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.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: August 19, 2012
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photo - NBA BASKETBALL / CELEBRATION: The Thunder's Eric Maynor and James Harden celebrate after the 107-99 win over the Spurs during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playoffs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
NBA BASKETBALL / CELEBRATION: The Thunder's Eric Maynor and James Harden celebrate after the 107-99 win over the Spurs during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playoffs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Eric Maynor. Remember him?

Maynor is seeking an extension to his rookie contract with the Thunder, just like Serge Ibaka and James Harden. However, Maynor's name often gets dropped when trying to decipher the Thunder's trilogy of contracts.

Retaining Maynor ranks third among the trio, but he is not a throwaway player. He unquestionably has worth.

Ibaka has signed a four-year extension, reportedly for $48 million.

Given the Ibaka result, Harden is mulling over an extension offer presumably in the $50-million range right now. How high that figure goes between now and the Oct. 31 deadline remains to be seen.

If Harden does not accept the Thunder's offer before the league deadline, he will become a restricted free agent next summer and likely will be extended a maximum four-year offer for roughly $60 million from the Phoenix Suns — or some other team in need of a starting shooting guard.

What about Maynor? In what future financial neighborhood will he reside? Will it be $14 million for four years? $16 million? $18 million? Higher? Lower?

The last game Maynor played was Jan. 7 in Houston, where he was carried off the court after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament while driving to the basket.

There was no contact on the play. Maynor's right leg simply buckled.

“I knew something was wrong,” Maynor said to describe the sequence. “It's big-time pain, man.”

Teammates huddled around Maynor as team doctors tended to him underneath the basket. A pall noticeably had been cast throughout the entire roster.

“Not a good day,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “That's the day you don't want to remember.”

Though his career averages are modest (15.2 minutes; 4.5 points; 3.1 assists; 1.5 rebounds; 0.5 steals; .408 FG), Maynor is appreciated and beloved within the organization. His career assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.04-to-1 would have ranked seventh in the NBA last season. His career 3-point field-goal percentage of .353 warrants respect from opponents.

A fourth-year player out of Virginia Commonwealth, Maynor is a point guard most any NBA team would want as a backup, some as a starter. The 25-year-old has a calming influence normally found in players far more experienced.

Maynor backs up two-time All-Star Russell Westbrook, one of the league's fastest players. Maynor's motor doesn't run at nearly the same rpm as Westbrook's, but there often is little dip in the team's overall effectiveness.

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