JaVale McGee comes ‘full circle’ by joining Sacramento Kings

Sep 1, 2023, 10:17 AM | Updated: 10:21 am

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Shortly following Wednesday’s report that the Sacramento Kings had interest in signing shot-blocking center JaVale McGee, social media quickly pointed out that the veteran big man has ties to the area.

While McGee, a 15-year NBA veteran, three-time champion, and Olympic gold medalist, has made a career for himself during his playing days, he won’t be the first McGee to lace up for a Sacramento-based professional basketball team.

McGee’s mother, Pamela, was the first-ever draft pick by the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs in 1997.

Drafted out of USC with the second-overall pick in the 1997 WNBA Draft, McGee flourished in her lone season with Sacramento during the 1997-98 season.

Over 34 games (27 starts) at the power forward and center spots, McGee averaged 10.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free-throw line.

JaVale might have an Olympic gold medal from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, but he is not the first McGee to bring home the gold.

During the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Pamela helped lead the United States to a gold medal in what was one of her three gold medals during international play (’84 Olympics, ’83 Pan American Games, ’84 Jones Cup).

Pamela and JaVale are first-ever mother-son duo to win Olympic gold medals.

Now that JaVale will wear ‘Sacramento’ across his chest like his mother once did as a Monarch, the seven-footer quickly took to social media to post a message once news broke about his agreement with the Kings:

“FULL [Circle].”

More on Sacramento Kings center JaVale McGee

McGee, 35, spent the 2022-23 season with the Dallas Mavericks where he averaged 4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks per game while shooting 64 percent from the field over 42 appearances (seven starts).

Dallas waived McGee on Tuesday morning, clearing the way for the three-time NBA champion to sign with another team.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that McGee’s contract with Sacramento is a guaranteed one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum (near $3 million).

When McGee is on the floor, he has a presence around the rim–not just on the defensive end, either. McGee has long been a lob threat during each of his NBA stops during his 15-year career.

Over the past 15 seasons, McGee has spent time with the Washington Wizards, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns. The Nevada product has won three rings during his career–two with the Warriors (2017, 2018) and one with the Lakers (2020).

During his time in the NBA, McGee holds career averages of 7.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game on 57 percent shooting from the field over 863 appearances (343 starts).

While McGee isn’t as mobile as he once was, the big man has been a presence in the paint for contending teams like Golden State and Los Angeles in recent seasons, acting as rim-protector for Kings head coach Mike Brown when both were employed by the Warriors during McGee’s two championship-winning seasons in the Bay.

The Kings have already made it clear that they intend to upgrade its interior defense before the regular season opens in late October, as general manager Monte McNair has signed three players to non-guaranteed deals for training camp:

Shot-blocking center Nerlens Noel, G-League MVP runner-up Neemias Queta, and former first-round pick Skal Labissiere.

With McGee’s deal guaranteed for 2023-24, it’s looking as if Noel and Queta will battle it out in camp for a roster spot while Labissiere sets his sights on honing his skills in the G-League.

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule

  • Sunday, October 8th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 5 PM PST (Preseason Opener)
  • Wednesday, October 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7 PM PST (in Anaheim, CA)
  • Sunday, October 15th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Wednesday, October 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Thursday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7 PM PST

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule

  • Tuesday, October 24th – NBA regular season begins
  • Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM (Season Opener)
  • Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM (Home Opener)

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