The Wizards just sent a press release out announcing that they have picked up the 2010/11 options on Nick Young and JaVale McGee. The NBA requires you to pick up the rookie contract options for the next year before November 1, which explains why this happened today.
For Young, 2010/11 will be the final year of his rookie contract. He can negotiate an extension next offseason, or he can wait a year and become a restricted free agent. McGee is still an additional year away from that process.
But there was one name that was conspicuously absent from the release. Javaris Crittenton. (Just to be sure, I checked with a person in the Wizards organization about Crittenton's option once I received the press release. His response was "Young and McGee, as the release says.")
Crittenton, like Young, is a member of the 2007 draft class. If the Wizards picked up his option for 2010/11, it would be for about 2.3 million. Instead, I guess Ernie Grunfeld has decided he'd rather have the extra luxury tax room to help lessen the likely bill the Wizards are going to owe the league. This means Crittenton will be moving on after the year is up.
If you'll remember, it was Crittenton's presence that convinced Grunfeld to swap Antonio Daniels for Mike James. In a year where Grunfeld likely knew the luxury tax level was going to fall, he still took on extra money to get Crittenton. Now, not even a year later, Grunfeld appears like he's changing his mind. This despite Crittenton getting very little playing time until the end of last year and getting injured this year.
Let's get back to that injury. You'll remember that yesterday Crittenton expressed frustration that the Wizards didn't move quicker to address his ankle injury. He had a scoping surgery last Friday to make sure nothing new was in there, but that stunted his recovery time considerably. Crittenton told Mike Jones of the Times that the Wizards had him go through multiple X-rays and "cat scans" even though he said they spotted the injury on the first MRI.
Now, Crittenton might not be right on the injury process. As our resident doctor, GodWuzAWiz, said yesterday, "You can’t see cartilage tears on x-ray, so I am not sure what he was talking about there." But you still have to feel for a guy who's very career in large part is determined by how well he recovers from this injury. Kyle already wrote about how Crittenton likely rushed back from the injury because he desperately wanted to carve himself a spot in Flip Saunders' rotation. Now, he reaggravated it, and had to wait two weeks since when they first found out what happened to have the scoping surgery. Then, just days after he had the surgery, he finds out he's not in the Wizards' future plans.
The point here isn't to say that the process by which Crittenton's injury recovery occurred is wrong. I don't know enough about these things to say one way or the other. So, let's be clear, I am not bashing the Wizards medical staff.
The point is to display how much this all must stink for Javaris Crittenton. He's been on three teams now in three years, and his third team just told him he wasn't in their future plans. He never had a chance this year to show his third team what he could do, all because of an injury that took longer to heal than expected. Now, his NBA career is in pretty serious jeopardy, and you could argue he never received a chance anywhere he went. I completely understand how he could express his discontent with the organization, even if he isn't actually right.
Full release below the jump:
WASHINGTON, DC Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has exercised their options on both guard Nick Young and center/forward JaVale McGee. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not released.
Under the terms of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first round draft pick’s contract are guaranteed while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option. Young was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, while McGee was selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Young averaged 9.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 157 games during his first two seasons in Washington, while McGee averaged 6.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 block per game as a rookie with the Wizards last season.