It’s become a custom in pro-sports to reward players for years of dutiful service on hard-luck teams with a chance to play for a contender before their careers end. Neither JaVale McGhee nor Nick Young fit the usual profile of players receiving such a benefit, but nonetheless both players received promotions for their picaresque years of service with the Wizards.
The Nuggets and Clippers meanwhile have to be very happy with their haul at yesterday’s deadline. In return for Nene’s bloated contract, Denver gets a 7-foot shot blocker. This will be McGee’s first time experiencing a playoff run and playing alongside a veteran playmaker like Andre Miller is guaranteed to boost his stock. This is a win-win for the Nuggets and McGee. If McGee plays well, the Denver goes even further in the playoffs. And if he just plays at his current level and Denver realizes that the JaVale experience is not what they’re after, then they still have a legitimate 7-footer to offer in a sign-and-trade deal.
Los Angeles should be just as eager to have Young on board. Young can definitely shoot the rock and once he realizes that he’s not in the Wizard’s haphazard offense anymore, then he should fit in nicely alongside Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Caron Butler.
Meanwhile for Washington, while it may feel good at the moment to get McGee out of the locker room, we will see if this enthusiasm persists two years from now when John Wall is looking down the bench and seeing Nene and Rashard Lewis and finally decides he wants to ask for a trade. 60million is a lot to pay for stability, so for the Wizards sake let’s hope that it’s worth it.