The Washington Wizards officially announced that they have signed Daniel Gafford to a contract extension. The initial report on the extension came out late last night by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, where Gafford will sign for a three-year, $40.2 million extension that starts in the 2022-23 season.
In a release by the team, General Manager Tommy Sheppard said “We’re very excited to extend Daniel’s contract and continue to see him develop within our system after his athleticism on both ends of the floor made such an immediate impact for us last season. We are confident that he has the character and drive to keep working hard to improve his overall game and become an even bigger part of what we are building with our team.”
I’m very pleased with this contract extension. The Wizards were a noticeably better team on the defensive end after he was acquired last season at the trade deadline. Washington also could be getting a bargain, should Gafford continue to develop into one of the NBA’s better centers over the next three years.
That said, it’s not like Gafford is being “cheated.” He is securing his medium term future with the deal and will make considerably more than the $1.78 million he is due to make this season.
Washington also gets some flexibility and security with the center position, especially regarding Thomas Bryant. Bryant is on the last year of his contract and is recovering from an ACL tear last season. Regardless of how he performs, Washington could have an option to trade Bryant this season if Gafford continues to play at a high level. And if Bryant regresses, Washington could let him walk and still keep Gafford for the next three years. It will be interesting to see how the center position plays out in Washington.
Congratulations to Gaff for the extension. Well deserved in my opinion!