JaVale McGee is “unlikely” to receive a contract extension before Wednesday’s midnight deadline, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.
McGee is averaging career highs of 11.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots in his fourth year with the organization. He will become a restricted free agent this summer, but the Wizards remain high on the incredibly athletic 7-foot-1 big man and intend to keep him by matching any offer he receives or signing him outright, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.
Selected 18th overall in the 2008 NBA draft, McGee is slated to receive a qualifying offer worth $3.5 million in order for the Wizards to have right of refusal on any offer sheet. But that figure will likely increase by nearly $900,000 to $4.4 million based on new rules in the collective bargaining agreement for starters that play above their draft position.
McGee has seen his statistics improve each season in the league and has added more facets to his game. He is expected to draw considerable interest, given the dearth of skilled, young big men in the NBA.
Indiana center Roy Hibbert, and New Jersey center Brook Lopez are also expected to become restricted free agents next summer. McGee’s value was possibly set last month, when Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan signed a four-year, $43 million deal after averaging 7.1 points and 7.2 rebounds. McGee shares the same agent as Jordan, former NBA player B.J. Armstrong.