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Why Aaron Wiggins is the Answer to the Thunder's Open Roster Spot

With an open roster spot, Aaron Wiggins has made a case to fill it.

As the Gabriel Deck saga came to an uneventful end, and Miye Oni awaits his jersey placement in the rafters of the Paycom Center alongside the likes of Danny Green and Kelly Oubre, the Thunder and GM Sam Presti have a decision to make.

The Thunder currently sit with an open spot on the 15-man roster with a clear choice as to who should fill it.

With the 55th pick in the 2021 draft the Thunder took University of Maryland wing Aaron Wiggins — and (roughly) halfway through his rookie year it’s clear he’d go much higher if the other 29 teams got a second chance.

Wiggins failed to feature in the Thunder’s first 11 games — only making the bench in two. Since then he has featured in 20 of 27 and seemingly leapfrogged Darius Bazely in the rotation’s pecking order.

Wiggins has started 10 of the last 11 for the Thunder — averaging 11 points and 4.4 rebounds over that span.

During his run as a starter, Wiggins ranks 10th among rookies in scoring, outscoring fellow Thunder rookies Tre Mann and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.

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Now, it’s likely this isn’t a situation that Presti rushes, as going into the trade deadline with an open spot makes him the first call for any team looking to dump salary. The most likely order of events here is the Thunder going through the trade deadline, field calls with an open spot and then if Presti is still left with an open spot he can convert Wiggins contract.

This isn’t a situation Presti and the Thunder are unfamiliar with. After going undrafted and signing a two-way deal with the Thunder Luguentz Dort had his contract during his rookie season as well. That, however, didn’t come until a month following the trade deadline.

There would be a chain reaction to the guaranteeing of Wiggins’ contract that could be intriguing to Presti. With Wiggins on a full contract that would open a spot for a new two-way contract. Presti could go outside of the organization and take a look at someone new, or he could give another call to one of the players that featured during the Thunder’s recent COVID-19 crisis like Rob Edwards or Olivier Sarr.

Presti has plenty of options — and they’re all good — but Wiggins has made a case to be at the top of that list.

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