Yesterday, the Thunder reported that they had signed Lindy Waters III to a two-way deal. Waters had been a G-League standout for the OKC Blue and now finally gets his opportunity for the main roster. Paul Watson Jr was waived to open up the two-way spot needed to sign Waters.
Waters, a Norman native, has spent his adult life playing basketball in the state where he grew up. Waters played four years at Oklahoma State University before playing minor league basketball for the Enid Outlaws in The Basketball League.
He tried out for the Blue and was signed to the team’s roster. Since then, he has not looked back. Waters has shot 51.3% on 5.4 3PA per game during his time with the Blue. He has been a flamethrower from downtown and adds a skill to the Thunder that the team has lacked for a number of years; a genuine sharpshooter.
Alex Abrines was possibly the last player to fit that description; a player whose value is created off the ball with their shooting threat. Waters has the potential to slide into the same role for the Thunder. He will get ample opportunities from downtown with Josh Giddey feeding him the ball.
Waters’ place on the roster goes deeper than his production; he is a direct link between the Thunder and the state that they represent. Waters grew up in Oklahoma during the Thunder’s glory years. He is also a link to the red, clay-like soil that Oklahomans walk on. Waters has Kiowa and Cherokee ancestry in his family and is proud of his heritage.
Both tribes have been settled in Oklahoma for hundred of years and were the territory’s original settlers. The tribes were forced by the United States government to settle in Indian Territory, present day Oklahoma, after their ancestral lands were occupied for the purpose of settling white civilisation. Since then, Native Americans have been tied into the fabric of Oklahoma.
The signing of Lindy Waters may just appear to be marginal, insignificant but this signing means so much more. It is an opportunity for Waters to continue with his basketball journey. It is a chance for the Thunder to truly link the team to the people it represents.