For much of the first half of his NBA career, JaVale McGee was somewhat of a laughing stock. He was a very raw big man who endured his fair share of struggles on the court, and as he made boneheaded plays, he became a fixture on Shaqtin' A Fool, which only added more credence to the idea that he was just a bad player.
McGee's fortunes would change forever when the Golden State Warriors snatched him up in 2016, and while many laughed at the move initially, he proved to be a fine role player. JaVale just needed to be in an environment where he was trusted, and his skill set was used in the best way possible, which is what happened in Golden State. His time with them convinced teams like the Lakers and the Suns to have McGee on board over the last couple of years, and more recently, the Mavericks signed him to a 3-year, $20 million contract this offseason, showing a lot of faith in a 34-year-old. That means McGee will get to play with superstar Luka Doncic and Luka becomes another one in the long list of greats that JaVale has teamed up with.
JaVale McGee Has Played With Many Superstars In His NBA Career
McGee is now a well-traveled and respected veteran in the NBA, something not many would have foreseen a decade back. He has now played 14 seasons in the league and, in the process, has been fortunate enough to line up alongside some of the greats of the game.
He began his career with the Wizards, who had Gilbert Arenas and John Wall at the time, and before his move to Golden State, JaVale played for the Mavs with Dirk. McGee, of course, played with Stephen Curry as well as Kevin Durant on the Warriors, and he teamed up with LeBron James at the Lakers in his next stop. After some time with the Cavaliers and the Nuggets, where he played with Nikola Jokic, McGee headed to Phoenix last season to play with Chris Paul and Devin Booker. JaVale played his part in helping the Suns post the best regular season record in franchise history, but they were shockingly eliminated by the Mavericks in the Conference Semifinals.
That ended his time with the Suns, and the Mavs signed him up, as we mentioned earlier. He isn't going there to be a bit-part player by the looks of it either, as a report indicated that he will get the starting job over fellow new arrival Christian Wood. The lack of a good big was a problem for Dallas last season, and they seem to believe that McGee will help fix that in 2022-23. It is yet another indicator of just how much he has grown over the years.