OAKLAND – The hiring of Mike Brown as the top assistant coach was not the only move made by the Warriors that made folks wonder. The inviting of JaVale McGee to training camp was even more of a puzzler.
Though his athleticism ranks in the top tier among NBA centers, rarely has McGee been able to translate that to positive production. More often than not, the 7-footer offsets his assets by making mental errors that hurt his team.
That largely explains why McGee, drafted 18th overall by the Wazards in 2008, has played on four different teams.
So why would the Warriors, known for their tight culture and collective basketball IQ, consider McGee? Coach Steve Kerr has a simple answer.
“Do you see anybody else out here who can jump and catch a lob? Who can block a shot?” Kerr, grinning, told CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday.
“That’s my answer, and you can quote me on that.”
McGee, who signed a non-guaranteed contract in hopes of filling the lone vacant spot on the roster, is trying to rediscover groove he found in his best season, 2011-12, when he averaged 11.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for Washington and Denver.
The Warriors are open to looking at McGee because over the summer they lost starting center Andrew Bogut and primary backup Festus Ezeli, both of whom were effective defenders in the paint.
If McGee, who played for the Nuggets alongside Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala, makes the roster, he can help. If he doesn’t, the Warriors lose nothing.
“He’s a talented guy,” Kerr said. “He’s athletic. He’s big. It’s a no-brainer.”