OAKLAND -- The rumors, some of the valid, began circulating weeks ago that the Warriors were willing to part with popular big man JaVale McGee. One day before the trade deadline, nothing had changed.
As the hours tick down, the Warriors are prepared to have a roster without McGee, and he is prepared to join another team if he’s moved prior to Thursday’s noon deadline.
“I’ve been traded plenty of times,” the 7-footer said after practice Wednesday. “It’s a business. It’s the NBA. It’s how my career goes. So I’m not really worried about that. If I get traded, I get traded. If I don’t, I don’t.
“I don’t want to get traded. But if I do, I’m not complaining or badmouthing anyone. It’s a business.”
McGee was a significant contributor to the Warriors last season, playing in 77 games, including 10 starts, in which he averaged 9.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 16.4 minutes. He shot 69.2 percent from the field when starting and 65.2 percent overall.
With high energy and ability to play above the rim, McGee became a favorite among Warriors fans.
This season has been much more of a trial for McGee, who returned on another one-year deal, this one worth $2.1 million. He has been healthy all season yes has not played 16 times 54 games. He’s available now because minutes that formerly went to him started going toward Jordan Bell, and then Kevon Looney.
Several teams are known to have had an interest, including the Bucks and the Celtics. Boston dropped out of the running when it signed Greg Monroe. Milwaukee still is shopping.
Asked how he can remain focused on the game while aware of the trade talk, McGee said he’s used to it.
“I was forced to keep this mindset,” he said. “I’ve been traded before.”
The Warriors are McGee’s fifth NBA stop. Drafted by the Wizards 18th overall in 2008, he has since played for the Nuggets (via trade), the 76ers (trade) and the Mavericks (free agency) before joining the Warriors as a free agent in September 2016.