As the entire league enters the All-Star break, the Washington Wizards do so with a question to answer: Should they buy out Ian Mahinmi?
The end of the 2019-2020 campaign will represent the end of something every Washington Wizards fan holds dear. A dream. One that manifested in 2016, and took shape in the form of a contract.
Yes, this is the last year of Ian Mahinmi’s infamous four-year, $64-million deal. He was signed among many others in a summer where money was given away pretty much for free. Washington reportedly had their eyes on Al Horford that year and defaulted to Mahinmi when Horford chose to sign with the Boston Celtics.
Heading into the All-Star break, questions loom on whether or not he’ll finish out the year in Washington. He’s a prime candidate for a contract buyout, but it hasn’t been discussed between the two sides yet per Fred Katz of The Athletic (paywall).
Sheppard is right, Mahinmi has been solid, potentially even worth his price tag in the final year of his deal. He’s averaging 7.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and a career-high 1.3 blocks per game. But his best game has been on defense, where he’s been an anchor for Washington in the frontcourt.
Still, it’s buyout season in the NBA. And anyone on an expiring contract, for a (relatively) underwhelming team is going to be discussed. The Charlotte Hornets already set Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist free, could Washington do the same?
A look at why (or why not) a buyout makes sense (or doesn’t make sense) for the Wizards and Mahinmi.