to keep the giant?
According to Chris Broussard at espn.com, JaVale McGee told Wizards management he expected a contract of around $14 million dollars a year.
Obviously McGee hasn’t been watching any of his own games. He may be a superb athlete, but he is a complete fool if he thinks he should be getting paid as much as legit big men Andrew Bynum and Marc Gasol.
Denver Nuggets haven’t been convinced yet either. In just five games, McGee has already landed himself in George Karl’s ‘dog-house’, having been abruptly taken out of the starting line up.
Fans have been left shaking their heads as they have watched McGee swat away goaltending balls, attempting A.I killer crossovers in the paint and trying to run the ball up from half court like a point guard.
I don’t know what position McGee thinks he is playing, but clearly he has some serious basketball IQ issues.
So have I convinced you that he isn’t worth the money? I hope so, because he most definitely isn’t. But this is the NBA, where anything can happen.
Lets look at DeAndre Jordan. Just like JaVale, he is an athletic, tall player who thrives on getting blocks, and rebounds with freakish length and hops.
In DeAndre’s defense, he has a slightly better IQ than McGee. In any case, due to the lack of decent centres in today’s league, the bidding for DeAndre Jordan got way out of hand last year, when he was signed for a whopping $40M contract.
The guy has averaged six points and six boards over his 4-year season, and is being payed like an All-Star. But hey, you can’t put a price on height.
Regardless of his low IQ type antics on the court, JaVale is still a young specimen, and plays a position that's in high demand in today’s NBA.
There are a select number of teams out their with cap space coming into the offseason hungry for a big man, so even though he may not be worth big money do not be surprised if several teams in the next trade window offer over-priced contracts for the big galumph.
Denver has a big decision to make before next season. Do they match an offer of around $10-14 mill for the big man, in hope that he becomes the player he should be, or do they let some other team over pay for his services, and reap the benefits of having more cap space?
Whatever happens, Javale McGee ought to be thankful that he can be that bad at basketball and still get paid like a superstar.