Less than 24 hours into the 2019 Summer of Free Agency, the Oklahoma City Thunder may have finished shopping.
After a bit of back-and-forth, the Thunder and center Nerlens Noel reportedly re-agreed to terms. In addition, Oklahoma City has apparently wrapped up agreements with stretch big Mike Muscala and swingman Alec Burks. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young had the reports.
Nerlens Noel is agreed on a deal with OKC -- again, league source tells ESPN. https://t.co/SJXATURUAa— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
Free agent F/C Mike Muscala has agreed to a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, agent Sean Kennedy of Excel Sports tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
The Thunder are signing guard Alec Burks, according to a league source. A 6-foot-6 ball-handling guard with a career 35.5 percentage from 3 that will help boost their second unit rotation.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) July 1, 2019
No reported contract details have been released. It’s likely safe to assume that both Muscala and Burks signed minimum salary contracts. Noel was eligible to earn more than the minimum, and OKC could use some of all of its Mid-Level Exception to re-sign him.
As for Burks and Muscala, the signings are fine. Maybe not the sexy signings some had hoped for, but they’re fine. If one or both fails to deliver, it’s not crippling. If one or both helps steady a shaky bench, that’s solid.
Both have reputations as shooters and could add interesting wrinkles to the team. Burks can create a little and Muscala is a solid-if-unspectacular defender. Both offer seasoned options to a Thunder bench that had a few unproven youngsters last season.
In sum, these are exactly the kinds of players you’d expect to pick up for the veteran minimum.
OKC’s roster now stands at 15 players, not counting two-way deals. More movement could happen, whether big in scale or smaller moves to clean up the books. Keep an eye on the Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks, and Hawks. Both LA teams await the decision of Kawhi Leonard. Depending on what he decides, one or both teams could have substantial cap space to absorb deals and could even be on the lookout for useful players. Dallas and Atlanta could sell their remaining cap space to a team like OKC in exchange for excess salary. That, in turn, could open up another roster spot or two to fill.