With the Thunder’s reserve center Nerlens Noel not likely picking up his player option and veteran big man Markieff Morris admittedly skeptical on returning to the team, OKC will be in the market for a second-string big man.
Starting center Steven Adams played a total of 2,669 minutes during the 2018-19 regular season, giving him the 12th-most minutes played in the league. That mileage seemed to take a toll on his body and play as the season came to an end, especially into the playoffs.
Dewayne Dedmon’s skill-set and experience make him a great candidate for the Thunder. Not only would he provide perimeter shooting from the center spot — something Oklahoma City could desperately use — but he is accustomed to playing off the bench and in big minutes (25.1 minutes per game last season).
The most the Thunder could offer the stretch big-man in free agency is their Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception, which projects to be worth about $5.7 million. That would leave Oklahoma City with only the veteran’s minimum to fill out their roster. While a 3-point shooting wing is higher on the list of priorities, the Thunder may be able to acquire that piece in a trade, opening up more money for a center.