From an outsider’s point of view, the Oklahoma City Thunder are a franchise usually talked over in the potential tense. With the Thunder owning a report-setting total of draft cash and an ongoing rebuild for two seasons, the current tense has been jaded. However, this offseason will pose some pivotal propositions for Thunder GM Sam Presti, and it begins at the negotiation desk.
The Thunder might training up to 5 crew solutions primary into subsequent season’s schooling camp. But their largest in-home selection surfaces from 23-calendar year-outdated guard Lu Dort.
As a member of the 2019 NBA Draft course, Dort will make $1.9 million in the 2022-23 time before getting an unrestricted free of charge agent. Nonetheless, Presti now wields the option to lock down Dort extensive-phrase subsequent his two-way deal update in June 2020.
Dort’s ascension among Bricktown ranks has been very little brief of distinctive. Soon after failing to hear his name in the 2019 NBA Draft, the previous Arizona State Solar Satan inked a two-way agreement with the Oklahoma Metropolis Blue. He starred with the Blue averaging 19.5 details, headlined by a 35-place outing, to open up the doorway to the huge stage. He knocked his NBA stint out of the park, netting a contract conversion. By the conclusion of the 2019-20 period – he was a person rejection away from propelling the Thunder to the second round. Since this position, Dort has ongoing to elevate, enhancing to a capable three-issue shooter even though becoming a person of the premier defenders the league has to supply.
Lu Dort and Sam Presti addressed possible extension talks in their respective exit interviews past thirty day period. By the appears of it, the matter is expected to be talked over. In Dort’s camp, he pointed out that he’ll have his agent look around opportunity deals. For Presti, he mentioned the guard’s current offer and the opportunity agreement landscape going forward.
“We’ll surely have a discussion on that [Lu’s contract extension,] said Presti. “I never know when that will — these conversations will genuinely sort of select up, but we will have some various solutions. I really don’t want to get into all of them, but the most essential thing in those cases is trying to comprehend like exactly where every person is coming from and you will need to operate with each other.”
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In the course of Presti’s two-hour, 13-moment job interview, he outlined on several occasions that the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Settlement could be altered in 2023, main to an alteration in the income cap relocating forward. In essence, he manufactured it very clear there is some league-extensive income uncertainty moving forward.
After a third-year campaign that noticed Dort common 17.2 factors, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 helps throughout 51 online games, the 6-foot-3 guard has made himself a warm commodity in Bricktown. Based on his present-day engage in, Dort’s price tag really should be in the ballpark variety of $16 million to $20 million for every 12 months for a multi-calendar year extension. Even though, Dort’s company, Wasserman, will maintain more leverage throughout the yr as his unrestricted status can make him a scorching commodity in the open industry.
Even though it may be a no-brainer for Dort to sign an extension as soon as attainable, Presti’s opinions on the 2023 offseason maintain the plan of him holding off from signing a offer prior to education camp. Even though this tactic has gone awry, notably in the investing of James Harden in 2012, the dynamics are a lot distinctive. The Thunder are seeking to rebuild with a mere $54.4 million projected income for the 2023-24 time. When you aspect this with upcoming season’s salary cap slated at $122 million – there’s a great deal of foodstuff on Presti’s plate.
Dort is a single of 4 customers from the 2019 NBA Draft class the Thunder will make a choice on in the next months.
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