11:25am: The move is official, the team announced, adding in its statement that McGee hit waivers before the end of Sunday, so he is indeed playoff-eligible for other teams.
MONDAY, 7:48am: There’s still been no official announcement from the Sixers, though presumably the move indeed took place late Sunday, since otherwise McGee would be ineligible to appear in the playoffs for another team.
SUNDAY, 11:02pm: The Sixers will waive JaVale McGee, according to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports. Any player waived by the end of March 1st can still compete in the postseason with another team, so McGee should attract interest from winning clubs.
Earlier today, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that a buyout for McGee would be contingent on him finding a suitor if he were to hit free agency. No buyout was reached, but the Sixers have decided to let him go even though it appears that they won’t be saving any money in the transaction. McGee is owed $11.2MM for this season, and $12MM next season. They could spread next season’s salary through 2017/18 with $4MM payments each year using the stretch provision, but it’s unclear if they intend to do that.
McGee, a B.J. Armstrong client, has averaged 8.4 PPG and 5.5 RPG per game in seven seasons. He played in six games for Philly, averaging 3.0 PPG and 2.2 RPG in 10.2 minutes per contest.
The 27-year-old was acquired last month in a deadline-day deal from the Nuggets along with the Thunder’s 2015 first-round pick and the rights to Nigerian forward Chu Chu Maduabum in exchange for the rights to Cenk Akyol.
Over the weekend, Sixers coach Brett Brown defended McGee’s performance and had kind words to say about his locker room presence. In the past, some have been critical of McGee’s attitude.
“He’s kind of maligned in some ways to me where, you know, people view him in a certain way. He’s been a great teammate,” Brown said. “It’s not like I’m starting him. It’s not like I’m giving him 25 minutes. I can’t ask for any more in regards to how he’s fit in, and how he’s just been extremely receptive and coachable.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.