By now most of the basketball world and all of the die-hard Oklahoma City Thunder fans will be aware of the situation regarding the Thunder and their first round draft pick (29th overall) Josh Huestis. It has become clear that OKC entered into a deal with Huestis to draft him in the first round, but sign him to their D-League team rather than the NBA team.
If not – here it is in a nutshell. Both player and franchise decided that it would be best to sign Huestis rather than having him go undrafted. With the new rules allowing Huestis to be signed to the OKC thunder affiliate Tulsa 66ers, it seemed like a terrific idea. It saves the Thunder money this year, allows Huestis time to develop, improve and learn the OKC system.
More importantly though, it leaves the Thunder with a little more financial flexibility and enough roster spots to not have to release anyone (likely to be Hasheem Thabeet). So, to go to such lengths to max out their roster and plan for the future, it seems like the Thunder are likely to be done making moves this off-season.
Or are they.
Free Agency has never been a popular time for the Oklahoma City Thunder. They cannot really afford to get into bidding wars with other teams, so they prefer to stand pat and just make minor tweaks which is what they have done here. The signing of Sebastian Telfair and Anthony Morrow – hardly ground breaking news, but they both fill needs identified by the franchise. They swung for the fences and missed with Pau Gasol and will now likely sit back and watch the rest of the free agency and off-season play out.
Reggie Jackson appears to be the only move that the Thunder may need to make. As we have seen in years past, if OKC are unable to come to terms with contract extensions in a timely manner, then they make their move when they see fit. Reggie Jackson will be looking for a bigger contract and his play deserves one – but how the two parties can make it all work is the key question. Can OKC find the necessary cash considering the crazy free agency price scale this off-season? Can they convince Reggie that starting isn’t essential but playing meaningful minutes on a contender is?
Sam Presti is always thinking ahead – and the Josh Huestis situation just further proves this point. While we all may think this means the end of the merry go round for OKC and that the lineup they have now will be the one they take into the season, we can never be sure.
The best part though, is that the Thunder seem to be making the right moves, and as OKC fans we can all be happy about that.
Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder