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3x NBA Champion Not Considering Retirement

Oct 30, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; General view of the Denver Nuggets 2023 Larry O'Brien championship trophy before the game against the Utah Jazz at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

16-year NBA veteran JaVale McGee is reportedly not planning on retiring from basketball just yet. Following his Sacramento Kings’ Play-In loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, the 36-year-old made it clear he plans to “just play basketball.

“Just to play basketball,” McGee said when asked by NBCSCA what’s next for him. “Keep focusing, keep working.”

In his first season with the Kings, McGee appeared in 46 games, coming off the bench in each one. The three-time champion averaged 4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while shooting 59.8% from the field.

McGee is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. However, despite the team missing the playoffs, he had a “fine” experience with the Kings this season.

“I feel like my experience was fine,” McGee said of his season with the Kings. “Great group of guys. Obviously wanted to go further and at least make the playoffs and go far in it, but it didn’t work out. But hey, it happens sometimes.”

3x NBA Champion Not Considering Retirement

What JaVale McGee Can Still Bring to the Table

Even at his age, McGee is still a solid athlete. He can still score in the paint regularly, and he is still a good blocker. Additionally, despite being 7’0″, he can also run the floor well. Furthermore, McGee offers unique championship experience. Only LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have more championships than McGee does. Especially on a contending team, adding a multiple-time champion like McGee can give a franchise a boost.

McGee, however, is not a player who will be a regular starter at this point. The Michigan native has not been a regular starter since the 2019-20 season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Furthermore, he has averaged fewer than 10 minutes per game in each of the last two seasons. Still, he can be a solid contributor as a backup center.

The Last Word on JaVale McGee

At this point in his career, McGee is a cheap option for a team interested in size and championship experience. It is unclear what kind of interest McGee may draw around the league. However, he has no plans of leaving the game this season. One team that may be worth keeping an eye on is the Golden State Warriors. McGee played for the Warriors from 2016-2018. After the Dallas Mavericks waived McGee last year, Golden State reportedly expressed interest in him. Ultimately, he signed with the Kings instead.

Last year, Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area talked about how McGee would fit with the Warriors.

“McGee would automatically add the missing size that the outside is begging for once again. Dario Šarić’s addition in free agency finally gives the Warriors a player taller than 6-foot-9 … by one inch,” Johnson wrote. “McGee is a true 7-footer, and though skill now beats pure size, it’s no coincidence the last five NBA MVPs have been big men – ending an 11-year streak of the award going to a point guard, shooting guard or small forward.

Since the Warriors’ season ended, there has been a lot of talk about what their future holds. It will be interesting to see if McGee makes his way back to Golden State before he calls it quits.

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