Oklahoma City Thunder forward Mitch McGary’s struggles within the NBA’s anti-drug program has earned him his second suspension of the 2016-17 season, league sources told The Vertical.
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.
McGary was suspended five games for violation of the league’s policy in July.
He will serve a 15-game suspension without pay to start the 2016-17 season.
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.
After the five-game suspension in July, McGary issued a statement through the Thunder. “I clearly made a mistake, and for that, I apologize to the organization, my teammates, and our fans. I realize there are only so many opportunities given to you and I need to make sure that, as a person and as a player, I take accountability and ensure that this does not happen again.”
Positive tests have trailed McGary, who failed a drug test at the University of Michigan that would’ve cost him his junior season had he not entered the 2014 NBA draft.
McGary, an athletic forward with tremendous upside, was the 21st overall pick in that draft. As a rookie with injury issues, McGary averaged 6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 32 games. Last season, McGary bounced between the Thunder and the NBA Development League, playing limited minutes in 20 NBA games.
More NBA coverage from The Vertical: