Rudy Gay waived by the OKC Thunder, but roster crunch still alive

Rudy Gay #22 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Rudy Gay #22 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder have a loaded roster, as they always do around this time, filling the roster up to the maximum 21 players allowed (up from 20 with the new CBA this season). The Thunder entered the Summer with top five in the league cap space and used it creatively. Sam Presti elected to take on bad contracts to improve their draft assets. Trading up from 12 to pick 10 and getting paid a boatload of second-round picks to take on unwanted players from other teams.

While many wonder how this OKC Thunder roster will be chopped down to 15 standard contracts, the pathway is more straightforward than many realize. The vast majority of overflow players are ones that Presti was paid to acquire. So does moving on for them months after the rest of the league elected to do so really matter? This saga will certainly linger into Training Camp, with the cut-down date set for the day before the season opener. Though, tonight we were offered a tiny bit of clarity.

The OKC Thunder have waived Rudy Gay, though it does not go as far toward helping the roster crunch as you might think.

The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Rudy Gay as part of a bigger trade with the Atlanta Hawks, who sent the Thunder TyTy Washington, Usman Garuba, and Rudy Gay, along with draft compensation. Despite the fun Enes Kanter nameplate memes, we all knew Rudy Gay was not long for Bricktown.

The OKC Thunder waiving Rudy Gay was expected and actually does not alleviate the roster crunch all that much. Now, the Oklahoma City Thunder will officially announce the reported signing of Jack White soon. If you include two-way contracted player Keyontae Johnson, the Thunder have the maximum amount of 21 players on their roster.

However, in order to be in roster compliance for the 2023-24 season, the Thunder only need to move on from five standard contracts after waiving Rudy Gay.

Next. OKC Thunder ink Mark Daigneault to an extension. dark