DeAndre Liggins, the backup shooting guard who earned regular minutes in the Thunder rotation last season, was arrested Saturday evening, August 31st, on a charge of domestic violence. He was taken into custody on a complaint of domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and domestic abuse in the presence of a minor.
Last evening, more details emerged of the incident.
While Liggins has yet to be formally charged, the probable cause affidavit filed on September 3rd indicate that this formality will likely take place in the near future.
According to the Oklahoman:
Jasmine Horton, who describes herself as Liggins' girlfriend, said Liggins hit her in the head with his hand and then punched her in the head when she fell on the ground, according to the affidavit filed in Oklahoma County District Court. The couple's 2-year-old son was in the room during the incident at their home, 2309 NW 180, she told police.
Horton locked herself in a bedroom before Liggins reportedly kicked in the door, pushed her down, dropped a fan on her, stomped her with his foot and dropped an Xbox on her head, according to the affidavit.
Horton had injuries on her arm and fingers as well as scratches on her back and bruising on her chest, according to the Oklahoma City police officer who wrote the affidavit.
Bail has been set at $8,000.
While we don't want to conflate the severity of Liggins' legal situation with his professional situation, he is now facing a litany of problems:
- Possible jail time if the allegations prove to be true
- Likely estrangement from his girlfriend and mother of his child
- Loss of privilege to see his child
- With jail time will come the loss of his job in the NBA
- As a player fighting to hold onto a non-guaranteed contract of $884k this season, (his team option year), the Thunder will not have great incentive to keep him on the roster, especially since their roster is already overstuffed.
Liggins, on this team, is practically expendable.
Additionally, because Liggins is on a non-guaranteed contract, he has to make the team to earn his $884,293 league minimum contract. The Thunder could waive him any day and wipe their hands of the alleged situation and Liggins' salary, saving the organization some dollars while also saving it from a distraction.
Many already think Liggins has played his last game in a Thunder uniform.
The franchise's standards might simply be too high to have Liggins stick around. Failing to part ways with Liggins after such an appalling alleged incident would fly in the face of one of the organization's leading tenets - bringing to town not just quality players but also quality people. By hanging onto Liggins the Thunder also runs the risk of sending mixed messages to the remaining players, five of them who this season will have been in the league three years or less.
On the flip side, the Thunder consider themselves a family organization that embraces their players, warts and all. Actions warrant consequences, but if there's a better way to both enforce the consequences of the legal situation facing Liggins, while still not casting him from the fold, then it is a way worth pursuing.