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Thunder Failed To Reach Contract Extension With Roberson Before Deadline

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

While the Thunder organization was busy on Monday finalizing contract extensions for both center Steven Adams and guard Victor Oladipo, there was one eligible player who didn’t ink a deal.

Related: Thunder Finalize Extensions For Adams, Oladipo

Fourth-year defensive stopper Andre Roberson failed to reach an extension with the Thunder despite engaging in talks leading up to the deadline, per ESPN’s Royce Young. Roberson will now be a restricted free agent next summer. 

Roberson has started each of the last three seasons for OKC as the team’s primary wing defender, and has averaged 3.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game throughout his time in the league. Through three games this season, Roberson is averaging a career-high 6.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game but is still struggling to consistently knockdown shots from outside and from the free-throw line.

While Adams and Oladipo appear to have higher upside and would’ve demanded lucrative deals if given the chance to hit the open market next summer, President and GM Sam Presti is clearly willing to roll the dice with Roberson as a restricted free agent.

Also, the Thunder still have some work to do in constructing a championship-caliber roster, therefore it wouldn’t make too much sense to commit a lot of dollars to Roberson long-term when the Thunder could potentially need to clear more cap space if OKC hopes to bring in another big piece in the future.

While most teams throughout the NBA need perimeter defenders, Roberson’s lack of consistency on the offensive end could prevent him from garnering much interest in free agency, and Presti is willing to take that chance. 

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