Will JaVale McGee Sign With the Kings?

SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 11: JaVale McGee #00 of the Dallas Mavericks looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on February 11, 2023 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Last week, the big news—if one can call it that—was that former King Skal Labissiere was given a training camp invitation to compete with Nerlens Noel and Neemias Queta for what will presumably be the last roster spot reserved for a true center.

Could Sacramento add another?

After it had been reported that it was imminent, the Mavericks waived veteran center JaVale McGee on Tuesday. His services are likely to be sought after by a few teams, but as Chris Haynes reported shortly after Dallas’ decision, the Kings are a team that’s interested.

It may already be a crowded group of centers that will be showcasing their skillset at training camp, but one more wouldn’t hurt.

As was clear with the Noel signing and the opportunities extended to Queta and Labissiere, Sacramento is looking to avoid having to search for options at the backup center role again. Alex Len closed the season very well, but competition is still necessary. And the volume of bodies being considered appears to be an effort to enter the season with guys on the final roster that can be trusted to step up.

So in that light, it would not hurt to bring in McGee, especially since he’s a proven veteran and three-time champion. And with the rest of the positional groupings looking more crystalized, it wouldn’t hurt to have a disproportionate amount of 5’s for evaluation since it lacked reliability—at least behind Sabonis—for the majority of last season.

The former Mav would also be a believable candidate to give Noel a run for his money. Though the Kings do appear to be considering three guys to fill one spot, the ostensible gap in potential impact between a vet like Noel and two guys that have yet to stick in the NBA is glaring. Yeah, it’s a competition, but how tight is it?

McGee would make for a more competitive option. If Noel still won out, McGee would surely have motivated him more. And the same goes for McGee if he were to earn the edge.

And while it is a bit of a reach, if the Kings were, for some reason, going to carry four true centers as opposed to the conventional three, McGee would probably be the only guy who could push that envelope.

It also doesn’t hurt that he played beneath Mike Brown when the Coach of the Year was an assistant in Golden State.

But that’s all from the Kings’ perspective. Of course they’d want a deeper group of centers to assess.

The question is: Does McGee want a mere invite to camp to compete without much certainty about a roster spot, let alone a rotational role? At his age and with Sacramento having proven their mettle, it wouldn’t be crazy.

Still, there are 29 other teams.

The Warriors, for instance—a team McGee played for between 2016 and 2018—don’t have that vertical presence. As it stands now, it’s Kevon Looney and Dario Saric with rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis behind them.

While Golden State isn’t one to prioritize traditional size, McGee’s skillset is such that he would still likely work well under Steve Kerr. In those years over in the Bay Area, McGee was a satisfactory contributor. Why couldn’t he do that again in some capacity?

It might be more of a platoon or a matchups-based scenario, but it might be easier for McGee to see the floor with Golden State. Plus, he’d be comfortable there, which isn’t to say it’d be the opposite in Sacramento, but familiarity—particularly as a late-summer signing—can be a deciding factor for a player.

Of course, Mike Brown was an assistant there, so there would be some of that with the Kings, but there is still an upper hand for the Warriors when a player knows the organization, facilities, and the region.

It’s also worth noting that the Lakers—another former team of his—only have Anthony Davis and Jaxson Hayes as guys that can man the 5. They did sign undrafted rookie Colin Castleton to a two-way deal, but there isn’t a third option on a standard deal.

Perhaps McGee would prefer that or somewhere else. Or he could decide on Sac.

Who knows at this point?

Obviously, the Kings would be happy to have him on board when training camp starts at the end of September, and while it isn’t at all out of the realm of possibility, JaVale McGee will have plenty of other options to consider first, which could end up including a more savory opportunity.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Kings Talk
Kings Talk

Kings Talk – A Cap City Crown Podcast on the Sacramento Kings

Kings Talk: Episode 67

On this episode of Kings Talk presented by Cap City Crown, Tony and John discuss who has the best shot at winning the third backup center role, Mike Brown’s first real interview of the offseason, […]

The post Kings Talk: Episode 67 appeared first on Cap City Crown.

Kings Talk: Episode 67
Kings Talk: Episode 66
Kings Talk: Episode 65
Kings Talk: Episode 64
Kings Talk: Episode 63
Kings Talk: Episode 62
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
27 days ago

I personally kinda hope this stays a rumour. Do we really need 7 centers to sort things out? lol What about getting a true 3rd PG, if Fox & Mitchell get injured, especially at the same time…the King’s whole season could be Fubar’d!