Thunder Rumors

NBA Teams With Open Roster Spots

When the Kings sign Troy Williams to a two-way contract after he clears waivers today, as is expected, they’ll become the 16th NBA team to fill all 17 of their available roster spots, with 15 players on standard contracts and two more on two-way pacts.

Still, that will leave nearly half of the league’s teams that will still have at least one opening on their rosters, either on the standard 15-man squad or in their two-way slots.

For many clubs, that decision is primarily financially motivated. Teams like the Warriors, Rockets, Thunder, Raptors, and Wizards all project to have pricey luxury tax bills at season’s end, so there’s no need for them to push those projected penalties higher by carrying an extra player they won’t use.

Other teams may simply prefer to preserve some roster flexibility rather than carrying a full 15-man squad. The Lakers, for instance, aren’t close to the tax line, but have an open roster spot for now. That could allow the team to make a trade or signing later to fortify its roster without costing anyone a job.

Listed below, with the help of our roster counts breakdown, are the teams that aren’t carrying full rosters.

Teams with an open 15-man roster spot:

  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Houston Rockets
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Miami Heat
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Washington Wizards
    • Note: The Wizards have two open roster spots and will need to fill one of them by October 30.

Teams with an open two-way slot:

  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Portland Trail Blazers
    • Note: The Blazers have two open two-way slots.
  • San Antonio Spurs

Dennis Schroder Proves Worth In Strong Season-Opener

George: I Would’ve Been A Laker If Not For Trade To OKC

When Paul George was on the trade market in the summer of 2017, chatter around the NBA strongly suggested that the Lakers were his preferred landing spot. In a conversation with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, George confirmed as much, admitting that he almost certainly would’ve ended up with the Lakers if the Pacers hadn’t traded him to Oklahoma City.

While George’s desire to return to his hometown certainly didn’t disappear once he joined the Thunder, he eventually fell in love with his new team and new city, resulting in the Los Angeles native deciding to sign a long-term deal with OKC this past summer instead of leaving for L.A.

“It was 50-50 on deciding whether I wanted to come back home or if it was smarter to be in the situation I am in now,” George told Spears. “But it wasn’t overstated. I wanted to play in L.A. That is where I wanted to go. Had that trade never went down, had I played one more year in Indy, I would have been in a Lakers uniform.”

Before Indiana shipped George to OKC in 2017, the Lakers were believed to be involved in trade discussions with the Pacers, and would have had a strong chance to acquire the forward if they’d been willing to part with Brandon Ingram or 2017’s second overall pick (which became Lonzo Ball), per Spears. A source tells ESPN that George was disappointed that the Lakers didn’t value him enough to pull the trigger on a deal at the time.

Interestingly, Spears also reports that when George was still a Pacer, he discussed his potential future plans with LeBron James. However, George and James didn’t have any similar conversations after George was sent to the Thunder.

Having declined to even meet with the Lakers this past summer, George won’t be joining his hometown team anytime soon, but he feels good about his free agency decision, as he tells Spears.

“Going toward the summer and going toward free agency, I kind of had my mind made up talking with the team, talking with [Russell Westbrook] and talking with the front office,” George said. “I kind of felt good where we were at. Last [season], I didn’t get a chance to start with this team fresh. I got traded late. So, I picked up things late with the team. I wanted to get to it right away this time and start creating early.”

2018/19 Over/Unders: Northwest Division

The 2018/19 NBA regular season gets underway tonight, which means it’s time to get serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from Bovada and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, to have you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

Having already looked at the other five divisions, we’re moving onto the Northwest today…

Utah Jazz

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Jazz poll)

Oklahoma City Thunder

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Thunder poll)

Denver Nuggets

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Nuggets poll)

Portland Trail Blazers

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Trail Blazers poll)

Minnesota Timberwolves

(Trade Rumors app users, click here for Timberwolves poll)

Previous voting results:


