Nuggets reacquire JaVale McGee in trade with Cleveland

Feb 10, 2021; Denver, Cleveland Cavaliers center JaVale McGee (6) warms up before the game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It is officially trade season as the Denver Nuggets agreed to reacquire big man JaVale McGee from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Isaiah Hartenstein and two protected second-round draft picks.

McGee spent time with the Nuggets from 2011-2014 before ending up on three championship rosters in Los Angeles and Golden State.

McGee averaged 8.6 points and 1.8 blocks per game in his first stint as a Nugget, but a lot has changed for both parties over the years.

The 33-year-old transformed into more of a savvy veteran once departing Denver. McGee was a perfect role player and an essential member of the Lakers and Warriors respective title runs.

The trade garnered praise from former head coach George Karl out on the Twittersphere.

The Nuggets were reportedly in the market for rim protection and a defensive-minded center to play behind Nikola Jokic in the rotation. This was supposed to be Hartenstein’s role, but things never really seemed to take off for him in Denver.

As Mike Singer of The Denver Post noted, the Nuggets’ motive for this deal could be to compete with the likes of the Lakers, and other teams with bigs, should they matchup in the playoffs.

McGee will slide in nicely to the Nuggets’ rotation as a defensive anchor and veteran with championship experience. McGee will play roughly a dozen minutes per contest and serves as the floor general for the interior.

This is a solid move for the Nuggets, but hopefully, there is more to come. This does not move the needle on its own by any stretch of the imagination, but it could be an excellent complementary deal should the Nuggets have something else in the works.