As expected, Ryan Gomes’ one-year contract that he has signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder is not fully guaranteed.
This means that Gomes will essentially be a training camp invite for the Thunder and fighting for one of the last roster spots on the team.
Gomes will join DeAndre Liggins, Daniel Orton and Hasheem Thabeet as Thunder players without next year’s salary guaranteed. One of these players will not be with the Thunder next season.
Gomes is the most experienced of the four. He has a versatile skill set and is able to play both forward positions. There really isn’t another player on the Thunder roster that does what he does as a stretch four so finding a spot for him and reason to keep him should be easy.
Liggins earned a lot of playing time last season with the key word being “earned.” Scott Brooks loves him and who wouldn’t as Liggins is a guy that hustles as much as anyone and looks to be developing into a decent outside shooter, too. With Kevin Martin gone, there is a chance that Liggins will be a bigger part of the rotation next year, especially if Brooks isn’t ready to play Jeremy Lamb a whole lot just yet.
Thabeet had the best season of his career last year in OKC. He was the backup center for the Thunder and there is nothing to show that he has lost that spot for next season. The Thunder drafted Steven Adams, who could become a starting center down the road for the team but he is likely not ready to get run over even Thabeet by the start of next season.
This leaves Orton. Orton shows off his talent when he gets chances too, but those have been few and far between. The collective thought is that Orton will be the odd man out by the start of next season. The Thunder don’t need three centers on the roster with the movement toward small ball becoming more common every season.
This is why Gomes makes sense and could become a big part of the rotation next season. Brooks might like him playing ahead of Perry Jones and he could potentially be Kevin Durant’s backup for a lot of next season.