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JaVale McGee “shocked” Wizards traded him. He was alone.

Apr 4, 2012, 2:57 PM EDT

Wilson Chandler, JaVale McGee AP

The fact JaVale McGee did not know he was about to be traded pretty much sums up JaVale McGee.

McGee spoke with Hoopsworld about the trade that sent him from Washington to Denver and said — while everybody else on the planet knew he was being shopped — he was surprised by the move.

“I was sleeping, taking my pregame nap,” McGee told HOOPSWORLD. “When I woke up, I found out that I had been traded. I had a bunch of text messages from different people and I talked to the team. I was shocked. I just asked, ‘When do I leave?’”

Washington wanted to move McGee as part of an effort to revamp their locker room culture. They felt it wasn’t very professional, from the Gilbert Arenas gun incident through the firing of Flip Saunders as he couldn’t get the players to respond. McGee and his famous mental lapses were part of that.

Since the trade he has been pretty much the same player — 10 points, seven boards and a couple a blocks a game. He is shooting at a slightly higher percentage, missing his free throws, turning the ball over more, making spectacular plays then disappearing for a stretch.

There is no doubt potential in McGee that George Karl is trying to tap into. McGee, for his part, loves Denver.

McGee is going to be a guy to watch this summer — he is a free agent and Denver can match any offer, but will a team be willing to take a big chance on him. Last summer DeAndre Jordan got a $10 million a year offer, would a team take that risk on the similarly talented but less focused McGee? Would the Nuggets match?

Big men get paid. One way or another McGee has some big checks coming his way. But that may be a surprise to him, too.

  1. numba1recx19 - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    One of the most stupid trades ever. Wizards are a young team, he’s young, coulda been the center for long time to come. Hes
    Destroying on the nuggets

  2. thebigkahuna23 - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    I loved McGee while he was here. He was a fool, but he was our fool. Now that he’s gone I can give the world the truth. McGee is a once every 10 years physical talent. Amazing length, athleticism and leaping ability. That being said there is a fool born every day. I’ve met and talked with him a few times and this guy is just immature. Not in a bad I’m too good for this way. But in a if you yell at him he’s sink down and be mopey way. We all know that guy.

    He’ll be a solid player for a while, and might even have a big season where he’s a 18pts 10 boards type guy. But aside from that one peak season, he’ll stick around 13pts 8 boards. Nothing more. This guy just can’t push him self and can’t be pushed by others.

  3. lakerluver - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Probably a result of too much of the “sticky green”.

    • allmyteamsareterrible - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      you’re a fool.

  4. thebigkahuna23 - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    @lakerluver he actually doesn’t even drink. Like not a sip. Quotes the bible multiple times daily on twitter…. Now that I think about it I could see that.

  5. 4thquartermagic - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Hope McGee can realize his max potential in Denver. Even if he can’t, he’s at least a quality big man.

    Even though he’s kinda spacey. I’d rather have his demeanor on my team over Andrew Bynum’s.

    That guy hurts his team with his behavior.

  6. edavidberg - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    This guy is a waste of money. Only thing to make him better is to have him sign a small contract and give him a chance to grow up. As it stands now this guy is a role player and should be paid accordingly.

  7. duanethomas - Apr 4, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Millions of dollar of talent, ten cent head. You would think with his pedigree he would have came in the league more professional ready. Very disappointing. Either his mom and dad didnt teach him or he chose not to learn.

  8. nolanwiffle - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Call me when he finally wakes from that pregame nap.

  9. abasketballthing - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    There’s some unfair McGee criticism here. Sometimes players don’t know they’re about to be traded, because their teams keep it from them for as long as possible. It happened to Deron Williams, for example. He found out about his trade on ESPN. McGee is certainly an immature and unfocused player, but that’s not a good example.

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