The Wizards have decided to maintain roster flexibility next summer by declining the 2018-19 contract option for 22-year-old forward Chris McCullough, NBC Sports Washington has learned.
The Wizards faced an Oct. 31 deadline to make the call. They picked up Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s 2018-19 option with more than a week to spare, but took the McCullough decision right down to the wire.
The Wizards can still sign McCullough next summer and they remain optimistic about his future. They haven't had much time or game tape to evaluate him at this point. He was acquired in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets in February and since has only appeared in three total regular season games.
Before joining Washington, McCullough missed time due to injury. He tore his ACL during his only year at Syracuse University and the recovery carried over into his rookie season. He has only appeared in 41 total NBA games.
By not picking up McCullough's option, the Wizards keep another open roster spot for 2018-19. Part of the equation is the fact the two players they have on two-way contracts - Michael Young and Devin Robinson - play the same position as McCullough.
That said, the Wizards have extra reason to root for McCullough given he is the only remaining player on their roster from the Nets deal. The Wizards gave up two veteran players and a first round pick for McCullough and Bojan Bogdanovic. Bogdanovic produced in his brief time with the Wizards, but signed with the Pacers as a free agent this past offseason.
By declining McCullough's option, the Wizards allow him to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. They will not be able to extend him a qualifying offer before free agency opens.
The Wizards' decision did not come as a surprise to McCullough's camp, given his lack of games and the depth on the Wizards' roster. McCullough's 2018-19 option was worth $2.24 million.
Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders first reported the news.
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