Anybody But JaVale McGee
Hi there Internet. Why yes, this here site has doled a lot of criticism toward JaVale McGee in the past X amount of time. While some of it has certainly been flagrant, it is not baseless.
However, one might counter that we have not given young McGee enough praise. This may be true and to that we will say this, he is a keeper… despite all the basketball disruption that his alter ego, I’m assuming his name is “Pierre,” has caused to the playpen of team functionality and trust. He’s not a bad kid. He is young, after all, but many times disappointingly young in comparison to some contemporaries. Still, no one said an investment in youth is easy, but it’s usually always worth it, especially given McGee’s athletic parameters.
Speaking of… let’s get back to that reported/tweeted rumor the other day from Jonathan Givony of Draft Express:
Sources say Washington & Phoenix have been the most active teams trying to trade up for Derrick Williams. T’Wolves want a “veteran big man.”
That got Wizards Nation frenzied at what they could offer. Unfortunately when they looked in the cupboard of veteran bigs, there was only Ramen noodles. People would gladly jettison Andray Blatche and the sixth pick to Minnesota for the second, but we all know Minnesota GM David Kahn, as foolhardy as he may be (via the same guy who called Darko Milicic “manna from heaven“), is not taking that low-grade bait.
Ok, so what about JaVale McGee? Talk of him and the sixth for Derrick Williams and people start thinking. Well, stop thinking. I wouldn’t even trade McGee for the second pick, straight up.
Why you ask? Because of David Stern. Well, not really… Because of international basketball rules. Let me explain, it’s simple.
In late April, Stern told Miami’s 790 The Ticket radio station the following (via Sports Radio Interviews):
Well I’m going to urge the owners — and it’s not very radical but we were talking about it for awhile — to adopt the international rule on basket interference. That is to say, once the ball hits the rim it’s in play. Because I think that it’s too hard to call. I think that we don’t want to stop the game every time to see if it’s the right call, but the camera that looks down on the basket can tell the story if the refs have gotten it right. And it’s just impossible to call to make whether the ball’s touching the rim, on the rim, off the rim or the like. And I think that would make the game faster, better, and less controversial.
Now, we’ve been hearing about this for a while, so it’s not that big of a surprise. Still, interesting that it’s at the top of Stern’s mind, meaning there’s a very high chance it happens. And if it does, JaVale McGee becomes exponentially more valuable.
Just think, instead of chasing in-flight blocks all the time, McGee can actually spend time playing straight up defense and then chase the ball off the rim after a shot. Then just imagine what he could do on offense (that is, if he is strong and willing enough to fight for position).
Trade anybody but JaVale McGee … well, and John Wall of course. Wall is an untouchable’s untouchable, and right now, McGee is the closest thing on the Wizards to that. And if the seemingly inevitable rule is in place in a new CBA environment, then that’s where McGee will be… untouchable (except for all those basketballs that hit the rim first).
Nonetheless, the Wizards still want Derrick Williams, right? As I suspect, it’s going to take more than two teams to tango. But at least Kahn and Grunfeld have dealt with each other in the past … via Mike Miller and Randy Foye for Ricky Rubio (essentially). Perhaps David owes Ernie a solid.
So… here’s my wild trade idea between the Wizards, Warriors and Wolves that surely many people will take issue with, but since it’s all in good fun, it’s all in good fun.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS GET:
2nd overall pick (from Minnesota)
Johnny Flynn (from Minnesota)
20th overall pick (from Golden State)
Michael Beasley or Nikola Pekovic (from Minnesota)
[Note: Surely many would prefer Beasley, but likely not me. Bringing him back to his home area sounds like a horrible idea, just as replacing Blatche with him does. Pekovic could be a decent big man, I don't know enough about him other than to say Google him, he's somewhat intriguing.]
MINNESOTA T-WOLVES GET:
David Lee (from Golden State)
6th overall pick (from Washington)
34th overall pick (from Washington)
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS GET:
Andray Blatche (from Washington)
18th overall pick (from Washington)
Kevin Seraphin or Trevor Booker (from Washington)
[Note: I think I'd rather trade Seraphin in this instance, perhaps could go either way.]
The player-swap portion works in the ESPN Trade Machine — I know, none of this means much (and that Golden State probably never does this, even though Lee’s contract is absurd).
Still, Wizards fans, what do you think?