After remodeling their roster and making it to the Western Conference Finals this past season, the Los Angeles Lakers look like they have reopened their championship contention window.
They last won the NBA title during the 2019-20 season when they employed a big starting lineup with Anthony Davis at power forward and JaVale McGee at the 5. It seems like they want to return to that approach, especially since they have been looking for one more true center to add to their roster.
On Tuesday, news broke that the Dallas Mavericks are planning on waiving McGee, which would make him a free agent. Should the Lakers look to snag him and stage a reunion?
The case for McGee
Although McGee appears somewhat lanky, he is seven feet tall and weighs 270 pounds. That gives him the type of size he needs to box out and bang with star centers such as Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.
As a Laker, McGee made a living by giving them a lob threat, running the floor for easy transition baskets and protecting the rim. Those are three things the team would need from an additional center.
In addition, since McGee played with L.A. a few years ago, developing chemistry with him would probably be quicker and easier than it would with someone else.
He wouldn’t need to play a lot of minutes with the Lakers, especially if Jaxson Hayes pans out, but about 12-15 minutes a game would be excellent.
The case against McGee
McGee is not a 3-point shooter, and that is a quality the Lakers ideally want in a big man, which is one reason they have reportedly been interested in Christian Wood this summer.
But the biggest concern with McGee would be the fact that he is now 35 years of age. He played a career-low 8.5 minutes a game this past season with Dallas, and there is a chance he won’t be able to handle seeing his playing time bumped up to 12-15 minutes a game while still being productive.
On the other hand, what is now a relatively young Lakers team outside of LeBron James could perhaps use one grizzled veteran such as McGee if he still has something left in the tank.
Source: Yahoo Sports