The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the middle of a rebuild, which means their payroll is filled with rookie-scale deals.
The youngest team in the league comes with that financial benefit. However, there are a few non-rookie deals on the books, and a few pending in the near future.
Of course, this entire exercise is relative to the current financial landscape of the league. With a new CBA agreement and future TV rights likely significantly increasing the cap in the near future, a lot of these deals could soon look like bargains.
Let’s take a look at which two Thunder players were deemed the best-value and worst-value signings on their current payroll.
- Contract: five years, $29.2 million
“If you’re looking at a list of the league’s best contracts, and it doesn’t have a mention of Williams, it’s probably time to find a new list.
He’s the kind of role player every modern team needs. He’s a shape-shifter on defense and a low-maintenance, capable contributor on offense. He doesn’t take a ton of shots, but he is cashing better than 53 percent of his field goals and 43 percent of his threes for the second time in the last three seasons.”
- Contract: five years, $82.5 million
“I considered going with a “no bad deals detected” cop-out. Only three players have eight-figure average annual salaries. One is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is 24 years old and authoring an MVP-caliber campaign. One is Chet Holmgren, who isn’t eligible for this exercise and is merely a matter of months removed from being the No. 2 pick.
If you haven’t sleuthed this out yet, Dort is the other, so he gets singled out by default. His wages feel a bit rich for a defensive specialist, but he keeps dropping hints that he’s more than a suffocating stopper. His 41.2 field-goal percentage and 35.3 three-point percentage are both career-highs, and his 110 offensive rating easily beats his previous best.”