Samardo Samuels was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday and is already drawing interest from teams around the league.
The Oklahoma City Thunder might be one of those teams in the market for another big man off the bench who hustles, can rebound and score some on the block.
Samuels averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game this season in 18 games for the Cavaliers. He’s in his third season in the NBA at the age of 24 averaging 5.9 points and 3.4 rebounds for his career.
The Thunder could use someone to bulk up their bench that has been struggling of late including just 13 points in their last game vs. the Washington Wizards.
Nick Collison is the only backup big man for the Thunder getting double-digit minutes recently while Hasheem Thabeet’s playing time has been on the decline.
Points on the Thunder bench primarily come from Kevin Martin then just about nowhere else. The Thunder have shaken up their rotation twice already this season to try and help with that by playing Kevin Durant with the second unit more and going to Reggie Jackson as the backup point guard instead of Eric Maynor.
The Thunder could still use some help and Samuels might be able to provide that. He’s only shot 44.5 percent from the field in his career so far but the looks he could get with the Thunder might help that number rise.
Samuels isn’t known for defense however which is something that might make it so the Thunder don’t look his way.
The Thunder have also been sending players in and out of the D-League all year. DeAndre Liggins, Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones III and Daniel Orton have been playing a lot with the Tulsa 66ers lately. Either of them still has a chance to eventually crack the Thunder rotation although that doesn’t seem to be the case as of right now.
Samuels had a non-guaranteed contract with the Cavaliers this season and needed to be with the team for four more days for the contract to become guaranteed.