Nuggets re-sign free agent JaVale McGee
The 24-year-old center returns to Denver with a multiyear deal
DENVER, July 18, 2012 – The Denver Nuggets have re-signed free agent center JaVale McGee to a multiyear contract, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri announced today.
McGee, 7-0, 252, averaged 11.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.16 blocked shots in 61 games (45 starts) with the Nuggets and Wizards in 2011-12. He was acquired from the Washington Wizards as part of a three-team trade on March 15.
“JaVale did a tremendous job for us after the trade,” Ujiri said. “He worked hard on the court and did everything our coaches asked of him. Plus, he’s only 24 years old. With our coaching staff, he’s only going to get better.”
Originally selected 18th overall by the Wizards in the 2008 NBA Draft, McGee averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in his first three seasons. After becoming a full-time starter in 2010-11, he averaged career-highs in points (10.1) and rebounds (8.0) and led the NBA with 2.44 blocks per game.
Anchoring the middle for Washington, McGee was on pace to set new personal standards in 2011-12 before being traded to Denver. With the Nuggets, he became an important part of the team’s second unit and helped Denver secure the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.
McGee made his first career playoff appearance with the Nuggets, averaging 8.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.14 blocks in seven games off the bench.
McGee was particularly impressive in Games 3 and 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers. In Game 3, he scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 99-84 victory at Pepsi Center. Four days later, he scored 21 points and added 14 rebounds to help Denver avoid elimination at Staples Center.
McGee also blocked at least three shots in four of seven postseason games.