As the Thunder goes forward to build their roster for the 2020-2021 season, here are some key dates to keep an eye on.
October 15th: Deonte Bruton's $1.6 Million contract becomes guaranteed for $1.1 million if the Thunder choose to exercise his option. According to ESPN, if Burton is on the roster by November 18th, then his full salary becomes guaranteed.
In two seasons with Oklahoma City, Burton has appeared in 72 games playing just over eight minutes a contest. Burton can guard multiple positions; his 6'4 frame says he's a guard, but he plays more like a power forward.
At 1.6 million, he's cheap enough to keep around another year while Sam Presti and Billy Donovan look to define his role.
October 17th: Abel Nader will be eligible for an extension. However, like Burton, Nader's full $1.75 million in salary won't be guaranteed unless he is on the roster past November 18th. Nader has seen his minutes increase every year since coming into the NBA, and when Darius Bazley sat out of 11 games in February with a right knee bone bruise, Nader picked up the slack, taking Bazley's 17 minutes per game.
Depending on what happens with Danilo Gallinari, Nader could see his minutes go up, even more, this season, provided that Basley gets to start at the four.
Hamidou Diallo also has an October 17th deadline to have his option exercised. If the Thunder chose to go that route, Diallo would have all $1.66 million guaranteed once the pen is put to paper.
It's hard to imagine the Thunder not keeping Diallo after the promise he showed during the restart. Diallo's shining moment came against the Clippers when he played 40 minutes, scoring 27 points in a 107-103 loss.
After the loss, Donovan said, "I think Hammi [Diallo] had a lot to do with us playing faster and attacking and getting to the paint."..."He could have had much, much bigger scoring night; he missed a lot of plays around the rim that were right there, just didn't fall for him." .."But, he played with a lot of energy and was very very explosive."
Mike Muscala will also likely return to Oklahoma City. Muscala has a player option for $2.28 million that must be picked up by October 17th. If Muscala were to hit the free-agent market, he could lose up to $100,000 if he signs with another team.
Nerlens Noel is a free agent and could like for a starting role; there is also the matter of Presti deciding to keep or trade Steven Adams. With his 37 percent shooting percentage from beyond the arc, at 2.28 million, that's a bargain for a starting center if things were to work out that way.
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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.