  • Boston Celtics (59.5 wins): Over (53.63%)
  • Toronto Raptors (55.5 wins): Over (56.95%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (54.5 wins): Under (51.19%)
  • Brooklyn Nets (31.5 wins): Under (56.04%)
  • New York Knicks (28.5 wins): Under (54.13%)


  • Houston Rockets (56.5 wins): Over (69.33%)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (45.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • San Antonio Spurs (44.5 wins): Under (60%)
  • Dallas Mavericks (34.5 wins): Over (55.16%)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (34.5 wins): Under (60.87%)


  • Indiana Pacers (47.5 wins): Over (62.04%)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (47.5 wins): Over (73.7%)
  • Detroit Pistons (38.5 wins): Over (56.36%)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (30.5 wins): Over (55.42%)
  • Chicago Bulls (29.5 wins): Over (61.8%)


  • Golden State Warriors (62.5 wins): Over (53.45%)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (48.5 wins): Over (55.2%)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (36.5 wins): Under (55.7%)
  • Phoenix Suns (29.5 wins): Under (53.4%)
  • Sacramento Kings (25.5 wins): Under (63.87%)


  • Washington Wizards (45.5 wins): Over (56.28%)
  • Miami Heat (43.5 wins): Under (57.42%)
  • Charlotte Hornets (35.5 wins): Over (56.73%)
  • Orlando Magic (30.5 wins): Under (68.41%)
  • Atlanta Hawks (23.5 wins): Under (58.38%

2018 Offseason In Review: Oklahoma City Thunder

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Oklahoma City Thunder.



Draft picks:

  • 2-45: Hamidou Diallo — Signed to three-year, minimum salary contract. First two years guaranteed. Third-year team option. Signed using taxpayer mid-level exception.
  • 2-53: Devon Hall — Will play overseas.
  • 2-57: Kevin Hervey — Signed to G League contract.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Andre Roberson suffered setback, expected to be out until at least December.
  • Hired Bob Beyer as assistant coach to replace Adrian Griffin.

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $145.6MM in guaranteed salaries.
  • Projected tax bill of $73.8MM.
  • $4.5MM of taxpayer mid-level exception still available ($838K used on Hamidou Diallo).

Check out the Oklahoma City Thunder’s full roster and depth chart at

Story of the summer:

The Thunder knew that trading for Paul George a year before he hit unrestricted free agency was a huge gamble. George had already expressed his desire to return to his home state of California and play in Los Angeles, which motivated Indiana to seek the best deal it could find for the All-Star forward.

What made it an even bigger risk was that George would be joining forces with Russell Westbrook. Oklahoma City had already seen a former league Most Valuable Player, Kevin Durant, ditch the franchise in part because he never completely warmed up to the headstrong All-Star point guard.

The Thunder’s brass still figured it was worth a dice roll. In order to remain competitive in the Western Conference, the Thunder needed a top-shelf forward to complement Westbrook. When the calendar approached July 1st, everyone associated with the franchise held their breath. Turns out, they had nothing to worry about.

George decided weeks before the start of free agency he wasn’t going anywhere. He didn’t even bother meeting with the Lakers before signing a four-year mega-deal with OKC that includes a player option in the final year of the pact.

As George explained shortly afterward, “Loved the situation. Loved where I was at. I decided to stick around a little longer. … I just wanted my free agency to be over with.”

Without George, the Thunder would have become over-reliant on Westbrook, as they did the season after Durant bolted, and struggled just to make the playoffs. With him, they remain one of the few teams that could threaten Golden State’s supremacy.

Read more

Thunder Waive Four Players

The Thunder have waived guards Abdul Gaddy and Scotty Hopson and forwards Donte Grantham and Dez Wells, according to a team press release.

The moves pare Oklahoma City’s training camp roster to 16 players.

Gaddy saw spot duty in four preseason games. He has mostly played overseas since going undrafted out of Washington in 2013.

Grantham, Hopson and Wells were signed earlier this week. All could wind up with the team’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, once they clear waivers.

