The OKC Thunder have a massive roster crunch to take care of during their 2023 preseason, needing to make at least five cuts before the start of the 2023-24 NBA regular season will be no easy task. After acquiring Garuba from the Atlanta Hawks in the second salary dump trade the young big man was a part of last month, many cast him as a roster casualty without a second thought.
Then, his fellow former Rocket, TyTy Washington, played in NBA Summer League with the OKC Thunder. At the same time, Garuba missed the event, which led to some unnecessary speculation about what the difference between the two could mean. Ultimately, while it was cool to see Washington play, it does not separate the two at all. In fact, Usman Garuba’s recent comment to an international newspaper has OKC Thunder speculating the other way.
OKC Thunder big man Usman Garuba gives revealing quotes about his future with the team.
While many wonder who the five players Sam Presti will cut before the start of the Regular Season are, Usman Garuba said he has spoken with both Presti and head coach Mark Daigneault, and they confirmed “everything was fine” while adding, “They have told me that they trust me a lot, and do not think I was in the right situation in Houston. I agree with them.”
Usman Garuba also said, “The Thunder are a team whose style of play can come in handy for me. From the times I have played against them, I think I can benefit a lot from that system…the coach is counting on me, although, obviously, anything can happen. We will see how training camp goes, but I am really glad I am with the team I wanted to be drafted.”
While I would encourage OKC Thunder fans to not run with these quotes, as they do not mean anything yet, parts of them are interesting. Garuba will obviously still need a strong training camp, and preseason, to earn his spot with the Thunder. However, adding another player to the list of prospects that openly admit they wanted to be drafted by this organization shows how strong the culture is in Oklahoma City.