Photo Credits: Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman
When the Oklahoma City Thunder inked, and subsequently bought out, Real Madrid forward Gabriel Deck in April — the deal had been as seen a win-win. For the Thunder, the move allowed them to utilize cap space on an asset in Deck while reaching the salary floor in the process. For Deck’s camp, the signing provided Deck a highly sought after NBA gig while earning $3.87 million in the process.
Now, five months removed from Deck’s original signing, the future between himself and the Oklahoma City Thunder is uncertain. In fact, Deck’s free-agent fickleness has been a common denominator — even before joining the Thunder last year.
Deck’s arrival to Bricktown came after weeks of negotiations, a buyout agreement estimated to have cost the Thunder $1.5 million, and a whole lot of immigration complications. Once on Oklahoma soil, the 26-year-old got to work posting averages of 8.4 points and 4.0 rebounds across 10 games.
However, just as the regular-season panned out, it took no time until the offseason rumor mill stuck Gabriel Deck under its wing.
Reported by multiple outlets in early-August, speculation arose that Gabriel Deck was looking to make a return back to Europe under FC Barcelona. As more-and-more sources began to pick up Deck’s rumored interest in rejoining Liga ACB play, the Oklahoma City Thunder stayed quiet. Throughout Deck’s steady performances in Tokyo, the Thunder — continued to remain quiet.
The consensus surrounding Deck had ruled that the forward’s departure from the roster had all but been put to pen and paper, but now there is reason to believe Deck may be intrigued by a return.
An agreement surrounding Deck’s future plans with the Thunder will need to be settled by September 20 as the ball rests in Thunder GM Sam Presti’s court. As a result of the initial deal in June, the Thunder have the option to accept or deny a $3.67 million team option to retain Deck into next year, while also wielding team options for the upcoming summers of 2022 and 2023. If Oklahoma City passes the September 20 deadline without declining Deck’s deal, he will be paid all $3.67 million guaranteed while absorbing one of Oklahoma City’s 15 roster spots.
Reports anticipating what Gabriel Deck’s next move have fallen flat up until this point, so if there is anything to take away from recent stories — expect the unexpected.