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OKC Thunder: Is Tibor Pleiss coming to the NBA this season?

by Erik Horne Published: July 10, 2014

Is overseas Thunder prospect Tibor Pleiss coming stateside this upcoming season? The president of Pleiss’ club in Spain says he is, whether it’s with the Thunder or someone else.

Jose Antonio Querejeta, the president of Spanish basketball club Baskonia (Laboral Kutxa) where Pleiss currently plays, told Radio Vitoria that Pleiss “will go to the NBA, in Oklahoma or in another team” next season. Our Darnell Mayberry recently reported that the 7-foot-1 Pleiss was not expected to be in the Thunder’s plans next season, and will likely stay overseas for at least one more season. From Mayberry (June 29):

Brose Basket’s Tibor Pleiss, center, shoots between the defense from Deutsche Bank Skyliners during Bundesliga action in 2010. AP photo
Brose Basket’s Tibor Pleiss, center, shoots between the defense from Deutsche Bank Skyliners during Bundesliga action in 2010. AP photo

“It’s not out of the question that the Thunder might pursue Pleiss as the summer progresses, but it is currently a remote possibility given the team’s current roster structure.

“A report out of Spain, nonetheless, said the Thunder has offered to pay the approximate $1 million buyout fee for Pleiss. But the news appears to be nothing more than a negotiating ploy.”

That roster structure is a logjam in the frontcourt with Kendrick Perkins, Steven Adams, Nick Collison, Hasheem Thabeet and the newly drafted Mitch McGary, who’s impressed in summer league play.

For the sake of perspective, I’ve quoted NewsOK Sports contributor and resident capologist Jon Hamm, who broke down some of the Pleiss-to-Thunder this season potential.

So it’s not just a matter of Pleiss wanting to coming over this season (or his team president claiming he will). He’s got to fit monetarily, which may be a hard task considering the Thunder’s reported pursuit of ready-made contributors in free agency such as Mike Miller, Anthony Morrow and Pau Gasol.

by Erik Horne
Online Sports Editor
Erik Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013, following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The Ardmoreite, Horne reported on everything from prep...
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