JaVale McGee - Embrace the Craziness

Me: I'd like to make a case for why the Suns should explore a trade to acquire JaVale McGee.

Evil Doppelganger: Wait a minute? Is he available?

M: Well... nobody's said he is, but Denver is cleaning house. They just blew up their very successful front office, fired their head coach even though he was a coach of the year and had a winning record, and are entering a chaotic offseason where their best player is a free agent. There's a good chance that anything and everything on their roster is up for grabs.

ED: Is McGee the guy who ran the wrong direction down the court in that video?

M: Yea that's the guy.

ED: And tried to alley-oop the ball to himself on that fast break, but missed the wide open dunk.

M: Uh-huh

ED: There was an article about him having a triple double and celebrating like mad, even though his team lost by like 30 points.

M: Yeah that rubbed some people the wrong way, but hey, he managed to get a triple double. That's something, right?

ED: I saw a podcast he was in where he ate a tablespoon full of cinnamon and then gagged on it...

M: That one was hilarious. Yeah, he's done a bunch of harmless but stupid things. Try to keep an open mind. The ability to fail spectacularly is almost always accompanied by the ability to succeed spectacularly as well.

ED: The Internet says he averaged 9 points and 5 rebounds last year. Meh.

M: Well that's true, but it was in only 18 minutes a game, so that's like 18 and 10 if he had played starters minutes.

ED: So he couldn't even hold down a starting gig?

M: The Nuggets ran a lot of small ball, and McGee goes about 7 foot and 250 lbs these days. There really wasn't a lot of minutes for a low-post banger and rim protector in the half court. His advanced stats are actually very impressive. He lost those minutes to Kenneth Faried.

ED: You're going to bust out the basketball-reference, aren't you?

M: Absolutely. Per-36, he averaged 18 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks. And he shot over 57% from the field, with almost 5 FT attempts per game.

ED: And he shot 59% on those free throws lol. 4.6 fouls per 36, 2.3 turnovers... my Internet works too!

M: He's a bit foul prone, but shot blockers are. The free throw and turnover number are better than what Dwight Howard puts up.

ED: That's just because the Lakers sucked this last year and he was injured.

M: Actually that's better than Dwight's career averages. McGee also averages more blocks per 36 than Dwight for his career.

ED: So how come he's not a star already? He didn't always play small-ball for the Nuggets. He was a real knucklehead with the Wizards, from what I heard.

M: I wouldn't say that. There were a couple knuckleheads on that team, but McGee was never one of them. He couldn't get on the court for major minutes for the Wizards because of athletic asthma.

ED: Is that a thing? Why would I want a player with a chronic injury?

M: It's something that's easily treatable, and it's controlled now. He doesn't have a minutes limit, or any other history of injuries. The only thing holding him back is Denver's roster and coach.

ED: Ok, but his contract is bad.

M: How so?

ED: Well, he makes $11 million a year. That's what you pay the 2nd best player on your team.

M: 2nd best on a scrub team, 3rd on a playoff team. But his stats say he's the 2nd best player on a team anyway.

ED: Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!

M: Seriously. He was 37th in the league last year in Win-shares per 48 minutes. Same as Nikola Pekovic and Anthony Davis. Well above Dwight Howard. There's only 30 teams, so 37th puts him at the top of the group of 2nd guys.

ED: Ok, but he's under contract. Why would the Nuggets trade him if he's so good?

M: Because he doesn't fit with the other players on their team. They have too many guys who can't shoot. Faried, Iggy, Andre Miller. Faried is better than McGee, and Iguodala and Miller were the team's veteran leaders. I think they undervalue him anyway.

ED: The Suns need young guys, though. Not veterans. Pass.

M: McGee is only 25. Younger than Dragic.

ED: So what would we have to trade to get him?

M: I don't know. Gortat maybe? Frye would fit with their team better. Probably take on some salary to give them cap relief.

ED: As long as it's not Dudley. Don't. Trade. Dudley.

M: Doppelganger, are you really Beavis?

ED: More similar to Butthead.

M: Hmmm... that's what I thought.

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