Free-agent center JaVale McGee, 24, will be returning to the Denver Nuggets after he and the club agreed to a multiyear contract. Nuggets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri made the announcement, passed along via the team's official website.
For further evidence of this deal being complete, McGee provided photographic proof:
Just signed with Denver, could not be happier! Thank you to the Kroenke family and the fans for their support. twitter.com/JaValeMcGee34/…— Pierre McGee (@JaValeMcGee34) July 19, 2012
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweeted out the reported terms of the contract:
Nuggets sign restricted free agent center JaVale McGee to a four-year, $44 million contract, a source told Yahoo! Sports.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 19, 2012
McGee became a Nugget after being traded from the Washington Wizards partway through last season. For the year, the seven-footer averaged 11.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots in 25.2 minutes per game.
He played 20 regular-season games for the Nuggets last year and actually saw his minutes drop as he made the switch to a deeper team. But he showed his true potential in the playoffs.
The Nuggets fell to the Lakers in the opening round of the playoffs, but they almost pulled off the upset, of which McGee was a big reason why. He was able to help neutralize the Lakers' advantage in the frontcourt with his athletic and tenacious play.
In the series, he had three games of 14-plus rebounds and games where he added 16 and 21 points.
A first-round pick in the 2008 draft, McGee is still raw but is full of potential. And in this center-starved league, that is going to get you paid.
The Nuggets will be forking over a lot of cash at $11 million per year for a player that has proven to be consistently inconsistent, but if they can continue to help him harness his ability, that contract will end up being a steal.