Thunder’s Luguentz Dort To Become Restricted Free Agent

The Thunder decline team option of $1,930,681 on Luguentz theremaking him a restricted free agent, sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link).

A report last week said Oklahoma City would choose the option, with GM Sam Presti telling Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman that was the likely outcome.

“Obviously our plan is to exercise this while waiting for something different,” said Presti.

Clearly, Presti re-evaluated that move, which isn’t terribly surprising considering Dort would have garnered considerable interest in the open market as an unrestricted free agent in 2023. Decline the option and make him restricted gives the Thunder the ability to match any offer sheet they receive in a free agent market where few teams have cap space.

The barrel-chested Dort, who turned 23 in April, showed continued improvement after leaving Arizona State in 2019. He averaged 17.2 PPG and 4.2 RPG on 0.404/0.332/ .843 in 51 games (32.6 MPG) last season while playing strong, switchable defense.

Given his rate of improvement and the NBA’s ever-increasing need for wings who can contribute at both ends of the court, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Dort sign a contract in the range of $15-20 million a year. year. Dort is ranked No. 9 on our Top 50 Free Agents list.

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