Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Manny Pangilinan recently stated that he has been in conversations with Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee about playing for the SBP. This is part of a movement they are trying to spearhead to bring over younger, NBA quality players to help beef up their league.
Also in the news today are yet more rumors surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers and their desire to snag one of the Nuggets’ centers. This time, instead of Timofey Mozgov, the Cavaliers are purportedly interested in pursuing McGee to help bolster their thin frontcourt.
I am always shocked by the number of reporters who get paid to put out irresponsible rumors that have no basis in reality, and this may be the most egregious example of this yet.
In order for the Cavaliers to take on McGee’s $11.25 million salary, the Cavs would quite literally have to send either half their team to the Nuggets or would have to part ways with several of their higher profile players, neither of which is going to happen.
Brendan Haywood has a unique contract that would allow his non-guaranteed $10.5 million 2015-2016 salary to count towards the league’s matching requirements, but that only becomes available following next July’s trade moratorium. So, in essence, any deal for McGee involving Haywood would have to wait until next summer in order for the money to work.
Irresponsible rumors have long been a part of what makes the media tick, but since I have such a large amount of journalistic integrity, I am appalled by how frivolously recent rumors have been thrown around.
The Nuggets would be wise to shop around McGee’s insanely exorbitant contract, but as with Mozgov, the Cavaliers are simply not a viable trade partner. In fact, I think McGee has a much greater chance calling it a career in the NBA and heading over to the Philippines to enjoy the fortune and fame that would be associated with that lifestyle.
He would immediately become the most famous athlete in that region and would walk a line straddling that of a legend. Also, the SBP would likely have the means to buy out the remainder of McGee’s contract — $11.25 million this year and $12 million next year — with no player or team options.
So unless the Cavs are willing to pony up the $23.25 million due to McGee or part with the better portion of their team, it is time for Cleveland to look elsewhere — again.