Ronnie Brewer was asked if he is open to returning to the Thunder.
His answer spoke volumes.
“I'm open to play basketball,” he said. “If it's here or somewhere else that's what I want to do. That's what I love to do and that's what I enjoy doing so I'm going to try to continue to do it.”
By now you know Brewer didn't do much of that in Oklahoma City.
After arriving from New York via trade, Brewer played in only 14 of a possible 26 games. He averaged 10.1 minutes.
And that's misleading.
Brewer played only 5.5 minutes per game in his first 11 contests, before logging at least 25 minutes in each of the final three contests.
In the postseason, Brewer appeared in just one game out of 11 — for a total of eight minutes in a 29-point blowout win.
“There wasn't really another reason for why I was not playing,” Brewer said. “Whenever my name was called I tried to go out there and play as hard as I possibly could.”
Whenever asked about Brewer's role, Thunder coach Scott Brooks repeatedly gave his standard reason for why a player was not playing. It centered on some form of you can't play everybody.
“I wish I would've played a little bit more, but at the same time this is an established team that had won a lot of games when I got here,” Brewer said. “You can't really change something that's been working.”
The Thunder was 39-15 the day it acquired Brewer from the Knicks for a 2014 second-round draft pick and cash. Brewer missed the first game while traveling to Oklahoma City, and he was inactive for the team's second contests following the trade because he had just arrived.
That's when the pattern of Brewer not playing started to take shape.
His first appearance came in a 45-point home win over New Orleans. His next 10 games were all double-digit contests. The Thunder won nine of them, by an average of 18.7 points.
In other words, Brewer basically was only playing in blowouts.
But Brewer never complained. He remained positive and tried to be as professional about the situation as possible.
“It's tough because as a basketball player you want to be on the court and you want to play,” Brewer said.
The paltry playing time made many wonder why Thunder general manager Sam Presti made the trade to begin with.
When he was brought to town, Brewer was lauded as a perimeter defender, a specialist in the mold of Thabo Sefolosha. The Thunder also raved about Brewer's pedigree and how he had been in winning programs from Utah to Chicago. Coaches and teammates from those teams labeled Brewer simply a winning player.
“Obviously he brought me here for a reason and wanted me to play,” Brewer said of Presti. “But at the same time, it's not his decisions and you can't really question a coach that won 60 games. I didn't ask too many questions and tried to stay as positive as I possibly can.”
The imperfect circumstances bring into question whether Brewer, an unrestricted free agent on July 1, will return.
Oklahoma City will have available roster spots due to expiring contracts on Derek Fisher and Kevin Martin, and Brewer could be brought back on a budget-friendly minimum deal.
But after the way things went for him, would Brewer even bite if offered?
He certainly sounds like a man with no hard feelings.
“You never know where this game will take you,” Brewer said. “I'm still very young and still have a lot of basketball left in me so if it's here or somewhere else I'll continue to play basketball. This is a great organization and (has) great players, great coaches, great fans. So hopefully I can continue to play here.”