Worst Starter No. 13 – JaVale McGee
When the Warriors signed JaVale McGee prior to the 2016-17 NBA season, it was seen as something of a joke. The bombad Warriors are so arrogant after signing Kevin Durant that they can waste a roster spot on a goofy, unreliable player like McGee.
Then the games started, and it became clear very quickly why the Warriors brought him aboard. His athleticism let him stretch defenses vertically in a way no other member of the Warriors’ core did. A pick-and-roll with Stephen Curry where defenders had to choose between Curry scoring and McGee getting free for a lob was a really difficult action to stop. Add Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson on the perimeter and it’s no wonder the Warriors blitzed opponents that season.
McGee shows up on a list like this because he didn’t really do much else; he was the least disciplined of their centers during that era, an athletic shot-blocker but not a consistent defensive deterrent. Add in his lack of range and lack of playmaking at the elbow and he had to play limited minutes even when starting.
The Warriors’ core seemed to love McGee, and he won two titles with the team, starting 10 playoff games across two seasons. He was perfect for a small-usage role as a rim-runner; thankfully, that’s all they needed from him.