Thunder Allow Luguentz Dort To Reach Restricted Free Agency

Luguentz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been one of the most active teams in the NBA this offseason They have engaged in a bunch of trade discussions and have already executed two of them, one before the 2022 NBA Draft and one during.

The first was a deal with the Denver Nuggets in which they received JaMychal Green and future draft picks in exchange for the No. 30 overall pick. During the draft, they made a deal with the New York Knicks, sending three protected future first-round picks their way in exchange for the No. 11 overall pick and draft rights to Ousmane Dieng.

In addition to the No. 11 overall pick, Oklahoma City also selected Chet Holmgren No. 2 overall and Jalen Williams No. 12. They had their sights set on moving into the top 10, but a deal never materialized and they made the deal with New York for No. 11.

The No. 7 overall pick was one that they were heavily linked to throughout the pre-draft process. They were dangling No. 12 and Luguentz Dort as a package to try and move up, but there were no takers.

LATEST NBA FREE AGENCY NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: OKC Thunder Major Trade Suitor To Watch Before Free Agency

Since there was no trade to materialize, the Thunder will now try their hand at negotiating a long-term deal with him, as they declined his $1.9 million option for the 2022-23 season, making him a restricted free agent.

A defensive ace, Dort would be a solid building block for the Thunder to retain. He can defend multiple positions and does it well at every spot given his length and strength. Dort is measured about 6’3.5” inches tall but has a nearly 6’9” wingspan and weighs 215 pounds.

He has already proven that he can be a lockdown defender and only 23 years old, has plenty of time to figure things out on the offensive side of the ball. Dort averaged 17.2 points per game last season, but it was not done very efficiently as he shot 40.4 percent from the floor and 33.2 percent from 3-point range.

LATEST NBA FREE AGENCY NEWS AND TRADE RUMORS: OKC Thunder Major Trade Suitor To Watch Before Free Agency

His improving free throw percentage, as he got it up to 84.3 percent last season, provides confidence that his jump shot will eventually get figured out as well. If he does improve his efficiency, he will become very valuable and easily outproduce the contract he will sign this offseason.

Given their propensity to trade players away for draft capital, there is a chance that the Oklahoma City Thunder work out a sign-and-trade involving Luguentz Dort, who they were trying to move leading up to the draft for better picks. But, he is someone that they should commit some money to as he fits alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey in the lineup.

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