HAYWARD HAVING TROUBLE
Through two games, Lazar Hayward has struggled to make an impact despite receiving two opportunities to start and log significant playing time.
Hayward has scored just 14 points on 4-for-16 shooting and has had difficulty containing his man defensively — the two things Brooks said Hayward needs to supply.
“He has to just provide us some toughness on the defensive end, and he has,” Brooks said. “And be able to knock shots down. That's one of the things he has to be able to do. He does it. He has to be able to do it in games.
“He didn't get a lot of opportunities last season, and he's going to get opportunities this preseason. He knows what we do, and he has to knock down some shots and continue to play with defensive toughness.”
With Hayward continuing to struggle — and find himself on the outside looking in on the regular season rotation — it doesn't appear likely that the team will pick up his fourth-year option prior to the Oct. 31 deadline. If the Thunder decides not to, it could mean more than $2 million in savings, a substantial sum that could help keep the team's costs down now that contract extensions to its top players are kicking in.
Hollis Thompson made his Thunder debut Friday against the Jazz. He scored six points with three rebounds in 20 minutes…Andy Rautins made his first appearance Friday but went scoreless in three minutes, missing his only shot attempt…The Thunder had a “development day” Saturday and is scheduled to take Sunday off before resuming full practice Monday.