Grantham was averaging a career-best 14.2 PPG and 6.9 RPG for Clemson last season before tearing his ACL in January.

Hopson played in Turkey last season, averaging 11.1 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 27 games with Galatasaray. He played one game with the Mavericks last year after signing a 10-day contract in February and played two games for the Cavaliers in 2013/14.

Wells played in Italy last season, averaging 11.3 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 52 games with Sidigas Avellino.

Northwest Notes: Westbrook, Schroder, Neto, Harkless

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is progressing in his rehab from knee surgery, though it’s unclear when he’ll make his return to the court, Royce Young of writes.

Westbrook underwent arthroscopic surgery in his right knee on September 12, and the former NBA Most Valuable Player is still unable to participate in full-contact drills. His status for Tuesday’s season-opener against Golden State is uncertain.

“Every day for him, he feels better and better,” coach Billy Donovan said after a team practice Thursday. “I don’t want to say [if he’ll be ready for Tuesday]. I know you guys want to know that, but that’s too far out and there will be a lot of things that will go into that decision.

“There’s certain things he’ll have to go through to get himself fully cleared to play, but he’s certainly moving in the right direction and he’s worked really hard at his rehab to get himself back.”

Despite not being able to play with full contact, Westbrook has participated in portions of team practices this month. The Thunder hope he can make his return next week, but they refuse to rush the process.

“He’s been in controlled situations that the medical staff has allowed him to do,” Donovan said. “And hopefully with the way he responds physically after going through a workout, they’ll be able to add a little bit more and more.”

There’s more notes out of the Northwest Division:

Thunder Sign Scotty Hopson, Dez Wells

The Thunder moved back to the preseason limit of 20 players today, announcing a series of signings in a press release. Veteran guard Scotty Hopson and forward Dez Wells joined the team, along with forward Donte Grantham, whose signing has been expected since late August.

Hopson played in Turkey last season, averaging 11.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 27 games with Galatasaray. He got into one game with the Mavericks last year after signing a 10-day contract in February and played two games for the Cavaliers in 2013/14.

Wells was in Italy last season, averaging 11.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per night in 52 games with Sidigas Avellino.

The Thunder created the openings this morning by waiving Bryce Alford, K.J. McDaniels and Richard Solomon , who may all wind up in the G League with Oklahoma City Blue.

Thunder Sign Donte Grantham

OCTOBER 10: The signing is official, according to Real GM.

AUGUST 26: The Thunder are signing former Clemson forward Donte Grantham to a one-year contract, reports Terms have not yet been disclosed but it’s likely a training camp deal with little to no guaranteed money.

Before tearing his ACL in January, Grantham was averaging a career-best 14.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for the Tigers while also shooting a career-high 56.0 percent from the floor and 41.9 percent from 3-point range.

Despite injuring his knee as a senior, Grantham, 23, still became just the sixth player in Clemson history to amass 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists in a career. He finished his four-year career with the Tigers starting 113 out of 114 career games and leaves as the 33rd leading scorer in program history.

Meanwhile, the Thunder already have a roster full of guaranteed salaries, so it’s likely that the team is planning on Grantham playing for the Oklahoma City Blue, its G League affiliate.

Thunder Waive Alford, McDaniels, Solomon

The Thunder have waived three players from their preseason roster, the team confirmed today in a press release, announcing that guard Bryce Alford, forward K.J. McDaniels, and center Richard Solomon have been released.

Although Alford, McDaniels, and Solomon joined the Thunder for training camp and the preseason, they were never considered likely to make the club’s regular season roster. However, they could end up playing in the G League for the Thunder’s affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, assuming they clear waivers.

After today’s roster moves, the Thunder now have 17 players under contract, including 14 on guaranteed salaries and two on two-way contracts.

While Oklahoma City could technically carry its current squad into the regular season, the club will likely leave its 15th roster spot open to start the season to avoid increasing its projected tax bill. Still, the team’s final non-guaranteed player – Abdul Gaddy – remains on the roster for now.