How Does JaVale McGee Help the Cavs?

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JaVale McGee watches during a preseason game.
SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 10: JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during a preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets as part of 2019 NBA Global Games China at Mercedes-Benz Arena on October 10, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers made their first move in free agency on Sunday when they traded for C JaVale McGee from the Los Angeles Lakers. The Cavs traded F Alfonzo McKinnie and F Jordan Bell for McGee and a 2026 second-round pick.

The Lakers found the Cavs to be suitors in a trade to find extra salary space to pursue Marc Gasol. Does this trade help Cleveland, though?

McGee is on the last year of his contract after opting into his $4.2 million player option. After losing Tristan Thompson to the Boston Celtics, the Cavs were in desperate need of acquiring a backup center.

Now, McGee is no Tristan Thompson, but he provides a different skill set than the Canadian big man. McGee is an established veteran and will be able to defend the rim at a high level. He will help out on the defensive end which could be vital if Cleveland makes a playoff push.

His stats won’t wow you, but the 7-footer will have a winning impact as a backup. He shouldn’t hurt the Cavs, so I think this is a solid pickup for Cleveland. Signing Matthew Dellavedova is the next move I expect Koby Altman to make.

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NCAA and NBA Writer for Overtime Heroics