The Lakers have been quiet on the personnel front in the last few weeks, though have reportedly agreed to a contract with undrafted free agent Jonathan Holmes. Adding a combo forward doesn’t necessarily seem like the biggest need, but his combination of youth, skill set, and versatility are worth a longer look.
More of a need, at least according to Mitch Kupchak, is another big man. The Lakers were rumored to have interest in former Wizard F/C Kevin Seraphin, but the Knicks signed him to a deal earlier this week. With one former Wizard off the market, maybe the Lakers would explore signing a different former Wiz:
Sources close to JaVale McGee say he's focused on getting healthy. Several teams have shown interest. Mavs, Lakers seem like frontrunners.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) August 8, 2015
As long as McGee remains unsigned, his combination of name recognition, athleticism, and “potential” will have some fans intrigued. And, with the report above — a report, it should be noted, comes from sources “close to McGee” — those same fans will likely get a bit more excited.
I, for one, am not a fan of McGee and don’t see him as a particularly good fit on the Lakers despite front office desires to add another big man. For all of McGee’s ability, it’s rarely been channelled into long stretches of productivity. And while a lot of his “issues” that have earned him a questionable reputation seem to just stem from a quirky personality or a general aloofness, I’m of the mind that the Lakers could probably do just as well without him in the fold as with him.
This doesn’t make him a bad person or a bad player. Again, his combination of size, athleticism, and ability to impact a game by using both well is not the question. The question is whether he can provide this ability for long enough stretches over the course of a full season. Based on his injury history and how he has shown a proclivity for either checking out mentally or simply making boneheaded plays, I think these questions have probably already answered themselves. Or at least they have for me.
In saying all that, though, McGee is out there and sources close to the player seem to be saying the Lakers have an interest. Whether that interest turns into anything more than a summer flirtation remains to be seen.
I disagree….I think Because of his Athleticism and Shot blocking capabilities he will help the Lakers….Lakers need an Athletic Big to at least give other athletic Bigs problems..Ala Jordan or Howatd.
We’re not winning any championships this year, would be great to see the Lakers going after Possibility instead of locking in respectable mediocrity. Not a new thought on this site, but …. I’m assuming any McGee signing means no Upshaw…
Ryan P says
I am wondering now what the first day roster will look like. Hopefully it will include Upshaw and not include one or more of the following: Sacre, Kelly, Young.
I don’t see this as an especially good idea. If they want to have Upshaw around but start him in the DLeague, then I would just go with Hibbert and Sacre, and also play a little small ball.
J C says
I was under the impression that we have just one roster spot left. So, is that the single spot for which Upshaw, McGee, and Holmes are vying?
Or, do these sorts of signings actually simply equate to invitations to training camp?
Or, if they can add Holmes AND either McGee or Upshaw, does that mean they’ve found a taker for young or Kelly?
It’s fun to read about new personnel additions but I’m slightly confused about how many guys we can sign. I assume Tarik Black will be retained even if his contract is currently non-guaranteed.
I’ve always liked Mcgee’s athleticism. I’m less familiar with any off-court issues but his career arc does seem to have stalled.
1 block foward, 2 TOs back. However, it is a rumor. @ Dallas w/ Carlisle would be pure comedy or nightmare. He’d get a chance to start there, if that matters to him.
Sacre has improved every year. He deserves credit for that but he tops out as a 3rd big. If they are hell bent to get another C, I’d rather they roll the dice with an unknown who might displace Sacre rather than someone you know will regularly anchor the blooper reels.
Javale played well in denver when the system was right for him …. he could help more than kelly
Perhaps if the FO’s big veteran summer acquisition (Hibbert) could be forecasted to be on the floor more than 25* minutes a game there would be little need for McGee.
Additionally, I think this rumor, if true, reflects the belief/pressure to make a real playoff run this season. Those hoping to see the kids from the start should not worry, however. The Veterans that the FO are banking on are decidedly mediocre. The playoff dream will evaporate by December and the kids will get plenty of burn in another 50+ loss season.
*career average in mpg.
