Cavs: JaVale McGee will be a quality transition target

Los Angeles Lakers big JaVale McGee dunks the ball. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers big JaVale McGee dunks the ball. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

JaVale McGee should be a factor in the Cleveland Cavaliers transition game.

Looking at the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ recent trade acquisition in JaVale McGee, it’s evident that the veteran reserve big should make his felt in settled situations near the basket.

Last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, McGee had 6.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 16.6 minutes per outing.

McGee is not a player you’re going to feature on-ball much, really, aside from the occasional low-block work via jump hooks, but McGee is an active rolling/lob threat presence in the halfcourt, to go with being a productive offensive rebounder. And for his career, he’s hit 70.7 percent of his shots in the restricted area, which has constituted the vast majority of his shot attempts.

McGee will be a formidable screening presence on and off-ball for the likes of Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Kevin Porter Jr., Dylan Windler, and/or Damyean Dotson in minutes backing up Andre Drummond in settled offense, too.

That said, I’d expect McGee to be a quality transition target for the Cavs as well.

McGee should be an impact player in transition for the Cavs.

Though McGee is 32, he still runs the floor very well and will be a good transition target in his minutes-share for Cleveland. He’s a big dude as a true 7-footer and with him being a solid 270 pounds, but he again, really gets up and down for a player his size.

And with him still being quite a leaper even for his size and being a no-nonsense finisher around the cup, McGee is efficient as a big in the open floor/secondary transition game.

With him timing up his cuts well/definitely being able to beat his primary matchups down the floor, the likes of Garland, KPJ, Isaac Okoro, Windler and/or Kevin Love I’d expect to look his way in the transition game at times throughout contests.

Now, I’m not going to discount LeBron James’ playmaking having some to do with it, but McGee placing in the 90th and 77th percentile in transition scoring the past two seasons on the Los Angeles Lakers, per Synergy Sports, was impressive. When he’s on the floor, the Cleveland Cavaliers should definitely be looking his way in the open floor, because of his finishing ability inside as still an active and highly capable above-the-rim big.

Additionally, aside from defensive rebounding leading to some transition looks, McGee’s defensive presence inside being a legitimate rim protector should lead to some transition chances for others, such as Sexton and Okoro, to boot. McGee had 3.0 blocks per-36 minutes for L.A. last season, for context.

Plus, some blocks/shot alterations could very well lead to him getting his own transition looks on the interior going the other way from being rewarded, too, to go with those looks for his teammates from him generating live-ball turnovers.

Anyhow, we’ll have to see as far as if the expiring Drummond ends up being traded at some point, perhaps near the trade deadline, and/or if McGee is a part of a package/or if he is bought out at some point, as he is expiring as well. The Cavs would eventually look to acquire another big/stop gap guy I’d assume if Drummond, for instance, were to be moved, from there, I would assume.

But in any case, in his minutes-share on the floor for Cleveland, I’d expect the Cavs to look McGee’s way a fair amount when the opportunities arise in transition, where he’s consistently been a really efficient cutter going toward the rim/finisher on lobs.

Next. 2 goals for JaVale McGee for next season. dark

That’d bode well for McGee/the Wine and Gold when the veteran big is out there in minutes off the bench.