The Oklahoma City Thunder had two roster spots open after the James Harden trade that also sent Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to the Houston Rockets.
One of those spots was filled today as the Thunder signed Daniel Orton who had been waived by the team last week.
Orton is essentially a D-League call up since he signed with the Tulsa 66ers. He is set to make $854,000 this season giving the Thunder a total salary of $69.296 million which is just under this season’s tax level of $70.307 million.
Aldrich was all set as the backup center for the Thunder before the trade having beaten Orton and Hasheem Thabeet out for the job in the preseason. The Thunder obviously aren’t totally comfortable in having Thabeet as the only backup center (if you don’t count Nick Collison) and that’s why they brought Orton back.
Orton looked pretty good in the preseason in the little time he played. He is a very talented player, from the Oklahoma City area and a big body with potential to become Kendrick Perkins’ replacement down the road.
Thabeet is still very raw even n comparison to Orton. With the Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Dwight Howard this summer, having more depth at the center position is a good idea.
The Thunder roster will remain at 14 as they do not plan to add a 15th player as of right now. Orton and DeAndre Liggins are right now the most likely players to not make the top 12, and possibly even Jeremy Lamb or Reggie Jackson.