JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee
31-Year-Old CenterC
Los Angeles Lakers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
McGee re-upped with the Lakers on a two-year, $8.5 million deal after his first season with Los Angeles. He averaged a career-high 12.0 points per game in 2018-19 to go along with 7.5 rebounds. He also brought back the blocking prowess that he was known for early in his career, swatting 2.0 shots per game. McGee shot 62.4 percent from the floor in 2018, and he provides a high floor in field-goal percentage, thanks in large part to his athleticism and length leading to easy points around the rim. His three-point game is effectively non-existent, and he is not a reliable free-throw shooter (63.2 percent in 2018-19). The primary starter last season, McGee played 22.3 minutes per game -- a seven-year high. He has been a role player for most of his career, and his 62 starts last season were a career-high. While the additions of Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard might cut into McGee's role, if he can manage a 20-minute-per-night role, he should provide a steady source of rebounding and blocks while contributing to the Lakers' second unit. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $8.2 million contract with the Lakers in July of 2019. Contract includes $4.2 million player option for 2020-21.
Out Friday
CLos Angeles Lakers
Rest
October 18, 2019
McGee will be rested for Friday's game against the Warriors, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
The Lakers are resting eight of their top players Friday, so expect to see a lineup of mostly young players and fringe-roster guys.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Over the past two seasons with Golden State, McGee started 27 games, but averaged just 5.5 points and 2.9 rebounds across 9.5 minutes. However, in joining the Lakers this year, he'll have the opportunity to be a full-time starter. The other competition for the position is Ivica Zubac, who played more G-League minutes than NBA minutes, and Moritz Wagner, the 25th pick in this year’s draft. That said, even if McGee earns the starting job, he may not see enough run to vault into Fantasy relevance. The last time the center garnered at least 15 minutes per game was in 2013-14 as a member of the Nuggets. During his 121 games with the team, he averaged 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks across 17.5 minutes -- an indication of the type of production he could have in LA. All things considered, McGee could make for a late-round flyer in Fantasy, though recent history suggests his upside is relatively limited.
A significant leg injury and a penchant for racking up ugly turnovers rendered McGee a massive disappointment after he signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Nuggets in 2012, and it looked as though his time in the NBA could be running out as recently as last summer. Despite McGee’s flaws, the Warriors gambled that their winning culture would help the center get the most out of his considerable physical gifts, prompting them to sign the 29-year-old to a non-guaranteed deal. The decision proved to be a shrewd one, as McGee maintained health and was a seamless fit in the team’s up-tempo attack, playing in 77 games while averaging 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in just 9.6 minutes per game. McGee was at his best as a finisher at the rim, and the luxury of playing alongside a group of adept passers afforded him an array of quality looks that ultimately yielded a career-high 65.2 field-goal percentage. The stellar per-minute production suggests McGee could still be a high-end Fantasy asset at center if he were to see an uptick in playing time, but it doesn’t look like that will be in the cards in 2017-18 after he re-signed with Golden State on a one-year contract. The Warriors also re-signed incumbent starter Zaza Pachulia and regularly deploy Draymond Green as a small-ball option at center, and since both players bring unique and valuable skills to the position, McGee seems unlikely to see a substantial increase in minutes. That will likely conspire to keep McGee off the radar in most Fantasy formats when the Warriors frontcourt is at full strength, but he’ll make for an intriguing DFS option or short-term pickup in season-long formats if Pachulia or Green should miss time with an injury.
Once considered an up-and-comer in the league, the enigmatic McGee has seen his career path altered by erratic play and injury. McGee was hoping for a bounce back season last year after surgery to address a stress fracture in his tibia limited him to just five games the previous year. However, soreness in the area resurfaced, and he appeared in just 23 games with both the Nuggets and Sixers. Philadelphia waived the seven-year veteran in early March, and McGee opted not to sign with another team. He finished the season averaging 4.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in 11 minutes per game. McGee shot an impressive 53 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free-throw line. Dallas signed the 7-0 center in the offseason with the hope that he can provide the athleticism and rim-protection the team lost after DeAndre Jordan returned to Los Angeles and Tyson Chandler left for Phoenix. Though the Mavericks medical staff is highly regarded, health remains the key factor in McGee's long-term value. If he can stay on the court, McGee's age and ability should allow him to be a regular member of the Dallas rotation and provide him an opportunity to restart a once promising career.
JaVale McGee missed the majority of the 2013-14 season after a stress fracture was discovered in his left tibia in November. He was the starter coming in to the 2013-14 season, but the injury forced the Nuggets to turn to J.J. Hickson and, eventually, Timofey Mozgov at center. McGee will have his eye on reclaiming the starting center role in 2014-15, but he'll have to prove his worth in training camp to guarantee himself minutes.
