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Suns signing JaVale McGee, Frank Kaminsky as backup centers

Chris Paul and JaVale McGee after Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 9: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns hi-fives JaVale McGee #34 of the Denver Nuggets during Round 2, Game 2 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 9, 2021 at Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Nuggets center JaVale McGee, as relayed by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, impressed Suns star Chris Paul with his effort late in Phoenix’s Game 2 blowout of Denver in the playoffs.

Now, Paul – re-signing with the Suns – will welcome McGee to Phoenix.

The Suns are also re-signing reserve center Frank Kaminsky.


Veteran center JaVale McGee has reached an agreement with the Phoenix Suns on a one-year, $5 million deal, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Marc Stein:

I’d generally rather have the player who cracks his team’s playoff rotation rather than the one hustling hard in garbage time (advice to Team USA, too).

But McGee can help in a narrow role if his athleticism holds up age 33. He was a good finisher and rim-protector while winning championships with the Warriors (2017 and 2018) and Lakers (2019). Though his focus drifted with the Cavaliers and he never carved out a role in Denver last season, McGee could fare better on a team where Paul sets the tone.

Phoenix especially needed a backup center after Dario Saric tore his ACL last month.

Kaminsky played for the Suns in 2019-20. They declined his team option, and he signed with the Kings last year. Sacramento waived him during the season, and Phoenix claimed him then gave him postseason minutes after Saric went down. It seems Kaminsky now realizes where he fits.

More of a shooter, Kaminsky could split backup minutes with McGee depending on matchup. Or Kaminsky could just land third on the depth chart. For that matter, so could McGee.