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2015 NBA Trade Deadline: Nuggets trade JaVale McGee, pick to 76ers

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The Nuggets are wheeling and dealing today.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets have traded JaVale McGee and a first round pick they received from the Cleveland Cavaliers (Thunder pick, which is 1-18 protected this season) to the Philadelphia 76ers.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>The Sixers also received the rights to Nigerian forward Chu Chu Maduabum from Denver in the JaVale McGee trade.</p>&mdash; Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) <a href="https://twitter.com/SpearsNBAYahoo/status/568486055458017280">February 19, 2015</a></blockquote>

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McGee has been a disappointment in Denver since signing an extension with the team. McGee is owed part of his $11.2 million salary this season and $12 million next season. The Nuggets do not appear to be taking anything back in this deal, but they will create a roster spot for, say, Joffrey Lauvergne.

A first round pick is a pretty hefty price to pay to unload McGee and the Timofey Mozgov deal loses a little luster as it turns out the team will only get one first round pick (Grizzlies heavily protected pick) out of that deal. The Nuggets could have opted to buy out McGee and used the Stretch Provision to lessen the salary cap hit they would take on that kind of move. It would have been similar to what the Detroit Pistons did with Josh Smith.

The OKC pick protections:

The protections on the OKC pick: Nos. 1-18 in 2015; 1-15 in '16; 1-15 in 2017. After 2017, it becomes two seconds.

I would have much rather of seen the Nuggets buy out McGee than surrender a first rounder to ship him out of town. Chris Dempsey reports that the McGee trade has helped to create more than $19 milion in Traded Player Exceptions (TPE), but those are hard to use, but could come into play down the road.

It's a great debate on the McGee deal and while I'm happy the team has moved on from him, there was a price to pay. No word yet on if McGee is taking his segway to Philly.