JaVale McGee is arguably the most fascinating project in the NBA today. A wildly talented and gifted player, prone to fits of insane (and hilarious) actions on the court. Denver Nuggets coach George Karl would like to maximize McGee’s potential, while keeping him somewhat grounded. In other words, less bad JaVale moments, more Tim Duncan-esque consistency. Per the Denver Post: “He played about 20 minutes per game last year,’ George Karl said. ‘I think right now we’d like to get him to be a 25-minute per game player. And I think that’s feasible.’ Denver acquired McGee in a trade last March with the Wizards. After two months of tantalizing play, he was awarded a four-year, $44 million contract last summer that was based largely on potential, which he demonstrated against the Lakers, and the notion that size, shot-blocking ability and athleticism can’t be taught. McGee and the Nuggets would have to work to fill in the other blanks in his game. Halfway through his first full season in Denver, McGee is still filling in those blanks. In the construction of an NBA center, the Nuggets have started with deconstruction, unraveling some of the bad habits that have marred his young career, now in its fifth season. […] McGee and his representation would have been satisfied with a two-year deal, but the Nuggets pushed for a four-year contract, in part so they wouldn’t develop McGee into an upper-echelon player in two years and then have to immediately fight for his services on the free-agent market. So McGee toils in the spotlight though getting limited playing time. He remains one of the NBA’s premier shot blockers, averaging two per game, and has seen growth in his impact on altering other shots. He insists he has never been concerned about his playing time, only that he’s happy to be with a winning team. He’s averaging 10 points and 4.9 rebounds, and is shooting .553 from the field. ‘I’m just trying to … make sure that we win games,’ McGee said. ‘It’s definitely a blessing, being on a winning team. As long as we win, I can’t feel any (negative) way about it.’ […] ‘He’s got to understand that lazy and crazy isn’t going to make it work,’ Karl said. ‘We want solid and we want fundamental, and we want spectacular but only when it happens, not forcing the action where sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.'”
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