Report: Sacramento Kings interested in signing JaVale McGee

Aug 30, 2023, 8:23 AM

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 27: JaVale McGee #00 of the Dallas Mavericks attempts a layup in the ...

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings appear to be eyeing a shot-blocking big with years of experience under his belt.

According to Bleacher Report’s NBA insider Chris Haynes, the Kings are interested in signing center JaVale McGee to a contract once the seven-footer clears waivers.

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.

It’s no coincidence that Sacramento is interested in a player like McGee.

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.

While Labissiere’s Exhibit 10 contract makes it likely that Sacramento intends on using the 27-year-old on its G-League roster in Stockton, the signing of McGee could set the stage for a three-player race for one roster spot.

As of August 30th, the Kings have 13 players on guaranteed contracts for the 2023-24 season. Two more players–Keon Ellis and Jalen Slawson–are on two-way contracts, meaning they will split time with Sacramento and Stockton.

Two fully guaranteed roster spots are there for the taking, and one of those spots will likely come down to an in-camp and preseason competition between Noel, Queta, and possibly McGee if he signs a deal with the Kings.

For Sacramento, it’s simple: They must add a rim-protector to a roster that nearly finished dead last in blocks per game last season.

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Rookie forward Keegan Murray led the Kings in blocks last season–42 over 80 games, translating to 0.5 per game.

While McGee logged a career-low 8.5 minutes per game with Dallas in 2022-23, the veteran swatted 26 shots during his time on the floor, which comes out to 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes.

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.

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McGee and Brown, the former architect of Golden State’s defense, could reunite in Sacramento very soon.

The Kings desperately need an impactful rim-protector on the roster, and although McGee will turn 36 years old this coming season, he could be just the man for the job.

All-NBA center Domantas Sabonis will log 35-plus minutes on most nights, assuming he stays out of foul trouble. McGee’s ability to disrupt opposing offenses, attack the glass, and block shots make him a strong candidate when you take into account his availability over the years.

McGee has averaged 63.8 games played over the past seven seasons. For comparison, Nerlens Noel has logged 46.4 games played over the past seven seasons, including 42 games over the past two seasons combined.

If McGee is inked to a deal for camp, it will add more intrigue to the battle for Sacramento’s third center spot as Domantas Sabonis and Alex Len wait to find out which big will be joining the rotation.

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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