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Ian Mahinmi’s bloated Wizards contract ends today. As fans, we should still give him our heartfelt thanks.

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The Wizards center is on the last year of a four year, $64 mullion contract.

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards
Ian Mahinmi is still keeping his spirits up even if he is out of the Washington Wizards’ rotation.
Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

Washington Wizards center Ian Mahinmi is best known by fans as a punchline because of a four-year, $64 million contract he signed before the 2016-17 NBA season. Instead of becoming a decent starting center, Mahinmi’s time in Washington was set back by injuries or his high foul rate.

This season, Mahinmi is averaging 7.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, stepping up when Thomas Bryant was out due to injury to start the season. But he hasn’t stepped on the court since Feb. 27 and the Wizards made a conscious decision to NOT play him for the rest of the season before the coronavirus suspended play for over four months. And since bubble play started, Mahinmi still has yet to play a second in Orlando.

Barring something crazy, Mahinmi will not play for the Wizards for the rest of the season. In addition, Mahinmi’s contract will come off the books after this game ends.

It is unlikely that he will re-sign with Washington. And it’s possible he may retire. That said, I do think Mahinmi was a positive figure to have in the locker room, even though he was overpaid.

Shaï Mamou of REVERSE, a French basketball site reminisced a time when Mahinmi was playing for the Indiana Pacers, the team he played for before coming to Washington.

For what it’s worth, I have heard many Europeans describe less-than-ideal situations as “complicated” which he clarified later on.

Quinton Mayo of NBC Sports Washington also agreed that Mahinmi is a stand-up man and that the team would certainly agree.

I realize that being a nice man off the court and in the locker room will never take away from the fact that Mahinmi was overpaid for his role. But as Christy Winters-Scott once said, the worst thing players can experience is a loss of playing time. Like anyone else, it has to be tough for Mahinmi to NOT PLAY.

However, unlike some other past Wizards, Mahinmi didn’t go off on media or worse, post angry tweets at other Wizards fans. Mahinmi was the consummate professional that he is to the end. And he deserves a heartfelt merci beaucoup from us for that.