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Report: Cavaliers finalizing trade of JaVale McGee to the Nuggets

Veteran center appears to be heading to Denver to back up Nikola Jokic in the frontcourt.

JaVale McGee of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots over Chris Boucher of the Toronto Raptors during the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on March 21, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.  Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers are finalizing a deal to send veteran center JaVale McGee to the Denver Nuggets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported early Thursday. The NBA Trade Deadline is set for 3 p.m. ET on Thursday afternoon. The Cavaliers were looking for a home for the big man and he’ll be added to the Nuggets roster as a backup for MVP candidate Nikola Jokic.

The Nuggets are sending back a few picks in exchange for McGee:

It does not come as a major surprise to see the Cavaliers move on from McGee as they already have a young player with his skillset in Jarrett Allen. McGee joined the Cavs this offseason after being traded from the Los Angeles Lakers. In 33 games this season, the veteran center averaged 8.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.

McGee also owns a career-high defensive rebounding percentage of 26.3. He provides the Denver with a formidable backup to Nikola Jokic and a rim protector. The Nuggets did not give up much in return for McGee as the Cavs will take another young big man in Isaiah Hartenstein and two-future second round picks.