OKC Thunder: Daniel Orton makes a big impression in Orlando Pro Summer League

The former McGuinness standout seemed in better shape, more agile and displayed the ability to pick-and-roll rather than just pick-and-pop.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: July 21, 2013
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photo - NBA BASKETBALL: Oklahoma City's Daniel Orton (33) defends as Chicago's Nazr Mohammed (48) defends during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
NBA BASKETBALL: Oklahoma City's Daniel Orton (33) defends as Chicago's Nazr Mohammed (48) defends during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Non-guaranteed contracts become fully guaranteed on Jan. 10 each season. Before the deadline, non-guaranteed pay is prorated.

If Thabeet, Orton, Liggins and Jerrett make the 2013-14 roster, the Thunder would have the full allotment of 15 players and a team salary of approximately $70.9 million, which is safely under the league's punitive tax threshold of $71.7 million.

Those non-guaranteed deals also give OKC the flexibility to waive Thabeet, Orton and/or Liggins before Jan. 10, which would free up salary and make room for someone like veteran guard Derek Fisher, who has been a late addition the previous two seasons.

Orton, who turns 23 on Aug. 6, is 31/2 years younger than Thabeet and is easily the Thunder's most talented offensive center.

With the hefty contract of starting center Kendrick Perkins expiring after the 2014-15 season, Thabeet, Orton and Adams have an opportunity to line up as far more affordable replacements.

Who knows, Orton might already be next in line.

 

THUNDER PAYROLL

Players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft can be offered 80 and 120 percent of their predetermined pay rate in that year's rookie salary scale.

Lottery picks routinely sign for 120 percent of their pay rate, which is why center Steven Adams of Pittsburgh reportedly will be paid $2,090,880 his rookie season with the Thunder rather than the $1,742,400 slotted for the No. 12 overall pick.

OKC saved money with rookie small forward Andre Roberson of Colorado, however, and reportedly will pay him $740,560 next season rather than the $925,700 slotted for the No. 26 overall pick.

Second-round picks do not have guaranteed contracts. Next season's minimum salary starts at $490,180, which is what Arizona power forward Grant Jerrett, picked No. 40 overall, will be paid if he makes the Thunder roster.

PLAYER; 2013-14 SALARY

Guaranteed contracts

Kevin Durant; $17,832,627

Russell Westbrook; $14,693,906

Serge Ibaka; $12,350,000

Kendrick Perkins; $8,727,437

Thabo Sefolosha; $3,900,000

Nick Collison; $2,585,668

Jeremy Lamb; $2,111,160

Steven Adams; $2,090,880

Reggie Jackson; $1,260,360

Perry Jones III; $1,082,520

Andre Roberson; $740,560

Non-guaranteed contracts

x-Hasheem Thabeet: $1,200,000

Daniel Orton; $916,099

DeAndre Liggins; $884,293

Grant Jerrett; $490,180

x-$500,000 guaranteed

Total; $70,865,690

Source: HoopsWorld