McGee would be a mistake. He is an issue on and off the court. Everyone should review the Wizards history to see that he is not worth the “gamble”. This is also the type of move that will only make Scott’s job more difficult. Young, Kobe, Williams, and add a vagabond like McGee to a bunch of youngsters and that is like a coaches’ nightmare in terms of maintaining any semblance of order.
Hopefully, this is just that: A Rumor. I definitely don’t see a reasoning for even having McGee on our radar. Any individual who’s better known for being a regular on ‘Shaqtin A Fool’ over anything that he’s ever accomplished on the court is an individual who I would want no part of.
I agree with something George said here, in that I think that bringing in McGee would indicate that the FO is serious about trying for the 8th seed. Personally, although I have never seen much in Sacre’s game, I would be OK if they gave him a chance as the primary back-up. Like Hibbert, he is a big, slow, low-usage traditional 5, albeit without Hibbert’s rim-protection cred. If the FO/Scott want another 5-sized body on the roster, I would bring in someone lower-maintenance than McGee. McGee would be a better call for a contender IMO.
Perhaps we should be a little wary of reports of the Lakers’ interest in JaVale McGee. Sometimes these rumors are instigated by a player’s agent who is attempting to send a message to the NBA world that his player is in demand. It’s a ploy that rarely works.
McGee’s stats, in any event, have been trending downward for several years. Using just one measure, ppg, JaVale averaged 10.3 ppg in 2012, 9.1 the following year, then 7.1, then 5.0, and last year 4.6. Considering that he’s only 27 (he turns 28 on January 19), this is troubling. A player at McGee’s age should be trending up, not down. Also, he’s been injured lately. And the reports of his being turn over-prone, wildly inconsistent, and a bit of a distraction off the court do not make him a good bet IMO.
Finally, bringing in JaVale McGee would seem to go against the grain of every thing the Lakers have been attempting to do this summer (if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly) — and that is, taking a look at as many young players as possible and then developing the one’s that stick, if any.
This would seem to be consistent with their recent “signing” of Jonathan Holmes, a combo-forward (if there’s such a thing) who can play the stretch 4 or the 3. (I believe Larry Nance, Jr. could do the same thing.) With this last move, the Lakers will now be looking at Holmes, Anthony Brown (a 2nd round pick), Larry Nance, Jr. (a first-round pick), Jabari Brown, Tarik Black, and Robert Upshaw for the last 2-3 positions on the squad. Those who don’t make the cut could very well end up playing for the LA Defenders as Jabari Brown did last year.
Last year the Lakers did remarkably well in finding cheap talent — Jordan Clarkson in the 2nd round, Tarik Black (off waivers from Houston), and Jabari Brown (from the D League). Neither Black nor Brown was drafted by an NBA team. Clarkson, of course, was only the 46th player chosen. The Lakers may be hoping to get lucky again. If that is their strategy, then bringing on JaVale McGee would make little sense.
I like this kinda move, I approve.
Yes, yes, yes!!!
If the Lakers are serious about McGee–and I think they are–it suggest a continuation of the type of dysfunctional schizoid planning the front office can’t seem to resist. Even though, deep down, they know that they should be planning a multi-year, step by step development of a new Laker product, they instinctively cling to the illusion that a mixed, almost pickup collection of role player veterans, interspersed with talented youth plus Kobe can, at least, make the playoffs.
A choice of Upshaw actually getting significant minutes this year would symbolically make this year a Kobe farewell tour with victories few and far between. A choice of McGee keeps the myth alive with victories few and far between.
Another rim protector. Consistency between he and Hibbert plus allows us to get Upshaw in basketball shape. Get rid of Sacre and Kelky even if you have to eat salary.
– Shaq’s smiling, new material for his show.
– Not sure what folks are expecting this season, but why not give J. M. a shot? Rather have him back-up Hibbert than anyone else currently on the rooster.
Craig W. says
I’m not sure how a rumor reportedly started by the player’s agent reflects anything about the Laker’s front office – good or bad.
Hey Busboys, good to see you back!
you nailed it –