After reading Mark Kiszla's hyperbolic, pessimistic column in this morning's Denver Post. It has occurred to me that we haven't really gone in to what it will take to get JaVale McGee here in Denver to develop his game without overpaying.
That's the mantra right? Don't overpay McGee. Well, what IS overpaying? What standard are we using as the "line we will not cross". Is it $10 million? Is it $12 million? What number do the Nuggets settle in to as "their" contract number for JaVale McGee as Masai Ujiri meets with his representatives in Los Angeles? Keeping in mind, of course, that big men in the NBA tend to get inflated contracts thrown at them (Hello Omer Asik and his $8 million per year offer from Houston) and it seems to be a fact of life in the NBA.
Where is your number, or rather, where to you see the Nuggets settling in their attempt to sign McGee? My inclination is to say 9 to 10 million per year is about right. As Kiszla said (and I hate giving him credit for this) you can't have a developing player make more than your two team leaders Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari. With Ty's extensions talks coming up soon, it doesn't make sense to get McGee in here for 12 to 13 million per year.
If a team comes along and offers McGee a "max" contract (and really...why would they?) then prepare yourselves, Nuggets fans, for Masai Ujiri to match in order not to lose the "asset". Then, we have issues. Hopefully a sign and trade will be worked then which would be a best-case scenario. If the Nuggets match with no sign and trade, it will be very interesting to see how the Nuggets both sell the contract and deal with it. One thing that is absolutely true is the Nuggets won't lose their assets.
Hopefully McGee will sign soon so we can get an idea of how this team will look going forward.
Have a safe and happy holiday to those who are living in the US. Happy 4th of July!