Donte Grantham fails to seize opportunity as OKC Thunder waive the forward

Donte Grantham, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Donte Grantham, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder General Manager, Sam Presti announced the team has waived  Donte Grantham after the forward failed to impress in Vegas.

With news the OKC Thunder have waived Donte Grantham it is the perfect example of a player failing to seize an opportunity. In this situation, the door wasn’t just ajar it was wide open for Grantham to make an impression.

Given the reformulation of the team and a commitment to reposition and replenish to pull the Thunder into their next era the roster spot was there for the taking.

Unfortunately, Grantham didn’t step up and the result is the team released him in order to add someone who will recognize opportunity is knocking and crash through that door.

Last season Grantham was earmarked as a potential youngster who the team felt could step into a reserve role this coming season. That situation got a bump when Jerami Grant was traded plus the uncertainty of how long Patrick Patterson would remain with the team.

More from Thunderous Intentions

Grantham played just three times with the varsity squad last season in limited minutes with zero’s littering his box score. Versus Memphis, he played 1:34, nine seconds versus the Clippers and 0:42 seconds against the Jazz. Not nearly enough time to make an impression.

Rather, Granthams’s main contributions came in the G-League playing in 34 games for the OKC Blue. His per game averages featured 26.5 minutes of play with the Blue and offer more insight into what the brain trust was hoping the forward could expand upon and eventually bring to the varsity squad. Those stats featured 10.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.1 steals.

Most impressive was his efficiency both from the perimeter (37.2 percent on 5.4 attempts) and the charity stripe (80.4 percent on 1.4 attempts).  That’s what makes Grantham’s release a little confusing as it’s not like the Thunder are teeming with players who shot from deep or from the free throw line with any prowess.

Per Game Table

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/28/2019.

That said, Grantham failed to deliver in Vegas at the Summer League where a player with his experience should’ve feasted on the competition. OKC played him in all five contests presumably giving him every opportunity to create a reason for the varsity team to sign him to a roster spot or retain him on a two-way contract. Instead, Sam Presti announced the Thunder are releasing him and waiving his contract.

Instead, he faltered particularly from deep where he shot an anemic 25.0 percent on 5 for 20 attempts and wasn’t much better from the field (34.3 percent). Overall he averaged 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and a steal in 22.2 minutes on average in those five contests.

Where Grantham may have witnessed his opportunity slip was most of his minutes in Vegas came against bench units in four of the five games yet he only broke double digits (11) in one outing.

Next. Vegas observations: Which Thunder players stood out in Summer League?. dark

Perhaps the Thunder should’ve given Grantham another opportunity to remind them of his shooting potential, however, it’s also equally likely his inability to produce versus bench units in Vegas sealed his fate.