21. JaVale McGee
After winning the championship in 2020, the Lakers attached a second-round pick to McGee’s contract to dump him off their books. They took back two players on cheap contracts that played a combined 39 games in LA. Moving off of McGee’s $4.2 million was a straight salary dump for a solid rotation big man with championship experience.
Contending teams keep acquiring McGee and paying him more money. He signed a one-year $5 million contract in free agency with the Suns in 2021 before inking a three-year deal worth $17.2 million to play for the Mavericks in 2022. The seven-footer was clearly not overpaid, so it made zero sense why the Lakers felt they had to dump his contract.
Los Angeles wanted to clear McGee off their books to sign Marc Gasol. It would be the three-time All-Star’s final season in the NBA, and he disappointed in Lakerland as he averaged career lows in points, rebounds, and minutes per game.
Would McGee be a game-changer on the current Lakers? No. He played quality backup minutes during his two previous seasons in LA, and he would produce well in that role right now. It would not lift the team up, but the Lakers have struggled to find quality play at the five. McGee would be a fantastic option to turn to off the bench to save Anthony Davis a bit.