OKC is just below this season’s NBA tax level and can remain there by sticking with a 14-man roster. The NBA roster maximum is 15 players and the minimum is 13.
This season’s tax level is $70.307 million. The Thunder’s team salary now stands at $69.296 million. OKC has yet to pay tax since the franchise began in 2008-09.
Though some might have been holding out for a signing of Kenyon Martin or Chris Andersen, it appears that the Thunder did the cheap thing and re-signed one of their Training Camp invitees, Daniel Orton. He didn't really get a lot of playing time, but in terms of talent level, he seemed about on par with Hasheem Thabeet. Still, it's hard to get excited about a guy who wasn't resigned by the Magic, who are now playing Nikola Vucevic and Gustavo Ayon at center.
However, it would seem to confirm the suspicions (or fears) that Hasheem Thabeet is the defacto backup center. Whether he'll get minutes or not is another story, as it's likely that the Thunder might go small to they can give more minutes to Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones. In fact, I could see Brooks sliding Collison up to the center spot, Perry Jones to power forward, and throwing in Lamb at small forward.
When it's all said and done, the signing of Orton, barring some injuries, probably won't mean anything more than giving the Thunder a hometown victory cigar. Orton is from Oklahoma City and played for local private school Bishop McGuinness, so he should have his share of fans. However, he doesn't have much of a track record beyond that, missing his senior season in high school due to on ACL injury and merely providing backup minutes during his lone season at Kentucky.
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