The Sacramento Kings are signing three-time NBA champion center JaVale McGee, league sources confirmed to The Athletic on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know:
- McGee played in 42 games last season with the Dallas Mavericks.
- The 35-year-old holds career averages of 7.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game during his 15-year tenure in the NBA.
- The Kings also officially introduced 2023 EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov as a member of the team Tuesday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 31, 2023
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
How will the Kings utilize McGee?
We’ll have to wait and see which version of McGee winds up in this Kings uniform before knowing how much he can help. Is this the McGee from two seasons ago in Phoenix, where he played a key role in behind big man Deandre Ayton (9.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 15.8 minutes per in 74 regular-season games) as the Suns made their NBA Finals run?
Or is this the McGee from last season in Dallas, where he signed a three-year, $17.2 million deal in the summer of 2022 only to struggle from there on out (42 games played; 4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.3 blocks and just 8.5 minutes per)? If it’s the former, then the 35-year-old could be a big-time help – quite literally – for these undersized Kings.
Unlike his Mavericks experience, where he was given a starting spot by coach Jason Kidd and lasted all of 10 games in that role, he’ll face reasonable expectations in Sacramento while pushing for a rotation spot behind Domantas Sabonis (the Kings have Alex Len and Nerlens Noel to compete for that time as well). The Kings need rim protection, rebounding and the kind of long, athletic presence than can help with their defense that was so woeful for most of last season (24th in defensive rating in the regular season; seventh among 16 teams in the playoffs).
McGee will arrive with instant trust from the coaching staff, as he won two titles alongside Kings coach Mike Brown when they were together with the Warriors (2016 to 2018). – Amick
The 7-foot center won back-to-back championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. He won his third with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.
McGee’s mother, Pamela, played for the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs during the franchise’s inaugural season. Pamela averaged 10.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in her lone season in Sacramento.
(Photo: Rocky Widner / NBAE via Getty Images)