Grading OKC Thunder guards Vit Krejci, Theo Maledon, and Lindy Waters III

Lindy Waters III #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder plays the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on March 02, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Lindy Waters III #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder plays the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on March 02, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Lindy Waters III #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder shoots over Jordan Clarkson #00 of the Utah Jazz during the second half of a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 06, 2022, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder might be able to keep their streak alive next season with Lindy Waters III

Lindy Waters III is a fantastic story and was a bright spot in a dark season. You all know by now but as a refresher, Waters III is 24-years-old and played his high school ball with Trae Young before going to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma where he was a sharpshooting standout. Waters III then went undrafted and did not get an NBA shot, so he played semi-pro basketball in Edmond, Oklahoma, and eventually tried out for the OKC Blue the Thunder’s NBA G-League affiliate. He made the team, impressed head coach Grant Gibbs, Mark Daigneault, and Sam Presti, and earned a spot on the varsity squad via a two-way contract.

However, this was not an ordinary two-way deal that allows players to play both in the G-League and the NBA bouncing back and forth and are not on a traditional NBA deal. The Thunder inked Waters III to a two-year two-way contract. Why does that matter? Unlike most teams, Presti takes the two NBA allotted two-way slots seriously and sees value in cycling players through them in an attempt to find a diamond in the rough. They are on quite a run of converting two-way players to real NBA deals from Deonte Burton, to Lu Dort, then Moses Brown, and Aaron Wiggins this past season. To tie up one of the two-way slots before seeing the undrafted free agent class from the 2022 NBA Draft shows extreme confidence in Waters III that he could become the next in line to be converted.

Related Story. Lindy Waters III earns a two-way pact from OKC Thunder. light

The Oklahoma State product has a long way to go on the defensive end, however, his shooting and playmaking provide reasons to believe in his NBA future despite the strange path it took to get here.

Last season, Waters III averaged eight points per game, three rebounds, and an assist per contest in 25-games and one start on 40-percent shooting from the floor, 36-percent from deep, and 80-percnet at the line.

On non-corner three-pointers, Lindy Waters III turned in 39-percent shooting, a number that surprising dips to 31-percent in the corners. However, the nearly 25-year-old wing proved to be a three-level scorer shooting 36-percent from three, 57-percent from the mid-range (which ranks in the 99th percentile), and 73-percent at the rim (which ranks in the 85th percentile).

Waters III will get to participate in the NBA Summer League as the Thunder get set to play in Salt Lake City and Vegas this summer, along with a full training camp and his second NBA season. There are reasons to believe with his frame he can play passable defensive thanks to his spectacular offensive end with his scoring allowing him to be a better playmaker. I would not be shocked to see Waters III be converted to a standard NBA deal at some point this season.

Grade: A

Grading the 2021-22 OKC Thunder veterans. dark. Next