The Thunder and shooting guard Dion Waiters have had discussions regarding a contract extension, according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The two sides have until November 2nd to come to an agreement or Waiters would be eligible to become a restricted free agent after the 2015/16 campaign, which is just in time for the anticipated jump in the salary cap. For his part, Waiters has been enthusiastic about working toward a new deal with the Thunder, as Wojnarowski’s report noted, and he is eager to compete on a contender as well as comfortable with his growth in a strong atmosphere for player development like Oklahoma City provides.
Oklahoma City already has $59,056,672 in guaranteed salary on the books for 2016/17, and that figure doesn’t include Kevin Durant, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent come the end of this campaign. Any dealings by the franchise this season will certainly need to be conducted with Durant’s pending free agency in mind, which could potentially hinder the two sides in reaching an accord by the league’s deadline. For what it’s worth, Durant believes Waiters will remain in OKC for the long term, telling Royce Young of ESPN.com, “He feels like he belongs here. He’s not going anywhere.”
This brings me to the question/topic for today: Should the Thunder sign Dion Waiters to an extension? If so, then how much is Waiters worth annually?
The Thunder acquired Waiters as part of a three-way trade last January and he contributed 12.7 points in 30.3 minutes while shooting 39.2% overall and 31.9% from long range after arriving in OKC. Hardly earth-shattering numbers, but in fairness to the 23-year-old, he was learning a new system and collection of teammates on the fly. With the Thunder more than likely to be over the salary cap for the next few seasons, especially if the team re-signs both Durant and Russell Westbrook, who is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in 2017, retaining existing talent will take on increased importance.
But is Waiters worth holding onto, and for what price? That’s your call to make, and we want to know your thoughts on the matter. Take to the comments section below and share with us whether or not you think the Thunder should work out an extension with the young shooting guard without the benefit of full season with the team, or if it is wiser to risk letting Waiters become an unrestricted free agent. We look forward to what you have to say.