2. JaVale McGee
The Kings did not make many moves during the offseason, and JaVale McGee was the biggest name they added to the roster. A three-time NBA Champion and seasoned veteran who had played for Mike Brown before, the Kings believed that he would have an impact as the backup center.
The Kings needed size and rim protection, and he offered that along with the possibility of finally giving Malik Monk a great pick-and-roll partner in the second unit. McGee and Monk quickly developed great chemistry in the two-man game, but other than that, the big man has struggled to play up to expectations.
Considering Domantas Sabonis’ greatness and that Coach Brown often likes to go small with Trey Lyles at the five, there aren’t too many minutes available at the backup center. Especially at the beginning of the season, McGee often saw between 10 and 15 minutes, however, and he was not always good.
Third-string center Alex Len outplayed him when healthy, and McGee has been in and out of the rotation all season long. His main impact was supposed to be defensively, but Monk and Keegan Murray are both averaging more blocks per game. You cannot expect your backup center to fix the defense, but when your backup guard leads the team in blocks, that is a problem.
McGee wasn’t a completely failed signing. He had some good moments so far but too often he makes mistakes and he just simply hasn’t had the expected impact yet. Just on Friday, against Denver, he was the first center off the bench but only played a little over two minutes before being replaced by Len, who was on the court for 15 minutes.
Maybe McGee can find an opportunity to make an impact in the postseason, as he is unquestionably the most experienced King when it comes to playing at the highest level.