Shams Charania of The Athletic reported late Friday afternoon that the Orlando Magic have agreed to a rookie contract extension with Wendell Carter Jr. Terms of the deal have not been confirmed by the team, but Charania reports that the Carter Jr. extension is worth $50 million over four seasons.
Orlando Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. has agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract extension — fully guaranteed — with the franchise, VP Basketball Operations Anthony Fields of Vanguard Sports Group told @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 15, 2021
Carter has missed time with injuries in his first three seasons, but the 22-year-old averaged 12.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1 block in preseason, has shown promise as a versatile big man and now enters the top half of highest center salaries in the league. https://t.co/folDX7tcqf— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 15, 2021
The fourth-year center from Atlanta, GA is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2021-22, which made him eligible for a contract extension this offseason. Carter Jr., the former sixth overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft, is now the sixth player from his draft class to agree to a rookie-contract extension.
The 22 year-old was traded to Orlando last February (along with a pick that turned into Franz Wagner) in the deal that included Nikola Vucevic heading to the Chicago Bulls. Carter Jr. averaged 11.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 22 games (19 starts) with the Magic to close out last season.
Carter Jr., a 6-10 center, started 112 games for the Bulls from 2018-21, but never seemed to fully put things together (mostly due to various injuries). The former Duke University ‘one-and-done’ has never played more than 55 games in a single season.
Mo Bamba, another young center on Orlando’s blossoming roster, is also rookie-extension eligible - but many experts around the league assume a deal between both sides is unlikely to get done. The NBA’s league imposed deadline for teams to agree with rookie-extension eligible players is October 18th. Bamba was picked fifth in the 2018 NBA Draft, one slot ahead of Carter Jr.
I asked Carter Jr. during Orlando’s Media Day in late September about his interest in agreeing to an extension with the Magic prior to the start of this season.
“I’m kind of letting my agency and the front office deal with that right now. (Focusing on that) can take me off of what’s the most important thing, which starts tomorrow (training camp),” Carter Jr. said. “So that’s where my main focus currently is. I would love to be here for a long time. I love Orlando, I love the city, my teammates, and the weather…everything. I would love to be here, but right now I’m just focused on training camp.”