The Golden State Warriors are expected to retain shot-blocking big man JaVale McGee as they begin the process of trimming down the roster to 15 players.
The Warriors are still reeling from the losses of Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights, the trio of big men from their historic 73-win team.
McGee was initially called upon as part of the training camp roster. However, there were no guarantees that he would make the regular season roster.
But McGee has impressed the Warriors coaching staff during the ongoing preseason and could very likely make the final roster.
“I think he’s got a good chance (of making the roster). He’s had a good camp,” said coach Steve Kerr.
During Saturday’s preseason game between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, McGee finished with a tally of 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in just 14 minutes.
Golden State Warriors: Final roster set?
Besides his shot-blocking and rebounding, McGee has also impressed with his ability to set hard screens.
The Warriors offense is built around off-ball screens and ability to switch on defense. McGee, a seven-footer, has shown very good mobility for a big man.
If McGee were to make the final roster, he’d make a little over $700,00 for the 2016-17 season.
The shot-blocker has had to revive his image in the league after several disciplinary issues and injuries. Therefore even though it seems like he’s underpaid, McGee has the chance to get a big pay day next summer.
Last season, he averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds from just 34 games with the Dallas Mavericks.
Despite his past woes, McGee was highly recommended by Andre Iguodala, who played with the big man in Denver.
“He (McGee) comes highly recommended by Andre (Iguodala), who played with him in Denver.
“I think this is a really good opportunity for him, because he’s playing with a talented group of players and a really good environment… in which there’s nobody like him on the roster,” Kerr said last month.
JaVale McGee: Underrated?
Recently, Iguodala told ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss that McGeee will prove a lot of critics wrong.
“Talk to some different people, GMs, front office people. He’s so much better than a lot of these guys who got paid this past year. Like, so much better.”
McGee will definitely fill a much-needed void in the Warriors roster. Many analysts feel Golden State’s lack of a rim protector could prove to be a decisive factor.
Even though Zaza Pachulia is a solid addition to the 5 spot, the Warriors are without a genuine rim protector this season.
McGee is battling Elliot Williams for the final roster spot.
If Javale McGee can keep his head down and play his role, the Golden State Warriors would be a much better team.