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The Lakers have traded to JaVale McGee to the Cleveland Cavaliers to clear space for Marc Gasol

JaVale McGee is gone after originally opting in to his deal to return to the Lakers, being sent to the Cavaliers in a trade to free up space for Marc Gasol.

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2020 NBA Finals - Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

JaVale McGee opting in to his $4.2 million player option made it seem like he’d be back with the Lakers to give the team center depth for their title defense, but — as Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer consistently reported was likely to happen all week — he is now on the move. The Lakers are trading him to the Cleveland Cavaliers to free up room to sign Marc Gasol in free agency.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the story:

It is not immediately clear what the Lakers’ plans are for Bell and McKinnie, and whether or not they’ll be re-routed to other teams or head into training camp with the purple and gold when it begins on Dec. 1, but cap-wise, this might make the most sense:

But as far as McGee goes, he deserves credit and thanks for his role in keeping Anthony Davis healthy and fresh last season by playing center all year — and for accepting a reduced role on their run to the championship without complaint. But after he was played off the floor for virtually the entire postseason and despite the departure of Dwight Howard in free agency, this also hardly feels like an unsurvivable loss, or even a critical one, especially since it let them land Gasol, who is a big upgrade if healthy. McGee had his utility and would have again during the regular season, but he’s certainly not irreplaceable by any stretch of the imagination.

This was a productive, mutually beneficial partnership that resulted in a ring for both sides, but now it’s just time for both parties to go their separate ways. There shouldn’t be any hard feelings from either of them.

So long, JaVale, and thanks for all the vlogs.

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