Nets: Will JaVale McGee be a major boost to the Brooklyn bench?

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JANUARY 06: JaVale McGee #6 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JANUARY 06: JaVale McGee #6 of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets didn’t have a ton of frontcourt depth or interior defense before the James Harden trade, and sending both Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen to the Cleveland Cavaliers only exacerbated those issues. Cleveland, perhaps the polar opposite of Brooklyn, has one of the league’s worst offenses, best defenses, and a logjam in the frontcourt.

With Allen and Andre Drummond now competing for minutes, veteran big JaVale McGee will likely end up being the odd man out, with Brooklyn interested in either trading for him or pursuing him once bought out.

JaVale McGee would help the Nets, but he wouldn’t be a season-altering addition.

McGee, who picked up three championship rings during his time with the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, is in the middle of a very peculiar season. While he is averaging 8.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest, he is shooting just 44 percent on the floor, which is extremely odd considering that he shot 63 percent from the field in the last four seasons combined.

With Nic Claxton still working his way back from an injury, rookie Reggie Perry has been tasked with filling the backup center role. Not only is


a rookie, but he played more power forward in college, and the NBA has been giving him a rude introduction to life in the pros.

McGee is a player who can be trusted to finish shots in the paint, swat away a shot or two every game given his long arms, and solidify their interior defense until Claxton gets back. While those improvements will be incremental, a team led by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden is simply not going to become a good defensive team just by adding McGee, meaning that Brooklyn will still likely have to accept the fact most of their games will be high-octane shootouts.

McGee is not going to be a great offensive threat, and his defense is merely average. However, Perry is struggling with the transition to center, and a Nets team that is very clearly in win-now mode needs players like McGee and Norvel Pelle to improve their gaping wound on the defensive side of the ball.