Sixers Notes: JaVale McGee wants to stay with Sixers

Posted: February 24, 2015

ORLANDO - Center JaVale McGee wants to remain with the 76ers for the rest of the season and beyond.

The Sixers, at least for the time being, are committed to giving him every opportunity to do just that.

"We are coming into this whole thing with an open mind," coach Brett Brown said Sunday after the team's morning shootaround at the Amway Center. "He is around a bunch of genuine people, coaches that care. That will give him every chance to keep moving and to be as good as he can be.

"And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But it's not going to be on us."

The Sixers lost to Orlando 103-98 Sunday in McGee's second game since he was acquired along with the Oklahoma City's protected top-18 first-round pick from the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. McGee had two points and three rebounds in just over 13 minutes.

The Sixers took on the remainder of McGee's $11.25 million salary this season and his $12 million deal next season to secure the draft pick. The team was expected to buy out his contract shortly after the trade. But the 7-foot, 250-pounder is still with the Sixers.

"I don't want to get bought out," said McGee, a 27-year-old in his seventh NBA season. "That's not a positive thing. When you think about it, you don't get all of your money when you get bought out.

"So it doesn't make sense why someone would want to get bought out unless they are older - older and they want to go to a contender or something. I'm not that old. I just want to play basketball."

The Flint, Mich., native was sidelined most of last season because of a stress fracture in his left tibia. He has played in only 18 games this season because of injury and illness. He was averaging 5.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11 minutes per game this season with Denver.

The Nuggets parted ways with McGee because his production didn't match his salary. However, his athleticism was on display Friday night when a threw down a one-handed dunk from the dotted line below the foul line against the Indiana Pacers.

"As I shared with him, I would look at this as an opportunity to come in and reclaim some minutes and reclaim taking advantage of his birth gifts," Brown said. "He has physical skills and physical gifts that are very unique."

McGee also sees this as an opportunity to mentor rookie centers Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. In addition to backing up Noel, McGee said he can help with the young players' confidence.

"When I was with the Wizards, I think it was my sophomore year, we won like 19 games," he said. "So I've been in the same situation. I've just definitely got to get these young guys' heads into it where they stay positive, keep playing hard, just look for wins and [learn] how to win."

Still on their wall

Jason Richardson spent less than two seasons in Orlando before he was traded to the Sixers on Aug. 10, 2012. However, the shooting guard's presence is hard to miss in the Amway Center's media room.

On the wall is a framed drawing of Richardson heading toward the practice gym.

"All my friends tell me about that picture," Richardson said. "I'm trying to steal it from them. I want that picture in my house. It's a nice drawing. Whoever did that picture did a great job."

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