Former OKC Thunder wingman Alex Abrines is rumored to be returning to Spain

Álex Abrines, OKC Thunder (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
Álex Abrines, OKC Thunder (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With the caution of take this with a grain of salt, rumors are swirling former OKC Thunder wingman Alex Abrines is returning home to play on his former Barcelona team.

The sudden departure of Alex Abines earlier this season had OKC Thunder scratching their heads wondering what was up. This wasn’t a typical situation where a player was traded or put on the injured reserve list. So, what exactly was up?

Speculation ran rampant with guesses ranging from either the Spaniard being sick or someone in his family. Others are claiming Abrines simply found transitioning into the National Basketball League troublesome. The latter choice seems odd given this wasn’t his first season in the NBA. Perhaps his wife found it difficult though, which might make more sense.

Still, the ever tight lipped organization hasn’t been quick to clarify. Rather, the only comments made centered on how AlexAbrines stayed close with the organization which was backed up by his presence at games both in the regular season and postseason play.

Recent news points to speculation the forward could be headed back to play internationally as per Sportando:

"According to a report from L’Esportiu Catalunya, Barcelona is willing to bring back Alex Abrines. The Spanish swingman was waived by the Thunder back in February after some personal issues. Barcelona wants to refresh their backcourt, as they’re already targeting also CSKA’s Cory Higgins."

This assertion isn’t out in left field however, because Abrines played four years (2012-2016) with the Barcelona team including after being drafted by the OKC Thunder in 2013. His progress on Barcelona culminated in 2016 with just under 10 points per game (9.9) and close to two perimeter shots (1.9).

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In Abrines last full season with the OKC Thunder, he appeared in 75 games notching 4.7 points per game and his perimeter shooting (38.0 percent) was above league average. He got up 2.9 attempts connecting on 1.1 of them.

This season though, the Spaniard regressed, specifically in his specialty shooting a career-low 32.3 percent from the perimeter. And the negligible increase in his scoring despite playing an additional four minutes was concerning.

The thinking (and maybe incorrectly) was Abrines would deal with whatever ailed him off the court and would potentially return at a discount to pick up where he left off prior to his exit.

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I’m still not willing to bet that isn’t the case, but again, given the information clamp by Sam Presti on inside business, we’ll have to be in a ‘wait and see’ mode until further details are forthcoming.