Report: JaVale McGee “probably leaving” the Lakers

JaVale McGee
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 07: JaVale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers boxes out Taj Gibson #67 of the New York Knicks during the first half of a game at Staples Center on January 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

We’re deep in the midst of the NBA offseason, although it feels a little weird that it is happening in November. Either way, the 2020 NBA Draft will be happening in a couple of hours while the free agency negotiations can start Friday, November 20th at 6:00 p.m. EST. November 19th is also an important date, especially for the Los Angeles Lakers. This is the deadline for players to decide on their respective player options. Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope seem to be on their way towards declining theirs, but many have been wondering about the decisions of Avery Bradley and JaVale McGee.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor recently commented on this while he was on Joy Taylor’s YouTube show, “Maybe I’m Crazy”. Here’s what O’Connor had to say about McGee and Dwight Howard (you can read more about Howard’s situation here):

“JaVale McGee, I’ve heard he’s probably leaving or that they just don’t want him back and with Dwight Howard, he has some interest around the league that could lure him away.”

The player option for JaVale McGee would count for $4.2 million towards the Lakers total salary cap for the 2020-21 season. The Lakers probably wouldn’t even want to pay him that much if the decision were up to them, and it is doubtful that many other teams in the NBA would pay him more than that. However, McGee probably realizes that the Lakers don’t have many assets available right now to make trades, as he could possibly be used in a trade by Rob Pelinka once McGee was to opt-in to the $4.2 million. Although he might not receive more than that on the market, he may want to be in control of his own destiny as opposed to being traded to a sub-par team right after winning a championship.

We’ll see what ends up happening, as McGee will have to make a decision tomorrow regarding his option.

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