Bricktown Beat

Gabriel Deck set to join Thunder, could debut as early as Thursday

After over two weeks of speculation and timetable confusion, the stars have finally aligned — Gabriel Deck has been cleared to join the Thunder.

Per Agencia Télam, This news comes after Deck tested negative for CO-VID 19 for the sixth consecutive time.

Deck, age 26, was originally stuck in Spain following his April 12 signing with the Thunder, but after a 9-day hindrance, the forward was given the greenlight to arrive in Bricktown.

Since Deck first settled in Oklahoma City, he was administered both a physical examination in addition to completing the league’s health-and-safety protocols.

With Oklahoma City’s next game being played Thursday night in the ‘Peake, do not be surprised in number 6 suits up against the Pelicans.

Deck’s arrival has been long anticipated by the franchise. Daigneault had addressed to those in the media that he has been texting regularly with the 26-year-old and is “excited about seeing him play” — this is justly so.

Deck will is currently making $3.87 million this season, so under the assumption he competes in Oklahoma City’s final 10 games, he’ll be raking in roughly $387,000 per contest. That game-by-game average totals to $27.8 million when inflated to a 72-game scale, that would amount to the 38th highest salary on the season, narrowing out names to likes of DeMar Derozan ($27.7 M), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($27.5 M), and Al Horford ($27.5 M) just to name a few. Obviously, this comparison is pretty outlandish given he’s only making around 15-percent of what his “inflated” salary would be, but just know, he’s the crown jewel on the salary books right now.

As you magnify Deck’s situation even more, it’s to be expected in those 10 games he’s going to be in the spotlight. Deck’s constructed 4-year/$14.5 million contract is not guaranteed past this season, and with a plethora of picks, a treacherous debut may put him in an awkward situation moving forward.

Mark Daigneault believes that Deck’s movement from FIBA ball to the NBA should be promising as he stated, “I think there’s a good amount of evidence that show if you have success in some of the higher leagues around the world, you can have success in the NBA.”

Deck is no stranger to high-level play. After eclipsing his tenure in the LNB (Argentina’s top pro league) as a 3x Champ, a 2x Finals MVP, and an MVP in 2018 — he moved onto the EuroLeague with a resume. In his three seasons with Real Madrid Deck stayed afoot in the rotation providing a consistent all-around role. This platter of skill was showcased this past year with Real Madrid as he posted averages of 9.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 58 games, shooting 36.5 percent from distance. 

Deck’s prominent talk from his overseas career has even invaded the locker room with Ty Jerome stating, “I haven’t been able to meet him yet. But from everything I hear, he is a really good player. I’m excited to meet him.”

The excitement surrounding Deck for all involved should not last any longer, as with his expected debut date Thursday, the organization and fans alike will finally see “El Tortuga” in action.

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