JaVale McGee: I think my game 'definitely helps' Deandre Ayton
JaVale McGee already has three NBA championship rings, and he believes joining the Suns gives him a good chance to get another one, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. McGee chose the defending Western Conference champs in free agency, signing a one-year contract worth $5M, and he sees his role as a mentor who can contribute valuable minutes as a backup center.
“I feel like my game definitely helps Deandre Ayton in a major way just for the veteran leadership alone,” McGee said. “Also when he gets into foul trouble and having that veteran big to come in that’s 7 foot, block shots, defend, rebound and does all the intangibles that a real big man does.”
McGee has played alongside some elite teammates during his 13-year NBA career, including Stephen Curry and LeBron James. Now he’s looking forward to teaming up with Chris Paul, who transformed Phoenix into a title contender last season.
“Every big man that has ever played with Chris Paul has done well,” McGee said. “I just feel like Chris Paul is definitely the head of the snake and he’s definitely going to lead us to the finals again.”
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Jonathan Kuminga will need to be versatile to see significant playing time as a rookie, Warriors assistant Kris Weems tells Grant Liffman of NBC Sports. Golden State experimented with Kuminga as a small-ball center during the Summer League to see how well he could defend post players. “When you are going to draft a kid that size, and knowing that long term he is going to be bigger and stronger, he may grow a couple inches taller, his versatility because of his size gives him a chance to stay on the floor longer,” Weems said.
- Marc Gasol came close to signing with the Warriors last summer and could emerge as an option later this season, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Gasol has returned to Spain after being waived by the Grizzlies, but Slater notes that he’s the type of passing big man who performs well in Steve Kerr’s system, and he could be tempted to return around midseason if Golden State is in the title hunt. The Warriors still have their taxpayer midlevel exception available, but using it would result in a significant increase in their luxury-tax bill.
- Darren Collison worked out for the Warriors earlier this month and remains an option for the 15th roster spot, but there’s speculation that he’s hoping for a training-camp invitation from the Lakers, Slater adds in the same piece.