Thunder Waive Sebastian Telfair, Keep Ish Smith

The Thunder have waived Sebastian Telfair, the team announced in a press release.  With its hardship exception expiring, Oklahoma City needed to pare down its roster from 16 players to the league-maximum 15, and will instead keep Ish Smith, Royce Young of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Smith was signed back on November 7th, and the team’s second 10-day window for a 16th roster spot under the injury hardship provision was set to expire Thursday, as Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman points out (Twitter link). The Thunder’s injured players have been working their way back, and among them are Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, who could play Friday, as Mayberry notes in a full story.

Oklahoma City will be on the hook for the remainder of Telfair’s fully guaranteed salary of $915,243 for this season. In 15 appearances the 29-year-old guard averaged 8.6 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists while logging 20.9 minutes per game. With the rash of injuries in the league Telfair’s services are likely to be in demand. Minnesota is one team that could be interested in signing him, as the Wolves desperately need help at the point with Ricky Rubio out indefinitely, though that is just my speculation.

Apparently the Thunder believed that Smith was a better fit for the team after he averaged 2.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in five appearances while averaging 6.4 minutes per game. His career numbers are 2.9 PPG and 2.0 APG. His career slash line is .390/.222/.585.

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