The contracts of Sheldon McClellan, Daniel Ochefu and Danuel House will become fully guaranteed for the Wizards which will lock in the undrafted rookies for the rest of the season, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com.
A player has to clear waivers before Tuesday, so the actual deadline is today at 5 p.m. ET.
All three signed non-guaranteed deals in the summer and all teams have to make a decision near the midway point of the regular season whether ot not to allow such contracts to reach full value.
Each earns the rookie minimum of $543,000 which makes it sensible to retain their services for a team that's over the salary cap but still under the luxury tax. With the trade deadline a little more than a month away, it also keeps the Wizards' options open. Young players with potential can make for attractive throw-ins to sweeten the pot, though the best-case scenario is they pan out for the next 2-3 years as contributors at a low cap number.
Ochefu signed for three years non-guaranteed and the other two have one more non-guaranteed year on their deals.
McClellan has emerged out of necessity, with an early-season injury to Bradley Beal and Marcus Thornton having difficulty on the defensive end under coach Scott Brooks. Friday, McClellan didn't score in 11 minutes but had three assists. Two of them came in the fourth quarter when the Wizards were making a 9-0 run to regain the lead 89-85 vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves in a comeback victory. McClellan averages 4.1 points in 13 appearances, including three starts.
Thornton, who had a disastrous two-game road trip earlier in the week, didn't play Friday.
Ochefu has played spot minutes with Ian Mahinmi (knees) out. While Jason Smith gets the first call behind Marcin Gortat, Ochefu is there in case there's foul trouble or another injury. If it weren't for Mahinmi's injury, Ochefu would've been sent to the D-League already to get game action which has happened with McClellan and House. Ochefu has appeared in eight games.
House has been out since breaking his right wrist in November.