The Washington Wizards have reached an agreement on a three-team deal that will send JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Denver Nuggets and Nick Young to the Los Angeles Clippers. In return, the Wizards will receive Brazilian center Nene from Denver and forward Brian Cook and a second-round pick from the Clippers.
McGee and Young were two of the longest tenured players on the Wizards’ roster but both were slated to become free agents this offseason. McGee would’ve been a restricted free agent, meaning that the Wizards would have been able to match any offer sheet, but the 7-foot-1 big man was expected to garner a huge salary in the open market. McGee was one of just five players in the NBA averaging at least 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and two blocked shots, but he also had yet to progress on the defensive end and continued to make confusing plays on the court.
Instead of dedicating big money to McGee, the Wizards acquired an established big man in Nene, who is averaging 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in his 10th season, all in Denver. Nene, 29, signed a five-year, $65-million contract with the Nuggets last December. He also is represented by Dan Fegan, the same agent for John Wall.
Young signed a qualifying offer worth $3.7 million, but had the right to veto any deals because he would have to sacrifice his “Bird rights” – a clause that allows teams to go over the salary cap to re-sign him – in order to get traded.
The Wizards had originally packaged Young with McGee to Denver, but Young declined, forcing the team to find a third party to serve as facilitator. With Young being a native of Los Angeles, the Clippers were one of a few teams to which that he would be willing to accept a move, according to a source close to him.
Turiaf only played three games for the Wizards after being acquired from the New York Knicks on the first day of training camp. He broke his left hand on Jan. 1 and didn’t dress again until Tuesday in Dallas.
The Wizards couldn’t find any takers for Andray Blatche, but will look to move him near the draft, according to a league source. And if the team is unable to deal Blatche this summer, the Wizards also have the amnesty provision at their disposal, which would allow them to waive him and have his salary removed from the cap.
The second-round choice will actually be a 2015 pick that the Clippers acquired from New Orleans in the Chris Paul trade completed last December.