The NBA blogosphere’s favourite goofball just cashed in on his eye-opening playoff run and his vast as-yet untapped potential to put ink to paper on a 4 year $44 million contract. Although he’s gained most of his notoriety for amusing antics such as these, he still averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds with 2 blocks in 25 minutes a game this season at age 24. In a league where guys like Brook Lopez are handed max-contracts and Desagana Diop is gainfully employed as a professional athlete, the deal actually sounds about right. If anything, given his youth, athletic ability and physical tools (this is the same guy who did this, remember), its not a stretch to envision McGee blossoming under the tutelage of one of the top coaches in this game in George Karl and outperform his contract in a few years time.
Worst case scenario, he’s an absurdly athletic 7 footer who can block shots and provide endless amusement with his antics. It is strange to think that McGee has somehow ended up as the highest paid player on the Nuggets (no one else on the roster makes more than 7 figures next year), but its precisely this fact which makes this a gamble worth taking for the Nuggets. Thanks to the shrewd and quite underrated General Manager Masai Ujiri, the Nuggets can afford to take a flier on McGee’s potential and still remain in terrific shape financially.
To round out their offseason, Denver brought back veteran point guard Andre Miller on a modest 3 year deal and used the amnesty provision on Chris “Birdman” Anderson to clear the requisite cap space for the enigma and perpetual tease that is forward Anthony Randolph.
With these moves, the Nuggets have assembled an exciting young roster bursting with athleticism. And after putting a good scare into the Los Angeles Lakers this year, with a little internal development from their young players they could potentially make another step up into the upper echelon of the Western Conference. Whether that will be enough to compete with the likes of OKC or Miami for the NBA championship is unclear, but with so many tradeable assets and a savvy GM calling the shots, the future looks bright for these Denver Nuggets.