The OKC Thunder are not done making moves this offseason. They have decided to decline Deonte Burton’s team option.
The OKC Thunder have been busy during the period after the trade moratorium was lifted. They have made two huge trades. Firstly Chris Paul and Abdel Nader going to the Phoenix Suns. Secondly, Dennis Schroder is going to the Los Angeles Lakers. This trade will not be official until after the draft.
The Thunder are not finished making moves by any stretch of the imagination. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the OKC Thunder are not picking up Deonte Burton‘s team option. This will come as no surprise to anyone who follows the team.
Burton regressed last year in his shooting efficiency and had slight rises in his raw numbers. For a 26-year-old in their second year, this is not good enough, and TI believed that the Thunder should not have exercised his team option. The Thunder are starting a rebuild and will need this roster spot for a player they want to try out.
There were many reasons the OKC Thunder are right in this call.
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Apart from the aforementioned lack of production, Burton had an incident in the locker room with Sixth Man of the Year candidate Dennis Schroder. The Thunder gave Burton a suspension for one game and sent him back to the G-League.
Burton did respond professionally to his relegation and played with the OKC Blue for a couple of games before being recalled to the varsity squad. However, he did not receive many minutes unless the Thunder were into junk time.
While he did have some highlights, such as his defense on LeBron James, but they were too far between to have his realistically expecting for his option to be exercised. According to Haynes, the OKC Thunder have not ruled out the possibility of Burton returning.
As of now, he is a free agent and as he is 26 with no discernable growth in his game it would surprise me if he was signed to a full deal. The Thunder might have so many new young faces next year that signing Burton to a two-way deal may be appealing.
However, with the discipline problem from this year, the Thunder should just let him walk. What this does bring up is what is the next move the Presti is about to make. It appears that he is making space on the roster for potentially another trade