Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Wednesday morning that the Oklahoma City Thunder have declined Deonte Burton’s $1.6M team option for next season. Both sides have not ruled out a potential return.
Yahoo Sources: Oklahoma City Thunder decline to pick up the $1.6 million team option on guard Deonte Burton and he enters free agency. Thunder haven’t ruled out a return.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 18, 2020
This news should not be all that surprising, Burton did not play much last season. Deonte was unable to kick on after making an impact for the Thunder in 2019. Burton struggled to get playing time and when he did see the floor, he struggled mightily. Burton’s shooting was not good, his shooting splits were just 34.4%/ 18.9%/ 57.1%.
At $1.6M, Burton is a bit too expensive for a player who is likely to be a third string guy on the Thunder’s bench. The 26-year-old is also slightly too old to match the team’s future timeline.
However, the Thunder’s wing depth is essentially nonexistent at this point of time. The chances of Burton returning to Oklahoma City is very possible if both sides do not find suitors for their needs.
The Thunder only have one more team option to decide on. The decision on Hamidou Diallo and his $1.6M salary is still outstanding. Oklahoma City will most likely exercise his option as the front office seems to really like Diallo’s potential and age. The 22-year-old saw a significant increase in minutes last year going from just 10.3 minutes in 51 games during his rookie season to 19.5 minutes in 46 games last season.