On Monday afternoon, the Oklahoma City Thunder cut two players, each of which is going to count against their salary cap and will keep a minimum-salary player as a result. Forward Mitch McGary and point guard Ronnie Price have been informed that they won’t be making the final Oklahoma City roster, leaving more than $6 million on the Thunder’s cap.
In turn, guard Semaj Christon will make the team, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports.
Price poses as an interesting cut considering that he is guaranteed $5 million after signing a two-year deal with the Thunder in early August. The 33-year-old also stood to enter the season as Russell Westbrook’s primary backup at point guard, but Christon – who will take up just more than $543,000 of the Thunder’s cap in 2016-2017 – appears to have claimed that spot. Christon will slide back to the No. 3 point role after the presumptive return of Cameron Payne, but he is set to miss at least the month of November as a result of a foot fracture.
A second-round Miami Heat pick out of Xavier in the 2014 NBA Draft, Christon has yet to play a single NBA minute. Price has played plenty of them, however.
Mostly a bench cog during his 11-year career, Price started 38 games combined for the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns over the past two years and has been on six different rosters in the past six seasons, making his way to Phoenix twice during that span.
McGary provided an easier reason to jettison. The former Oklahoma City first-rounder from 2014 stands to miss the first 15 games of the season due to multiple violations of the league’s drug program. The ex-Michigan forward stood to make $1.56 million this season, which was set to be his third with the Thunder. McGary’s averaged 4.4 points per game in 52 contests during his NBA career, which has featured two starts.
Oklahoma City also waived center Kaleb Tarczewski and forward Chris Wright but is expected to place the duo on their D-League roster, per Randy Renner of NBA.com.