Business ratings: Cavaliers trade JaVale McGee to Nuggets for Isaiah Hartenstein


The Cleveland Cavaliers are trading big man JaVale McGee to the Denver Nuggets for third-year center Isaiah Hartenstein and two future second-round picks. by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski – an unprotected second round of 2027 and a protected second round of 2023 protected through No. 46. Trading for McGee gives the Nuggets some protection at the rim on defense, as he averages 1.2 blocks per game.

Denver is ranked 11th in the league in points allowed in the paint (48.8), and adding McGee could help with that. In 33 games with Cleveland, McGee averaged eight points and 5.2 rebounds when he came off the bench for the Cavaliers. McGee wasn’t getting many consistent minutes with Cleveland, and being traded to Denver allows him to once again join a contending team.

McGee was effective enough on defense in his two seasons with the Lakers before being traded to Cleveland before the start of this season. He averaged nearly 10 points and seven assists in those two seasons in Los Angeles, and the Nuggets hope they can replicate some of that success in Denver.

In return, the Cavs will host Hartenstein, who hasn’t seen great minutes in his three seasons with the Nuggets, but at 7 feet tall, he will certainly be a useful backup for Cleveland. The Cavaliers could be busy before the trade deadline Thursday afternoon, as Andre Drummond’s name has been widely circulated as a trade candidate. Several teams have been interested in acquiring the big man, although there is some expectation that the Cavaliers and Drummond will work toward a buy if the trade doesn’t materialize before 3 p.m. ET.

Denver receives:

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Cleveland receives:

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  • 2027 unprotected second-round pick
  • Second round selection protected 2023 (protected through No. 46)

Nugget Commercial Grade: B

McGee will give Denver some depth on the front court, which will come in handy when the postseason rolls around. It will be more shocking than Hartenstein would have been for Denver, which is an advantage, and while at face value, giving up two second-round picks for McGee seems expensive, the protections on them make it worth it. The Nuggets have struggled to contain teams on the defensive side of the court and have found themselves in danger of falling further down the West standings as only two games separate them from the Mavericks, who are in eighth place. . McGee isn’t going to fix all of their problems, but he will offer some help from the bench on defense for a team trying to make a playoff run.

Gentlemen’s Commercial Grade: B

Cleveland is working on a Collin Sexton-centric rebuild, and McGee doesn’t fit his timeline. Getting a younger big man and two draft picks in return is a good trade for them down the road. The Cavs are just four games out of eighth in the East, and 2.5 games out of 10th, which would allow them to compete in the entry game to the postseason. Moving McGee doesn’t hamper their chances of making the playoffs at all, and it also gives them future picks to work with.

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