Today, October 14th, marked the NBA’s deadline for non-guaranteed contracts. For the Thunder, that meant it was time to either further the relationship — or say goodbye — to Semaj Christon and Isaiah Canaan, both of whom were sitting on the roster under a non-guaranteed ceiling.
There will always be opportunities for OKC to bring Christon or Canaan back on further down the road, but for now it seems its the Thunder’s best interest to keep the 15th spot open.
Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript warns Thunder fans not to expect an immediate roster fill-in:
Don't expect this spot to be filled all too quickly. Moving ahead with 14 guys makes sense for flexibility and financial reasons for OKC.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) October 14, 2017
Christon played the ultimate role of backup point guard to Westbrook last year, filling the void that Cameron Payne left behind, and sharing the floor with Norris Cole at numerous points throughout the season. The young G-League product finished the year averaging 2.9 points and 2.0 assists in 15.2 minutes, and has some serious defensive strong points in him that could be of interest to a multitude of teams in the league. He will also go down in NBA the history books:
Canaan however, was signed by The Thunder prior to the preseason, playing for Houston, Philadelphia, and Chicago prior to his short stint with OKC. It’ll surely be interesting to see how OKC utilizes their final roster spot as the season progresses and whether or not they possibly pursue NBA veteran Richard Jefferson who was traded to Atlanta from the Cavs, and waived shortly after.