Denver Nuggets Free Agency 2012: Under George Karl, JaVale McGee Will Shine
The Denver Nuggets have reportedly made center JaVale Mcgee a five-year, $50 million contract offer (SI.com). McGee—an unrestricted free agent—should take the lucrative offer and refine his game under NBA coaching legend George Karl.
The 25-year-old center is blessed with innumerable athletic talents. His enormous 7'6" wingspan has already made him one of the best shot-blockers in the league. He also has terrific leaping ability, fluidity and speed.
However, McGee's on-court timing and mental game are both problematic. He has become the butt of Internet invective for several blundered plays. If you're into that sort of thing, this won't disappoint.
McGee's supreme athleticism and flawed mental game have evened his production out into impressive, but not gaudy numbers: 11.6 PPG, 8 RPG, and two blocks per game in 27 minutes of play.
McGee was traded by the Washington Wizards to the Denver Nuggets near the end of last season.
What the center desperately needs to get to the next level is an experienced coach who specializes in dealing with young players.
McGee can ask for no better coach than George Karl. Karl has coached 28 years in the league and has compiled an 1805-1074 record thus far.
The Nuggets' head coach has a reputation for developing young talent with questionable mental games. During his career, he successfully coached mercurial young players like Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp and Carmelo Anthony during their first years in the league.
Under Karl, Payton and Kemp eventually lead the Seattle Supersonics to the 1996 NBA Finals. Carmelo Anthony excelled for the Nuggets in the 2009 NBA playoffs—when the team advanced to the Western Conference Final.
Karl recently coached the 2012 Nuggets—one of the youngest teams in the NBA—to a near upset of the Los Angeles Lakers in first round of the playoffs.
McGee has the potential to be an elite NBA center if he can boost his basketball acumen. While some other team may pay him slightly more than $10 million a year, an even greater wealth of opportunity lies under Karl's instruction.
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