Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels, Washington’s Deni Avdija and Orlando’s Cole Anthony led the first wave of fourth-year players to reach agreements on contract extensions ahead of the NBA’s deadline on Monday.
McDaniels and the Timberwolves agreed on a five-year, $136 million extension, agent Bill Duffy confirmed. The 28th overall pick in 2020, who came to Minnesota in the same draft as star Anthony Edwards, had a breakout third season with an average of 12.1 points per game on 51.7% shooting.
With three maximum contract players on the roster in Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, the Timberwolves have committed themselves to the luxury tax range with their salary cap. But the 6-foot-9 McDaniels is the team’s best defender and one of the league’s best shutdown wings, and the Timberwolves believe he has untapped offensive potential to pair with his defensive ability.
“I feel like, shoot, I can go out and score 25 points every night if I wanted to,” McDaniels said at the beginning of training camp.
The Timberwolves open their season at Toronto on Wednesday. McDaniels currently has a calf injury, putting his status for the game in doubt.
Avdija agreed to a four-year, $55 million extension with the Wizards, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the agreement. The 22-year-old Avdija started a career-high 40 games last season and averaged 9.2 points and 6.4 rebounds. Washington drafted him in the first round in 2020.
Avdija is somewhat remarkably the longest-tenured player on the Wizards. They traded Bradley Beal to Phoenix in the offseason and enter 2023-24 with a significantly different roster. Avdija, a 6-foot-9 forward from Israel, has averaged 8.1 points in 212 career games since the Wizards made him the ninth overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Anthony and the Magic agreed to a three-year, $39 million extension, which the team announced Monday. The son of 11-year NBA veteran Greg Anthony, he was the 15th overall pick in the 2020 draft.
The point guard missed more than a month last season with an oblique muscle injury and saw his scoring average drop by more than three points per game. After starting all 65 games he played in during the 2021-22 season with Markelle Fultz sidelined by injury, Anthony returned to a role off the bench once Fultz was back in the starting lineup.
But Anthony shot a career-best 45.4% from the field, including 36.4% from 3-point range, and reduced his turnovers by an average of more than one per game.
Elsewhere, the San Antonio Spurs announced a multiyear extension for center Zach Collins. The 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft averaged a career-high 11.6 points per game last season.
AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds and AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell contributed to this report.