Thunder News: New signings, Shai MVP voting leader, trade deadline, West battles

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
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New Signings

The Thunder didn't stop working at the Trade Deadline either, but worked to fill their two open roster spots quickly. They converted the contract of two-way guard Lindy Waters II to a full deal, making him eligible to play the rest of the season and be available in the playoffs. Waters has appeared in 22 games and is averaging 14.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per 36 minutes while hitting 43.8 percent of his 3-pointers.

Many Thunder fans and national media members were excoriating the Thunder for not adding a big man at the deadline, but whether Sam Presti knew the future or simply trusted the process, the Thunder have their backup big and didn't need to sacrifice any draft capital or young players to find him.

NBA veteran Bismack Biyombo signed a contract for the rest of the season at the veteran's minimum. The 31 year old was drafted seventh overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, and while he never quite delivered on the promise of his draft slot he has carved out a long career.

His biggest claim to fame is likely snagging one of those gigantic contracts in the summer of 2016, but what likely landed him that large contract was a 26-rebound game in the playoffs for Toronto in 2016. No one has matched that mark since, and the last time someone had more was in 1977 when Dave Cowens pulled down 27 for the Boston Celtics.

Neither Biyombo nor Hayward are expected to make their debuts until after the All-Star Break as they gear up for game shape and learn the Thunder system.