The Oklahoma City Thunder roster shuffle is not over yet, despite the season inching closer to its conclusion, the Thunder have waived Darius Miller a sharpshooter that came to OKC via the Steven Adams trade. Miller played well in limited minutes in his first season back from an Achilles injury. Beyond his spot minutes throughout this season, he has by all accounts been a fantastic leader and teammate.
Ty Jerome, the second-year guard by way of the Chris Paul Trade, praised Miller saying he is the best teammate Jerome has ever played with. Mark Daigneault, Thunder’s first-year head coach, added that Darius Miller did a great job showing the young Thunder players how to handle a “return to play” plan after an injury like that. Valuable experience for young players who will inevitably deal with injuries, and already have this season. Darius Bazley made his second half of the season debut on Saturday, was “itching to play” with his shoulder injury. As a young player with so much to prove, how could you not be? Mark Daigneault has described Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as a basketball addict, do you think it is easy for the 22-year-old budding superstar to be sidelined? Darius Miller’s example can teach them while being shelved is painful, it will be worth it, in the long run, to fully recover.
The Thunder have inked Gabriel Deck to a four-year deal, worth 14.5 million dollars which breaks down to a shade over three million a year. Years two through four are non-guaranteed, allowing the Thunder to get out of this deal at any time, as reported by Andrew Schlecht of the Down to Dunk Podcast.
There is speculation from International Sources that Deck will make his debut against the Washington Wizards on April 23rd.
Who is Gabriel Deck? A 26-year-old who played at the highest level of euro-basketball, but went undrafted at the NBA level. Deck, nicknamed turtle, by all accounts is a defensive, scrappy player with a streaky three-point shot.
The construction of the contract sets up two things. First, the Thunder meets the Salary Floor. Second, the team has yet another piece to explore. At the end of the day, Darius Miller did not have a shot to compete for a future spot on this team, Deck does. Thus, this spot is automatically more valuable with Deck filling it than Miller.