Suns Sign JaVale McGee To One-Year Deal

AUGUST 16: The Suns have officially signed McGee, the team announced today in a press release.

AUGUST 2: The Suns have agreed to a one-year contract with veteran center JaVale McGee, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), who reports that the deal will be worth $5MM.

Perhaps the premier rim-rolling backup center in the NBA, McGee has made it a habit to know his role for some excellent playoff teams over the last several seasons. He has won two titles with the Warriors and one with the Lakers during his decorated career.

McGee, 33, will be fortifying the front line for a Phoenix club that struggled to defend the rim when starting center Deandre Ayton sat during a playoff run that saw the Suns get to within two wins of the franchise’s first-ever NBA title. After Ayton’s primary backup, Dario Saric, left the Suns’ NBA Finals series against the Bucks with an ACL tear, Phoenix had to get creative in trying to steady the ship whenever Ayton rested or got into foul trouble.

With Saric absent, deep-reserve big man Frank Kaminsky gave the club serviceable minutes erratically, but he is not nearly the defender McGee can be. Saric will likely miss most – if not all – of the 2021/22 season due to his injury, so adding a reliable backup who is a true center was a must this offseason.

The seven-foot journeyman most recently suited up for the Nuggets. Denver was swept out of the playoffs during a Western Conference semifinals series against McGee’s new club, the Suns.

McGee was first dealt from the Lakers to the Cavaliers during the 2020 offseason to make room for new L.A. roster additions. After 33 games with Cleveland during the 2020/21 season, he was shipped out to a better fit, a playoff-bound club in need of a backup center upgrade. In 46 total games last year, McGee averaged 7.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 1.2 BPG, while shooting 51.1% from the field, in just 14.7 MPG.

Luke Adams contributed to this report.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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