With clarification Devon Hall is an Orlando substitute will the OKC Thunder make another move before deadline?
Earlier this week Erik Horne of the Athletic reported the OKC Thunder had signed Devon Hall to a two-way contract. Since the Thunder had inked Luguentz Dort to a standardized varsity contract that left an opening on the team for a second two-way player.
However, in a press release sent out by the organization late Saturday the team clarified Hall did not replace Dort via a two-way contract. Rather, the team advised the guard the team drafted 53rd in 2018 will be on hand as a substitute for the period the Thunder is in Orlando in the Disney bubble.
Hall played in five games with the Thunder this season. His brief appearances were tied to games where the team was either way ahead or way behind. In those outings, the point guard averaged one point and 0.6 assists in four minutes.
The youngster has been in the Thunder system initially developing in Australia and this season in the G-League with the OKC Blue. To wit, he appeared in 30 games with the Blue averaging 15.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.
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The interesting takeaway from this news is why the team waited this long to provide clarification. There are two prevailing thoughts here. First, perhaps the team doesn’t feel it’s necessary to offer this type of contract to Hall especially since he already held one at season start before OKC ended it to sign Kevin Hervey.
The other option is Sam Presti is if a player opts out then the team can still sign another player in a substitute role. Certainly, the club could use additional depth up front and shooting will always be a desired asset.
A current OKC Blue player who possesses excellent shooting efficiency is DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell. The shooting guard is drawing lots of attention from the media investigating available talents that teams can sign heading to Orlando.
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The Illinois State product excelled in his time with the Blue registering 17.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and two assists in 41 games playing an average of 26.9 minutes.
The Thunder arguably has the greatest depth at guard but Akoon-Purcell is an excellent shooter familiar with the team’s style and strategies. Specifically, the guard shoots 49.3 percent from the field, 39.4 percent from the perimeter (on 5.0 attempts per game), and 77.8 percent from the stripe.
Of note, while Akoon-Purcell has excelled it has primarily been as a reserve. That’s not to say the Blue didn’t utilize his services at key times in the match but it does cause pause. Then again, some teams elect to put their G-League players in the position the team would want them playing if they joined the varsity squad.
Ultimately, finances may have played a factor and dictated why Presti elected not to sign Hall to a two-way deal.
With a tight window to sign players that will close on June 30th, it leaves little time to make a decision. Presti has kept the option open for an Andre Roberson return which could also play a factor.
No doubt the team will want to get a good look at him in the next few days to decide if he’s ready to go. It could come down to the team and Roberson discussing if he’s ready and if not perhaps he’ll opt out prior to the deadline and the Thunder could sign someone in his place. Or if Roberson is ready to play even in a reduced role — then stick with who they have on the roster.