Wizards Sign Deni Avdija To Four-Year Extension

OCTOBER 23: Avdija’s extension is now official, the team announced today in a press release.

“Deni has many of the characteristics that we value in the players who represent our organization. He has a team-first mentality, works hard on his craft, competes with toughness, and is committed to improving the community,” Wizards general manager Will Dawkins said in a statement. “That hard work has resulted in the year-to-year development of his overall game and we’re excited to have him continue that progress as a Wizard.”

OCTOBER 22: The Wizards and forward Deni Avdija have agreed to a contract extension, agents Doug Neustadt and Matan Siman-Tov tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), the deal will be worth $55MM over four years and is fully guaranteed.

There are no incentives or options in the deal, adds Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter links).

The No. 9 overall pick in the 2020 draft, Avdija has appeared in 212 games for Washington over the last three seasons, averaging 8.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 24.8 minutes per game during that time and posting a career shooting line of .431/.310/.734.

Given that his numbers haven’t increased substantially since his rookie year (his .297 3PT% in 2022/23 was a career worst) and the Wizards have overhauled their front office since drafting him, Avdija didn’t look like one of the top candidates to receive a rookie scale extension in 2023. However, he and the team came to an agreement ahead of Monday’s deadline, making him the ninth player to agree to a rookie scale extension so far this year.

Avdija’s new deal is nearly exactly in line with the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. Based on the NBA’s latest cap projection for 2024/25 (a 4.4% increase), a full four-year MLE deal next season would be worth $55.69MM.

When our Rory Maher explored Avdija’s case for an extension back in July, he used the MLE as a point of reference, writing that the forward probably wasn’t in position to get more than the mid-level on the open market.

The contract will cut into Washington’s projected cap room for the 2024 offseason, but the club should still be in position to create at least $22MM in space, and potentially more than that, tweets Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype.

After missing the first two games of the preseason due to back tightness, Avdija appears good to go for the regular season and may be part of the Wizards’ starting five alongside Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Kyle Kuzma, and Daniel Gafford. If the team instead opts to start rookie forward Bilal Coulibaly, Avdija would be one of the first players off the bench.

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