OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Thunder will be counting on Steven Adams this season.
Thursday, the team announced it has waived Oklahoma City native Daniel Orton. The move makes room for Adams, the team’s first-round draft pick from Pittsburgh, to be the backup to Kendrick Perkins.
Orton, who played just one season in Oklahoma City, was used rarely last season. He played in just 13 games and averaged 2.5 points and 2.0 rebounds. However, Orton played well during the summer league during the offseason and seemed to have some momentum heading into training camp.
Instead, the Thunder will stick with Adams and Perkins, both of whom have guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season. Orton does not. The Thunder also have Hasheem Thabeet on the roster. While Thabeet doesn’t have a guaranteed contract, he’s someone the team clearly feels like it can count on. Thabeet has played four NBA seasons. He has a career average of 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
Orton was set to make $916,099 this season, but by waiving him now there’s a chance he can get picked up by another team.
Thabeet is scheduled to make $1.2 million this season.
The move to cut a center was going to happen. Along with Thabeet, Adams, Perkins and Orton, the Thunder also has Nick Collison, who plays a lot at center, too. Someone was going to go,.
Adams will get every opportunity to show what he can do this season. He was picked No. 12 overall and now is certainly the backup to Perkins.