Once JaVale McGee signs his new contract, and it’s a formality, the Warriors will have completed their July victory tour. They’ll have all the signatures they craved. They will have won. Repeatedly. Again.
Completing their roster precisely as they had hoped, the Warriors will come out on the other side of free agency having achieved the best possible outcome.
Less than a week after coach Steve Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com he wanted McGee back for another season, the 7-foot center on Thursday agreed to do just that.
Understand, though, McGee did not stroll into free agency seeking a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. He wanted more cash, and also a longer term. He deserved it, too, after a fine season in which he played well enough to revive a career that one year ago was teetering on the dark, distant edge of the NBA.
McGee instead will get about $2.1 million, less than half of what he had hoped to find.
There is a very evident upside insofar as he gets the comfort of being in a place where he’ll enjoy teammates and coaches, feel the love of the fans, and win a lot of basketball games.
The clear winner here, though, is the Warriors.
They gambled that McGee’s excursion into free agency might be circular. It was.
They left their final minimum-salary spot on their roster for him, and would look elsewhere only if he landed with another team. He did not.
They figured they could spend their mid-level exception on a shooter, Nick Young, and still find a serviceable backup center. They did.
For their foresight and patience, the Warriors are rewarded with another season from a player that was a significant contributor during their run to a championship.
Why didn’t McGee command a better financial deal with another team? To begin with, he’s neither a star nor a starter. Though the numbers paint a fabulous picture -- McGee is the only player in NBA history to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds per 36 minutes while shooting at least 65 percent -- the fact is he excels in limited minutes.
McGee played in 77 games, averaging 9.6 minutes per. He played as many as 15 minutes on 10 occasions and only once reached the 20-minute mark.
How does an NBA general manager justify throwing big bucks at someone, no matter how effective he is, if his best work is limited to maybe 12 minutes per game?
So McGee is back, delighting JaVale Nation. He’ll return to a more formidable roster. All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are back. Key veteran contributors Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia and David West were re-signed. Omri Casspi and Young will raise the level of offensive firepower coming off the bench.
Six weeks after concluding a 16-1 postseason with a championship victory parade through the streets of Oakland, the Warriors are complete -- with upgrades. All 15 spots on the roster are now filled.
Training camp is eight weeks away, and the presentation of jewelry will follow in mid-October.
It was during the public celebration of the championship that Green passionately and colorfully urged the world to take note of the results achieved by president/general manager Bob Myers. Myers is too busy getting things done to indulge in due credit.
He’ll settle for sleeping ever more peacefully in the coming weeks. Hell, he can take an extended vacation. He has earned it.