With just one roster spot remaining and JaVale McGee still a free agent, questions are beginning to arise as to whether or not the veteran center will indeed be returning to the Warriors next season.
According to ESPN’s Marc Spears, McGee is holding out for a sizable contact on the open market, as opposed to the veterans minimum, somewhere between $2 and $3 million per year, that Golden State can offer. McGee is unlikely to be offered such a contract Spears believes, but unless the Warriors are enticed by someone else, the final roster spot should be available for JaVale if he’s willing to take it.
“I think JaVale McGee is going to keep trying to fish for bigger money,” Spears said. “He’s basically got minimum money available to him. He’s just waiting and waiting and waiting. Unless the Warriors have someone else coming their way, he knows he has that spot available so he could perhaps be patient a little while longer in hopes of somebody feeling like they need him as the dust settles on the rest of free agency. I just don’t think there’s much money for him right now.”
McGee experienced a career renaissance with Golden State last season as a rim runner off the bench, averaging 6.1 points and nearly a block per game despite averaging only 9.6 minutes per contest. A year ago at this time, many thought McGee was on his way out of the league. Now at 29-years-old, he’s looking for one last lucrative contract.
Spears did praise the two new free agents Golden State has signed this summer, Nick Young and Omri Casspi, and believes that the additions have made the Warriors an even better team than they were last year.
“The Casspi signing is probably something people are sleeping on. He’s probably…I think he’s perfect for the Warriors. He runs the floor well, he shoots 3s, I think he’s going to be in the rotation. Obviously Nick Young is a great shooter, has more height than Ian Clark. I agree the Warriors are definitely better than they were before.”
Listen to the full interview below. For Spears’ comments on McGee and Warriors free agency, skip to the 7:20 mark.