NBA Rumors: Can Cavaliers’ JaVale McGee Improve Brooklyn Nets’ Lackluster Big Man Rotation?

Published 01/27/2021, 1:03 PM EST
Jan 25, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) and head coach Steve Nash talk against the Miami Heat during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets pulled off one of the biggest trades in recent history earlier this month. They brought in 2018 MVP James Harden in a huge 4-team trade. But they had to give up a lot of depth in that trade, especially big men. This has now left them weak in that position.

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The Nets are now looking to bolster their big man department. They signed free agent Norvelle Pelle recently, but they won’t stop there and The Athletic has suggested an interesting way they could do it. Zach Harper wrote the Nets will now aim for buyouts since they don’t have any trade assets to bring in capable players.

Among the names associated are Cavaliers’ Andre Drummond and his teammate JaVale McGee. Drummond is very unlikely considering how he still has some value. But McGee could be a realistic option for the Nets.

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Jan 12, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center JaVale McGee (6) drives against Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

How does JaVale McGee help the Brooklyn Nets?

The Nets’ current big man rotation features Jeff Green, DeAndre Jordan, rookie Reggie Perry, and the new arrival, Norvelle Pelle.

Despite the offensive firepower that Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden provide, this rotation is too weak to be a championship-caliber team. The 76ers with Joel Embiid and the Lakers with Anthony Davis would be too much to deal for them.

Jan 20, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) watches the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the third quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Although McGee is not a world-beater, one could argue he is better than their current big men. He is more athletic, is a capable rim protector, and most importantly, he has the championship DNA.

The 3-time NBA champion is also Durant’s former teammate from the Warriors, so that will help their chemistry. McGee can also be a solid lob threat and during his time at the Lakers, he showed he is a great rotational player.

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But that stint also proved that he isn’t a playoff performer and has often struggled on the biggest stage. But considering the limited options that the Nets have, there aren’t a lot of options.

Dec 29, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center JaVale McGee (6) drives against New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) in the third quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

If they are able to grab McGee, it will be a huge help for them. It might not be enough to subdue the likes of Embiid and AD, but McGee can do a better job guarding them than DeAndre Jordan.

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While it is a bit early to call this, it will be interesting to see if the Cavs let him go for free, or try to trade him.

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Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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