Pegged as a potential breakout candidate last year, McGee failed to live up to the billing, as he spent the entire season working as a reserve off of the Nuggets' bench. The 25-year-old seven-footer finished the 2012-13 season with averages of 9.1 points and 4.8 rebounds, but he was still able to make a fantasy impact by swatting away two shots per game and sinking 57 percent of his field-goal attempts. While he has always been prone to bone-headed mistakes, there's no denying McGee's athletic ability. His career stats per 36 minutes played (15.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.3. blocks) hint at the potential McGee has yet to fully realize. Owners who take a chance on him during draft day may finally be able to reap the rewards of his potential, though, as the new blood in the Nuggets' front office have been backing the talented big man all offseason. There's some risk involved in reaching too far for McGee, but he could end up being a great piece to add to any fantasy frontcourt if his playing time increases as expected.
After breaking onto the fantasy scene in 2010-11, McGee solidified himself as a quality option at the pivot last season. He was once again one the league’s premier shot blockers, swatting away 2.2 attempts per game, which ranked second in the Association behind Serge Ibaka. His scoring average reached a new career-high of 11.3 points while his rebounding dropped slightly to 7.8 boards. Aside from the bone-headed plays McGee has been prone to committing the past couple seasons, the main mark against him has been an undeveloped offensive game. His athleticism is off the charts, but he struggles from the charity stripe (46.1) and doesn’t have much of a low-post game to speak of. The 24-year-old seven-footer worked to address his holes on the offensive end of the court this offseason, though, receiving tutelage from Hall-of-Fame big man Hakeem Olajuwon. The Nuggets committed over $40 million to McGee this offseason, so he should be a big part of the team going forward. Look for him to be the Nuggets’ primary option in the middle, which should lead to an increase in playing time, especially if he can display refined offensive skills from his time spent with Olajuwon this summer.
McGee garnered national attention after his electrifying performance at last year’s slam dunk contest, but the Wizards’ big man was already making a name for himself in fantasy circles prior to his high-flying act. After averaging 1.6 blocks in only 16 minutes per game as a sophomore, fantasy owners were foaming at the mouth with anticipation of McGee getting more playing time in 2010-11. He didn’t disappoint. Handed more than 27 mpg by Wizards coach Flip Saunders, McGee developed into one of the better shot-blockers in the Association, averaging 2.4 blocks per game while chipping in 8.0 rebounds. While great on defense, the 23-year-old center is still very raw on the offensive side of the ball. Without much of a low-post game, McGee relied on his athleticism to get easy baskets, on the way to a career-high 10.1 points per game. With most of his baskets being dunks or put-backs, McGee shot 55.0 percent from the floor, but he struggled from the line, hitting just 58.3 percent of his freebies. McGee will likely never develop into an offensive force, but he’s young enough that there’s still room for growth, and he’s already strong enough in blocks to carry that category for fantasy squads.
McGee's final numbers last season certainly don't jump out, but looking deeper, 1.7 bpg in just 16:06 mpg is pretty impressive. He really turned it on during the last month of the season, when he averaged 13.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks over eight games. He's also coming off a highly encouraging offseason, as McGee averaged 19.5 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 69 percent from the field in four Las Vegas Summer League games and nearly played for Team USA during the world championships. McGee was also diagnosed with asthma – a serious condition that had previously been untreated – so his stamina has really improved. Washington is currently in a major youth movement, so he'll enter 2010-11 as the team's starting center. McGee is a true sleeper.
McGee was not projected to play much as a rookie, but injuries forced him into minutes last season. He actually showed a fair amount of promise and some flashes of brilliance, along with some usual rookie ups and downs. McGee will probably post similar numbers to last season's unless Saunders prefers to give more backup-center minutes to Blatche and the less talented but steady Oberto.
McGee was the Wizards' first round pick (18th overall) in the 2008 draft. An athletic seven-footer with the wingspan of a commercial airliner, he projects as a combo forward/center who can run the floor and provide good interior defense -- but he's pretty raw. He did lead the Vegas Summer League in minutes, which may be a positive sign.
More Fantasy News
To start Wednesday
CLos Angeles Lakers
October 16, 2019
McGee will start Wednesday's game against Golden State, Mark Medina of USA Today reports.
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Strong off bench in win
CLos Angeles Lakers
October 15, 2019
McGee pitched in 11 points (4-6 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, one assist and three blocks across 17 minutes during the Lakers' 104-98 preseason win over the Warriors on Monday.
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Emerging as the starter
CLos Angeles Lakers
October 12, 2019
McGee compiled nine points (4-6 FG, 1-2 FT), three rebounds, and two blocks in 14 minutes during Saturday's 91-77 preseason loss to Brooklyn.
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'Performing at a really high level'
CLos Angeles Lakers
October 2, 2019
Coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday that he's been impressed by McGee early in camp, ESPN reports. "JaVale's performing at a really high level," Vogel said. "Dwight Howard has been all business since he came in this time around. We're asking our whole group to have a seriousness about ourselves. He's been an all-business type of guy. It's really helped us to be focused and working on the task at hand."
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Re-signs with Lakers
CLos Angeles Lakers
July 6, 2019
McGee agreed Saturday with the Lakers on a two-year, $8.2 million contract that includes a player option for 2020-21, Ramona Shelbourne of ESPN.com reports.
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