Oklahoma City Thunder forward Mitch McGary’s suspension has been increased from five to 15 games, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. In July, the league announced that he would miss the first five games of the regular season for violating the anti-drug policy. Now, he has reportedly failed to comply with the anti-drug policy again:
McGary, 24, has been suspended an additional 10 games for non-compliance with the league’s drug policy, league sources said.
The violation isn’t believed to be another positive test, but rather a failure to live up to procedural guidelines set forth in the program, league sources said.
If Oklahoma City has its way, McGary has played his last game for the franchise. Getting an asset in return for him has become more difficult with another suspension, but teams that trade for him can play him in the preseason to get a better sense of his preparation and function within a team before the suspension begins in the regular season.
McGary could be released and claimed on waivers – or become an unrestricted free agent and sign elsewhere. For now, McGary’s career is in peril because of his inability to maintain a lifestyle that’ll allow him to play in the NBA. McGary left the Thunder for the final few weeks of the season for what the franchise termed “personal reasons.” McGary essentially left the team on his own, league sources said.
If McGary is available to play, he can help a team. As loaded as Oklahoma City is in the frontcourt, it does not have another power forward with his playmaking ability. Most teams don’t. The problem is that he’s only played 52 games since being drafted in 2014, due to a combination of injuries, the Thunder’s abundance of big men and the aforementioned “personal matter.”
Oklahoma City’s transactions this summer already hinted that the front office was ready to move on. After adding Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis in the Serge Ibaka trade, the Thunder acquired Joffrey Lauvergne from the Denver Nuggets a couple of weeks ago. With Steven Adams, Enes Kanter and Nick Collison also on the roster, the Lauvergne move didn’t make much sense unless it was a precursor to something. It looks like McGary’s exit is that something.