Free Agency...Thunder Have Deal With Telfair?
By Randy Renner
It's a good thing this is 4th of July weekend coming up because we're already starting to see a lot of fireworks in free agency.
First thing this morning a report out of Portland, from Comcast SportsNet Northwest, says the Thunder have reached agreement on a one year deal with backup point guard Sebastian Telfair. Telfair was drafted 13th overall in 2004 by the Trail Blazers. It's believed he's agreed to be paid the veteran's minimum salary.
No deals can be signed until July 10th.
Earlier this week we told you about Telfair's visit to OKC and that he had posted a photo on his Instagram account from the Oklahoma City National Memorial.
The Thunder have a habit of taking new players to the organization to the Memorial. So that was a tipoff that the Thunder were very serious with Telfair. They also had discussions with him last season but Telfair chose instead to go to China.
He averaged 26 points and six assists as a point guard for Tianjin Ronggang.
Telfair's career numbers in the NBA are 7.4 points and 3.5 assists per game. Overall he's hit 39.1 percent of his shots (32.0 percent on threes) so those numbers don't really light anyone up.
His last season in the NBA, 2012-13, he split between Phoenix and Toronto. He averaged 5.6 points and 2.6 assists, shooting 36.2 percent overall and 35.3 percent from deep. His shooting percentage beyond the arc was the second best of his career.
If Telfair really is joining the Thunder he would like take Derek Fisher's spot as third team point guard, although he could get some backup minutes if Reggie Jackson moves to shooting guard.
GASOL & MILLER
As of Thursday early morning the Thunder remain firmly in the running for both Lakers free agent center Pau Gasol and Grizzlies free agent sharpshooter Mike Miller.
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported last night the Thunder are now considered the "front runner" to get Gasol. However, late last night the San Antonio Spurs also jumped into the mix and the Chicago Bulls are said to be increasing their efforts to sign the Spaniard in case they can't get their top target Carmelo Anthony.
At the moment, since the Thunder are over the salary cap, they can only offer their Mid-Level Exception which is worth about $5.3 million. Gasol was believed to have been angling for around twice that much.
It's certainly possible he could give the Thunder a discount for the chance to be on a team with good friend and Spanish National Teammate Serge Ibaka not to mention Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
In fact both KD and Russ were in Los Angeles this week and met with Gasol to personally lobby him to come to OKC.
You would also think that bringing in Gasol would mean amnesty for Kendrick Perkins or perhaps a trade. Moving Perkins and his $9.1 million salary for next season would come very close to putting the Thunder under the projected salary cap which would give them more flexibility in what they could offer Gasol.
Miller is said to be disappointed with the offer that's been made by his current team, the Memphis Grizzlies. Miller wants a three or four year deal and some teams (apparently the Grizz among them) are balking at that.
Durant has also met with Miller.
Yesterday Miller told a Memphis radio station he plans to decide where he'll play next season perhaps as early as Friday or Saturday. The Clippers and the Rockets are also in the hunt for Miller.
Keep checking back we will update the site as needed and also be sure to check out our "Twitter feed" page for breaking developments.