Daniel Gafford – According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Washington Wizards and Daniel Gafford have agreed to terms on a three-year, $40.2 million extension.
The 23-year-old landed in Washington midway through the 2020-21 season. In 23 games with the Wizards, he averaged 10.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.
Gafford is scheduled to make nearly $1.8 million for the upcoming season and has a $1.9 million team option for 2022-23. Athletic’s Ben Standigre announced that his new contract will start in 2023.
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Thomas Bryant underwent ACL surgery last season and is guaranteed to miss part of the season. Although Montrezl Harrell arrived as part of the Russell Westbrook trade, he appears to be a backup center based on his usage with the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers.
General manager Tommy Sheppard told reporters in September that the plan was to make Gafford the starting center on opening night:
“We will start with Daniel Gafford, who will be the opening center, and then [Montrezl Harrell] behind him. Montrezl has been great, his energy, his effort. I think what he brings to us is amazing. He will play himself, minutes they work alone. The players tell you what to do. It’s the ultimate meritocracy. If you go out and perform, you get minutes.
According to Basketball Reference, Gafford averaged 26.3 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per 100 possessions with the Wizards. It offers a taste of what he can do in a bigger role.
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Chase Hughes @ChaseHughesNBCS Daniel Gafford had a huge impact on the Wizards last season and looked even better in the preseason. The Wizards can wind up and bid if he continues to rise, and there is no reason to think he won’t. 23 years old, super athletic, high motor, driving to improve.
Even if Gafford can’t keep up with that production, $13.4 million a year is a better salary if he proves to be a capable starting center.
By comparison, Robert Williams received $48 million over four years from the Boston Celtics, and Richaun Holmes signed a four-year, $46.5 million deal with the Sacramento Kings. Daniel Gafford (born October 1, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Arkansas Razorbacks and was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls.
Gafford was a four-star recruit in high school and held offers from several schools in 2015, including Kansas, Vanderbilt and Florida. August 1, 2015, Gafford wt to Arkansas.
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Gafford also played football growing up, playing wide receiver through ninth grade at El Dorado High School. He is also in the marching band and credits that with the development of his skills.
In his first start for the Razorbacks, Gafford finished a perfect 8-for-8 shooting along with 7 rebounds and 6 blocks against Minnesota.
After a freshman season in which he averaged 11.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, Gafford announced that he would return to Arkansas for a second year instead of declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft.
On March 18, 2019, after Gafford’s second season, it was announced that Gafford would miss the 2019 National Invitational Tournament to prepare for the 2019 NBA Draft.
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Gafford improved his stats during his second year at Arkansas, averaging 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He was named to the 2019 SEC All-Defensive Team as well as a 1st Team All-SEC selection.
On October 26, 2019, Gafford made his NBA debut in an 84–108 rebound loss to the Toronto Raptors.
He was assigned to the Windy City Bulls on the opening night of the NBA G League season. On January 15, 2020, Gafford injured his thumb just 1 minute and 21 seconds into a game against the Washington Wizards. The next day it was announced that he would be out for about two to four weeks due to a dislocated thumb.
On March 25, 2021, Gafford was traded to the Washington Wizards in a three-team trade with the Boston Celtics.
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During the 2021 NBA Playoffs, Daniel Gafford broke the all-time record for field goals (minimum 15 field goal attempts) with 84.6%. Arkansas C Daniel Gafford.
Of the highlights so far for the Chicago Bulls through four of the five preseason games, one must be the outstanding performance of the two picks of the 2019 NBA draft. The first and most notable is former North Carolina Tar Heels point guard Coby White, taken seventh overall. in the Bulls lottery. The other is former Arkansas Razorbacks running back Daniel Gafford.
In the Las Vegas Summer League and the preseason so far, Gafford has been more than impressive. His polished skill set from two strong seasons with the Arkansas basketball program immediately shined. The pairing between White and Gafford also has great potential going forward. It might be fun to see the second and/or third unit off the bench for head coach Jim Boylen this season.
But the main problem Gafford runs into this season is the sheer amount of depth the Bulls have in their frontcourt rotation. This is one of the Bulls’ deepest frontcourts in five years. That could move Gafford deeper on the bench or with the Windy City Bulls’ G-League affiliate at the start of the regular season.
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Still, Gafford heads into the Nulls’ final preseason game with confidence from the last four games confirmed. The Bulls take on the Atlanta Hawks on the road on October 17 in the preseason finale.
The Charlotte Hornets had a revolving door in the top five last season. Cody Zeller was good when he played, but he missed more than 30 games for the second straight season. Willy Hernangomez, Bismack Biyombo and Frank Kaminsky all have a chance to fill in. Kaminsky has played decently, but he is a restricted free agent and the team has limited cap space. Hernangomez and Biyombo are probably the worst middle rotation in the league.
The Hornets could target Daniel Gafford in the second round to replicate Biyombo’s energy while getting closer to a replacement player at the offense level.
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Gafford has a good profile for a modern center. Has 6’10.5″ shoes with an impressive wingspan and vertical reach. Combined with his above-average athleticism, he has the potential to be a vertical spacer on the offensive end of the floor. He’s a big target for pick-and-roll lobs. And backdoors.. Get up quick on his feet and can throw down strong dunks from the break on the flip pass.
Gafford has a lot of defensive potential given his tools. In his final season at Arkansas, he averaged 2.8 blocks and 1.3 steals per 40 minutes. He can protect the rim and he likes to do it. He will come out of nowhere to make an impressive side block. It’s also long and mobile enough to distract guards on the switch perimeter.
Gafford complements his athleticism with a non-stop motor. He relentlessly attacked the basket with the ball in his hands and tried to sink everything. He fights for rebounds and is quick to make weak side blocks. He often beat opposing giants on the floor in transition.
Gafford’s offense is limited to catch and stop at this stage. He didn’t have a shot; he did not attempt a single 3-pointer in any of his collegiate seasons. He is a career 56% free throw shooter, though he improved that mark to 59% in his sophomore year. The shape is stiff and doesn’t look natural.
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The post game he used in college will not translate to the NBA. His repertoire is more based on strength than subtlety. He throws his shoulder at defenders and uses too many steps when forced to play from the post. He uses his right hand practically 100% of the time and is pretty clumsy trying to finish games when he’s not throwing it.
Gafford’s motorcycle sometimes works against him. Offensively, he’s too determined to score when he gets the ball and doesn’t have a polished enough skill level to get away with it. In his sophomore year, he had more than three times as many turnovers as assists. His increased involvement on offense in his second collegiate season resulted in more shot attempts and more turnovers
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