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Cavs acquire JaVale McGee, second-round pick from Lakers

Cleveland is getting a second-record pick in exchange for helping Los Angeles clera space.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs are acquiring center JaVale McGee in a trade with the Lakers. Cleveland gets a future second-round pick back with Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie heading to Los Angeles, per a source.

For the Lakers, this deal is simply about clearing space to sign Marc Gasol. McGee recently opted in to a deal that will pay him $4.2 million this year. McKinnie and Bell, meanwhile, are on non-guaranteed deals and can be cut to make room for Gasol.

In Cleveland, the 32-year-old McGee could conceivably be Andre Drummond’s backup and play a lob threat and operate out of the dunker spot for next season. It’s also possible he could be bought out at some point, as he’s spent the last several seasons playing for contenders and the Cavs aren’t that.

The headline of the deal for the Cavs is the pick. The Lakers’ next two second-round picks are headed out in other trades already, so the earliest the pick could come is 2023. By that time, LeBron James will be three years older and it’s hard to know what the Lakers will really look like or how good they’ll be. So, in theory, this second-round pick could be higher up in the second-round. It’s not an A-level asset, but it’s good work by Koby Altman to add to the Cavs’ stockpile of future picks. That’s more valuable than Bell or McKinnie would have been next season.

Update - 9:50 p.m.

Per’s Chris Fedor, the pick from the Lakes will convey in 2026.