This current Los Angeles Lakers team looks quite a bit different than the one that won the championship last season. One thing that really sticks out is how much smaller the team is compared to last season. Dwight Howard left the team in the offseason and JaVale McGee was traded. Those two big men were replaced by Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell, who are both smaller and less athletic.
The move has paid off so far but the Lakers could regret letting McGee go. His role wasn’t very big in the playoffs last season but he was a key player for the squad and started every game he played in the regular season. However, he doesn’t have any bad blood with the team. On a recent appearance on the Posted Up podcast, McGee opened up about the trade.
“It didn’t catch me by surprise, but I didn’t know already either,” McGee said, via Silver Screen & Roll. “It was just I had been on six teams already, you know what I’m saying? In my whole life I’ve never lived nowhere longer than two years. Even before the NBA. I’ve never been that person who just sets their feet in the ground and gets their roots in a place and is like ‘OK I’m comfortable.’ I’m never comfortable. Ever. I’m always on edge to where I’ve got to fight. I’ve always been that person. And I’m OK with that. I’ve always been that person.
“So when they traded me to Cleveland I was like ‘oh, all right, I’m going to Cleveland.’ (laughs) That was it. It wasn’t ‘oh, man, I’m sad for myself, I feel bad for myself.’ None of that, nah. I’m going Cleveland, I’m making more money than I made last year. You’ve got to count your blessings and realize you’re in the National Basketball Association with a brotherhood of 450 players only, and the average career is 3-4 years. That’s it. I’ve tripled that.
“So I’m like ‘you’ve got to count your blessings and take advantage of the opportunity when it comes,’ and that’s another example of it. When I get my time to shine here in Cleveland when I play, I play. So that’s what it is.”
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Lakers May Need Big Man Help
The Lakers have a very good team right now but they do have one big problem. Anthony Davis is banged up and hasn’t been playing his best basketball when he’s on the court. He’s already missed five games and could miss more as he re-aggravated his Achilles injury on Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets. There’s been no confirmation that he’s going to miss games but it doesn’t look good.
With the team’s lack of size and Davis banged up, the Lakers could look to add a big man around the trade deadline. They’ll have a hard time making a trade but don’t be surprised if they scour the buyout market.
McGee ‘Available,’ Says Insider
A potential McGee-Lakers reunion can’t be completely ruled out. The big man was a beloved member of the locker room and the players would probably be happy to have him back. He’s on an expiring deal and the Cavaliers don’t seem too keen on keeping him for the entirety of the season. Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com recently reported that McGee is “available” in trade talks.
While a trade back to the Lakers is unlikely, perhaps the Cavaliers will buy him out after the trade deadline. If that happens, Los Angeles will have a much easier time bringing McGee back if they want him.