Last month, Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr said that JaVale McGee came "highly recommended" by Andre Iguodala. The two of them played together with the Denver Nuggets in 2012-13, but McGee has yet to have a healthy, productive NBA season since then.
On Sunday, Iguodala praised McGee, who is trying to make the Warriors' roster and whose contract is fully non-guaranteed until the regular season. The swingman thinks that Golden State got a bargain.
"Talk to some different people, GMs, front office people," Iguodala said, via ESPN's Ethan Sherwood Strauss. "He's so much better than a lot of these guys who got paid this past year. Like, so much better."
This past summer was unprecedented in terms of the contracts signed in free agency, but you already know the deal: The league got a massive TV deal, which meant the salary cap increased and free agents benefited. This meant that, for example, Timfoey Mozgov, the third-string center on that 2013 Nuggets team coming off an injury-ridden season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Is McGee better than Mozgov? Is he better than Ian Mahinmi, who signed the same deal with the Washington Wizards? I would say no -- unlike those guys, he hasn't proven he can be a reliable, effective center in the past few years.
McGee is, however, more talented than a bunch of players who signed lucrative deals in free agency. He's bouncy, extremely long and able to space the floor vertically as an alley-oop threat. If he can stay on the floor and embrace his role, he could still make an impact, especially on a team that really needs his size and rim protection. Golden State is hoping that it can get the most out of him.