We’ve written a lot about the Thunder’s need for a third point guard, with most of the focus on Derek Fisher. Rightly so. Seems likely that Fisher is the most likely player to sign with the Thunder.
But if the Thunder goes looking elsewhere, the prospects fall into a few camps.
* Veteran discounts: The Thunder must pay minimum salary. The collective bargaining agreement counts only $788,872, the minimum for a second-year player, against a team’s payroll, no matter how experienced the player. For example, the minimum for a 10-year-plus veteran like Fisher is $1.399 million, but only the $788,872 counts against the salary cap or luxury tax.
So the Thunder could try to entice a venerable player who could get more elsewhere, with the promise of a title run. Beno Udrih, Devin Harris, heck, even take a shot at Mo Williams. Worst he can do is say no.
* Scorers. Some players are point guards only because they don’t really fit any other position. They can produce some points in small bunches, even though they might go several games without even playing.
Nate Robinson is a great example. John Lucas III, too. And Mike James. Aaron Brooks showed a little of that in the OKC-Houston playoff series.
* Longhorns. Never hurts to keep Kevin Durant happy. Available are D.J. Augustin, his Texas U. teammate. And Daniel Gibson. And Royal Ivey, an old pro and favorite of Thunder GM Sam Presti.
* Problem children. Jamaal Tinsley and Sebastian Telfair have shown they have NBA skill, but their leadership is lacking. That makes them longshots for the Thunder.
The Thunder always could turn to someone like Nolan Smith or Rodrique Beaubois or Jannero Pargo.
But odds are that Derek Fisher gets the call.