Will the Thunder sign Eric Maynor to an extension?
Whether the point guard stays in OKC or goes will tell a lot about the franchise's direction.
With Maynor on the floor, scoring spreads and ball movement increases. Westbrook has his role, Maynor has his, and both often work, which is a big reason why the Thunder is where it is today.
Extending Maynor's contract might not be financially feasible given Ibaka's deal and what Harden's potential deal could be.
Maynor's agent, Andrew Vye, refused to discuss how negotiations are progressing and said the No. 1 priority is for his client to complete his recovery and return to the court when Thunder training camp opens Oct. 2.
Given the seriousness of Maynor's injury, negotiations likely won't begin in earnest until he has shown full recovery during the season. This also would mean Maynor won't sign before Oct. 31 and would become a restricted free agent next summer, becoming eligible for qualifying offers the Thunder would have to match in order to retain him in 2013-14.
One aspect to consider is whether Reggie Jackson's emergence during the Orlando Summer League in July has made Maynor more expendable.
The 6-foot-3, 208-pound Jackson is more athletic and explosive than the 6-foot-3, 175-pound Maynor, who counters with intangibles any team would want.
Maynor has what Thunder general manager Sam Presti adores — the willingness to compete, the drive to improve and the ability to represent the organization in a favorable manner.
Maynor's future with the Thunder unfortunately is about the bottom line, whether there will be enough space to squeeze in what figures to be a modest pay raise, comparatively speaking. Maynor will make $2,338,720 this season.
If Harden signs, is Maynor gone?
If Harden does not sign, will Maynor stay?
What would it mean if Maynor signed before Harden?
Is Maynor gone either way?
Signing all three players would put the Thunder in the league's expensive luxury tax bracket.
Signing Ibaka and Maynor would save $13 million-plus annually that would have gone to Harden.
Signing Ibaka only would show faith in Jackson.
If Harden departs, the Thunder could shop for a shooting guard with a salary topping out around $8 million annually.
Potential free agents in that proximity could include Orlando's JJ Redick, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan and Brooklyn's MarShon Brooks.
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