OKLAHOMA CITY – With less than a month to go before training camp starts, center Daniel Orton looks like he's in good shape for Oklahoma CIty to pick up his option.
Orton, an Oklahoma City native, who spent last season with the Thunder, played in just 13 games, but after an offseason where he averaged 12 points and shot 67 percent during the NBA's Summer League, the 6-foot-10 center could get the $916,099 contract the team has an option on.
It would be the best news Orton has had since his NBA career began two years ago. He has had very limited playing time, and when he joined the Thunder before the start of last season, it seemed like a longshot that he would contribute.
Oklahoma City currently has centers Kendrick Perkins and Hasheem Thabeet on the roster. Perkins is signed through 2015. The team has an option on Thabeet for this season. The Thunder also drafted center Steven Adams in the first round of June's NBA draft.
While it is unlikely the team would carry all four centers, Orton should have a good shot of making the team. Thabeet was largely underwhelming last year. He averaged 2.4 points and 3.0 points last year. For his career Thabeet is averaging 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, Thunder guard DeAndre Lignin was arrested Saturday on a domestic abuse complaint. The team has an option on Liggins this year. The Thunder has guards Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson, Derek Fisher, Thabo Sefolosha and Jeremy Lamb signed for the upcoming season.
Perkins will be on the team as will Adams. The question is whether the Thunder keep Thabeet or Orton. If the Thunder end up not signing Liggins, it would also help free up a spot for Orton.
Teams are allowed to carry up to 2 0 players during the offseason and must be at 15 when the season starts. Oklahoma City is currently at 16 after signing swingman Ryan Gomes to a non-guaranteed contract.