Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed forward/center Andray Blatche to a contract extension and has exercised its fourth-year option on center JaVale McGee.  Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

“Andray and JaVale are two pieces that we feel can solidify our frontcourt for years to come and extending their contracts certainly fits in with our long-term plan of rebuilding this team with a core of young, talented players,” said Grunfeld.  “Both players performed very well over the second half of last season and we’re confident that they will continue to develop and build on the potential and promise that they have shown throughout the beginning stages of their careers.”

Blatche averaged career-highs of 14.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 81 games for the Wizards last season.  The sixth-year big man increased his productivity in the 32 games following the All-Star break, averaging 22.1 points and 8.3 rebounds while posting five games of 30+ points and 10+ rebounds during that stretch.  Blatche finished with 24 games of scoring 20+ points and 16 double-doubles on the year while leading the team in games played, minutes, field goals made & attempted, steals and free throw attempts.  He has increased his scoring and rebounding averages in each of his five seasons since being acquired by the Wizards in the second round (49th overall pick) of the 2005 NBA Draft.

McGee averaged 6.4 points and 4.0 rebounds last season while ranking ninth in the NBA with 1.7 blocks and first in the NBA in blocks per 48 minutes (5.01).  Like Blatche, he increased his numbers after the All-Star break, averaging 10.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks  (including 13.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game during the month of April).  McGee, who was  selected by the Wizards with the 18th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, has participated in the USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp for the past two summers and was tabbed as one of 15 finalists for the team’s 12-man roster for the 2010 World Championships.