According to Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report, the Oklahoma City Thunder are bringing back point guard Royal Ivey on a 10-day contract.
Hearing Queens-born and NBA veteran Royal Ivey is taking his physical today w/ the #Thunder and is set to sign a 10-day contract with them.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) January 15, 2014
I threw out the idea of the Thunder signing Royal Ivey when I wrote about prospective free agent point guards to consider after Westbrook went down, but this still comes as a bit of a surprise given the sexier options out there. Ivey does have experience playing with the Thunder, spending the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons with the team. He wasn't exactly a prominent member of those teams however, playing a total of 59 games and 509 minutes in those two years.
In his time with the Thunder, Ivey averaged 1.9 points on 37.8% shooting from the field to go with 0.7 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 8.6 minutes per game. Those extrapolate to per 36s of 7.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists – poor numbers in line with his career numbers. Still, he's a veteran who's been in the NBA for 10 seasons and has a reputation as a decent defender off of the bench. The Atlanta Hawks had him on their preseason roster this season, and he was with the Philadelphia 76ers last season. For however long the Thunder choose to employ him, Ivey should be consistently replacement-level and move the ball around well enough. Right?