The OKC Thunder have two open two-way spots after inking Keyontae Johnson and could use the Vegas Summer League as a chance to audition multiple players for these slots.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have a strong history of maximizing their two-way slots, given their strong G-League program and willingness to explore their roster and find diamonds in the rough. On this current roster alone, staple rotational players Lu Dort and Aaron Wiggins started their careers on two-way pacts in Bricktown before being converted to standard NBA deals. With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NBA and NBA Player Association agreed to expand the league’s two-way slots from two to three.
So far, the OKC Thunder have only agreed to terms with the 50th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Keyontae Johnson, on a two-way contract. That leaves them two open slots and main potential suitors lining this Summer League roster.
I call this lineup from G-League head coach Kameron Woods, ‘Okay boys, battle it out!” featuring Jared Butler, Jaden Shackelford, Hunter Maldonado, Caleb McConnell, and KJ Williams.
Jared Butler and Jaden Shackelford each played for Kam Woods with the OKC Blue a year ago, with Butler being signed to a two-way deal mid-way through the 2022-23 season. Caleb McConnell is an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers that impressed the Thunder during their pre-draft workout and holds the juice to become one of those hidden gems for Oklahoma City.
Hunter Maldonado is a six-year senior out of Wyoming who also worked out with the OKC Thunder in the weeks leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft. Maldonado earned a little run for the Bricktown boys in Salt Lake City, where he looked comfortable on the floor in this environment.
KJ Williams is an interesting modern-day big man out of LSU who can impact the game as a rim-roller and wall up at the rim on the defensive end. The most likely options for the final two-way group of this bunch are McConnell and Butler. Though these lineups, which we will see in the back half of Summer League as returning players shut it down, might go a long way in deciding how that end of the roster fills out.