May 12, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee (34) arrives for game seven in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
JaVale McGee and Nene linked in more ways than their trade
Back in July of 2006, the Nuggets signed a 23 year-old Nene to a six-year and $60 million contract. The young Brazilian center had career averages of 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds, and the NBA pundits laughed at the Nuggets for handing out this kind of money to such an unproven player.
Fast forward six years and the Nuggets might again be handing out a beefy contract to a young and unproven center. In just four NBA seasons, JaVale McGee has averaged 11.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks. He also has just as many critics as fans. In a league that revolves around salary numbers, McGee might be another unproven player that gets a big deal.
The Nuggets seem willing to take the gamble.
Benjamin Hochman had this to say in his report filed last night:
The Nuggets are negotiating with JaVale McGee and his representatives to retain the 7-footer, who could receive a contract worth about $10 million per season. Read the full story here.
And Sam Amick tweeted this out late last night as well:
Source says Denver's talks w/ restricted free agent C JaVale McGee are progressing and all signs point to his Nuggets tenure continuing.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 11, 2012