Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder mentioned in a post-draft presser that it was their intention to exercise the $1.9 million option for Lu Dort, unless something would change.
It appears something had changed, and the Thunder declined the option, allowing Dort to enter restricted free agency.
Luckily for Thunder fans, Presti and Dort came to an agreement on a five-year, $87.5 million deal.
▫️ Lu Dort 💵 https://t.co/6vqYglAO2Y
— FortyEightMinutes⏳ (@FortyEightMins) June 30, 2022
While some fans may see this as an overpay, if you compare his new contract with players getting similar contracts, it checks out.
Last season, Dort averaged 17.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 1.7 APG. Jalen Brunson, who is estimated to sign a deal somewhere in the ballpark of a four-year, $110 million contract, averaged 16.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 4.8 APG.
Factor in the elevated salary cap, as the cap jumped from $112.4 million (2021-22) to $123.655 million (2022-23), and Dort’s contract — which sits at $17.5 million/year — should be a tradeable contract if the two sides decide to part ways further down the road.
Oh, and Dort plays elite defense, which brings immense value alone and makes his contract well worth it. The Thunder also get to please their star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is a great friend and neighbor of Dort’s