The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to embark upon what promises to be a thrilling 2018-19 season. They managed to reel in the biggest free agent of them all this summer when they signed LeBron James to a four-year contract, then added a motley crew of veterans to surround him and help show the team’s young core how to win.
Included in the mix of veterans is JaVale McGee, who spent the last two seasons as a sometime-starter for the Golden State Warriors, picking up a pair of NBA championships along the way. He jumped over to the Lakers this summer on a one-year contract, excited about the experience of playing alongside James and the Lakers’ young core.
While McGee can certainly be a dependable factor in the middle, there are still plenty of question marks regarding the Lakers’ center position. Ivica Zubac figures to slide in as the team’s backup center, but after a disappointing 2017-18 season he may not be the steady presence that the team needs.
Rookie Moritz Wagner will also be in the mix, and his ability to stretch the floor out to the three-point line could make him an attractive option. Still, it isn’t clear if he will be able to be a full-time center in the NBA or if he will need to see the majority of his minutes at power forward.
It’s a big jump into the NBA and there it’s not a foregone conclusion that he will be ready to step into a big roll right away.
These questions could ultimately lead to McGee receiving the majority of the team’s center minutes, but that could also pose a problem considering the fact that he averaged less than 10 minutes per game in both seasons with the Warriors.
Will he be able to keep up his production level when he’s playing more minutes?