McGary was a key part of Michigan's NCAA run last year and was expected to be a key contributor this year. However, his season was cut short by a back injury.
It looked like McGary might return to the Wolverines to play out his third year but he tested positive for marijuana and was facing a second season on the bench. He wisely decided to make the jump to the NBA.
McGary is an interesting prospect. He has some upside, a hefty amount of baggage, and might be worth a second round selection. Let's take a look at who he is as a player and how he fits in with the Cavs.
First of all, I'm pretty sure that's Fall Out Boy as background music. Do with that what you will.
Second, the guy has some solid put-back slams but there wasn't a lot of "Oh, shiiiit....." moments there. It was more "Oh, he is a solid fundamental player that is capable of effectively running a pick-and-roll."
And listen, we here at Moondog like effective as much as the next guy (and we love Tim Duncan) but sometimes you need a little pop.
In two turbulent years at Michigan, McGary was never the number one scoring option. He was dwarfed by the likes of Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Glenn Robinson III. With that much wing talent (two definite first round talents last year, a lottery pick this year, and a likely second rounder as well) you don't expect a sub-par inside presence like McGary to get many looks.
That said, here's McGary's stat line from the last two years:
2012-2013: 7.5 pts (.598 fg%)--6.3 rebounds--.6 assists--1.1 steals--0.7 blocks--19.7 mpg (39 games)
2013-2014: 9.5 pts (.545 fg%)--8.3 rebs--1.5 asts--1.9 steals--.8 blocks--24.8 mpg (8 games)
Had he returned to the Wolverines for this upcoming season, McGary would likely have been a more integral part of their offense. As it stands, there's some reason for optimism about his ability to elevate his game in the NBA.
During his 2012-2013 season (which saw him play 31 more game than the following season), McGary posted an overall win share of 3.8 (with OWS---2.1 and DWS---1.8). While he may not be the most effective scorer or traditional rim protector he does appear to be a crafty defender, capable of making opportunistic steals. His per 40 minute stats are encouraging. They push his steals to an insane 2.2 per game and his blocks to a more than respectable 1.7.
He's a solid rebounder. If you look at his per 40 minute stats (the college game is shorter than the NBA, hence not per 48), McGary averaged about 10.4 rebounds in the 2012-2013 season (good for second in the loaded Big Ten). About 23 percent of his scoring chances come from put backs (he was second in the Big Ten in second chance points). His 16 percent offensive rebounding rate was first in the Big Ten.
McGary's rim protection (not that there's a ton to begin with) may not translate to the NBA where he'll be facing bigger, stronger opponent on a nightly basis. However, his ability to disrupt defensively looks like it could translate. His steals and general high-level of activity is impressive.
When looking at prospects you like to identify some of the things they do well, the traits they can (and likely will) fall back on at the next level. McGary is not an elite offensive threat. He's a competent low-post scorer and occasionally a capable passer off the blocks. But he rebounds pretty damn well. Rebounding is a good skill and it requires a constant humming motor (which the Michigan product has --- despite the purple haze). Even if he never scores double digits over the course of a season, he may be a valuable energy guy off the bench.
I've seen some draft sites optimistically compare McGary to Bill Laimbeer. While that may be his absolute ceiling, I doubt he can ever reach that. Laimbeer was the muscle for a team that was known for its muscle (and use of it). McGary might be a motor guy that can occasionally play some defense for you.
VERDICT: I wouldn't hate it. McGary could become a valuable role player for the Cavs.