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.
Bleacher Report writer Zach Buckley decided to scour through the league’s contracts and categorize the best and worst deals on all 30 NBA teams, totaling 60 mentioned players.
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.
Best contract: Kenrich Williams
- 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.”
Worst contract: Lu Dort
- 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.”