The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the midst of their offseason, and while many expect this to be a sleepy summer in Bricktown, there are still decisions to be made. One of those decisions is on Lindy Waters III‘s 1.9 million dollar team option.
The Oklahoma State product has an interesting path to the NBA, from Norman North High School playing with the likes of Trae Young to Oklahoma State eventually going undrafted, to playing semi-pro basketball before earning a G-League workout and a spot on the Blue. After time on the OKC Blue roster, Waters III was granted a two-way contract during the 2021-22 NBA season. Entering the 2022-23 campaign, Waters III remained on such a pact.
The OKC Thunder decline Lindy Waters III’s 1.9 million dollar team option, helping the roster crunch.
Mid-way through this past season, the OKC Thunder converted Waters III to a standard NBA contract. What appeared to be a sweetheart deal for Waters III, much like the one Oklahoma City gave to Eugene Omoruyi before cutting him days later and sending him out the door with a pay increase, Waters III actually lasted the entire season in OKC. Not only that, but he played minutes in the NBA play-in tournament.
With Lindy Waters III lasting the remainder of the season and knowing that the Thunder genuinely like the OSU product, it made today’s contract decision interesting for OKC. The Thunder are facing a roster crunch with already 16 players on standard deals; someone has to go.
Ultimately, Oklahoma City Thunder General Manager elected to decline Lindy Waters III’s team option making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Thunder believe in Waters III, who by all accounts is having a good summer, and he should have potential suitors on the open market.
This allows the Thunder to take the immediate pressure off the roster crunch and Waters III to comfortably land on his feet entering the 2023-24 training camp. Everyone around Oklahoma City is rooting for Lindy Waters III at his next stop. My personal favorite story involving the former Cowboy was when he explained to me why he ditched his headband.