Just over two months ago, Thunder forward Mitch McGary received a five-game suspension from the NBA for a failed drug test. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the league has tacked an additional 10 games onto that suspension for McGary’s non-compliance with the NBA’s drug policy, meaning the Michigan product will miss the first 15 games of the 2016/17 season.
Per Wojnarowski, McGary isn’t believed to have produced another positive drug test. Instead, the new suspension is reportedly the result of a failure to follow “the procedural guidelines set forth in the program.”
As we noted at the time of McGary’s initial suspension in July, his absence to start the season likely won’t be a major on-court problem for the Thunder, since he wasn’t a regular part of the team’s rotation last year. However, it’s the latest in a series of troublesome off-court developments for the 24-year-old, who tested positive for marijuana in college and avoided a one-year NCAA suspension by entering the NBA draft.
The Thunder acquired Joffrey Lauvergne in a recent trade with the Nuggets, despite already having 15 guaranteed contracts on their books, suggesting that at least one player with a guaranteed salary will be traded or waived before the season gets underway. Based on the latest developments with McGary, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ends up being that player.
McGary is owed a salary of $1,526,040 in 2016/17, though he’ll forfeit about $191K of that amount due to his 15-game suspension. The Thunder will also have to decide by October 31 whether or not to exercise his 2017/18 option, worth $2,430,982. That option looks unlikely to be picked up at this point.