OKC Thunder: How will Thunder handle DeAndre Liggins' arrest?

Liggins isn't the first player in Thunder history to be arrested. But his booking certainly is the most disturbing. And now it will serve as a case study. Put the Thunder to the test.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: September 1, 2013


photo - Oklahoma City's DeAndre Liggins grabs a rebound beside Houston's Omer Asik during Game 3 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, Saturday, April 27, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's DeAndre Liggins grabs a rebound beside Houston's Omer Asik during Game 3 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, Saturday, April 27, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

On the court, DeAndre Liggins does most everything right.

He's not perfect. But his mistakes never stem from of a lack of effort.

Off the court, the Thunder guard spent part of his weekend in the Oklahoma County jail, arrested Saturday afternoon on complaints of domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and domestic abuse in the presence of a minor.

Liggins isn't the first player in Thunder history to be arrested. But his booking certainly is the most disturbing. And now it will serve as a case study. Put the Thunder to the test.

For an organization that has always prided itself on being a pillar in the community and having a roster full of upstanding citizens, the team must now decide what to do with what could be its first felony offense if Liggins is convicted.

The decision might be an easy one.

Liggins is entering his second season with the team, third in the NBA. He was hard worker and a hustler but still a bit player in his first run with the Thunder, appearing in 39 games and playing a total of 290 minutes. Later this month, he was expected to enter training camp fighting for the 15th and final roster spot.

Already shaping up to be stiff following the draft night additions of Andre Roberson and Steven Adams, the competition for that final spot now includes free agent signee Ryan Gomes and the expected signing of combo guard Diante Garrett.

Liggins, on this team, is practically expendable.

Additionally, because Liggins is on a non-guaranteed contract, he has to make the team to earn his $884,293 league minimum contract. The Thunder could waive him any day and wipe their hands of the alleged situation and Liggins' salary, saving the organization some dollars while also saving it from a distraction.

Many already think Liggins has played his last game in a Thunder uniform.

The franchise's standards might simply be too high to have Liggins stick around. Failing to part ways with Liggins after such an appalling alleged incident would fly in the face of one of the organization's leading tenets — bringing to town not just quality players but also quality people. By hanging onto Liggins the Thunder also runs the risk of sending mixed messages to the remaining players, five of them who this season will have been in the league three years or less.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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