The Los Angeles Lakers announced the trade of starting center JaVale McGee, as well as a future second-round draft pick, to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell. The deal was first reported on Sunday and has now been finalized.
McGee was traded to the Cavaliers in order to create room under the hard cap, which was triggered by the Lakers’ signing of Wesley Matthews using the bi-annual exception. The room created by trading McGee was then used to sign Marc Gasol to a two-year minimum contract.
McGee had a player option heading into this offseason worth $4.2 million. Sensing he would not get more than that in free agency, McGee chose to exercise it, which invariably created the possibility of getting traded dependent on how free agency took shape for the Lakers.
McGee joined the team in the summer of 2018 in the time after the LeBron James signing. He played two years for the Lakers as the team’s primary starting center and was a key piece in L.A.’s championship run earlier this year.
It is unclear what the Cavaliers plan to do with McGee. However, should he stay on that roster, he will likely serve as the back-up to Andre Drummond.
The Lakers reportedly plan on waiving and stretching Bell after partially guaranteeing his contract. Meanwhile, they plan on fully guaranteeing the contract of McKinnie, keeping him on the roster for the start of the season.
Rob Pelinka stressed being “fluid” in free agency
By trying to avoid the dangers of complacency, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka has completely turned over the team’s roster. In doing so, the Lakers have gotten younger and more talented. Pelinka spoke about the pros and cons of running it back after the acquisition of Dennis Schroder.
“This is a group of guys that fit, that worked together, and we’d love to keep our as close as we can. But if there’s opportunities to get better and address needs like we did with Dennis, we’ll take advantage of those.”
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