The Oklahoma City Thunder announced Friday that they have waived Tweety Carter and Longar Longar, effectively reducing their roster to 17 players. Rookies Jerome Dyson and Elijah Millsap are the lone remaining players on the Thunder roster without a guaranteed contract, meaning that Oklahoma City will likely waive both players before the regular season begins to get to the 15-player limit.
Carter, a 23-year-old point guard, was Baylor's second-leading scorer at 15.0 points per game last season and led the Big 12 with 6.1 assists per game. His leadership and talent, along with Ekpe Udoh, helped the Bears advance to the NCAA Tournament in two of the past three seasons, including last season's run to the Elite Eight.
It wasn't particularly surprising to see Carter get cut, but NBA Director of Scouting Ryan Blake had positive things to say about "Tweety" before this year's draft.
"It doesn't matter if he gets drafted or not," Blake said. "He'll be a guy that will still get that opportunity. Come draft day, if his name doesn't get called, which a lot of people won't, his phone or his agent's phone number will be ringing."
"If he can do it like an Anthony Morrow (Golden State) or anybody who's on that fine line and he convinces a team to give him that chance, because again he is a competitor, he's a guy that's been through it all," Blake said. "They [teams] go by the mental part of the game and he has a lot of physical attributes, too, and he's been running the show for a while."
Okay, so that Blake quote doesn't really say anything but I'm going to leave it in there anyway.
As for Longar, he's a 27-year-old big man with just two seasons of professional basketball experience, both of which have been spent bouncing around the NBA Development League and being injured. When healthy, he's a raw athlete who can attack the glass and block some shots but healthy isn't something he's been very often since coming out of Oklahoma.
I expect both players to end up beginning this season with the Tulsa 66ers so the Thunder can keep an eye on them and their development. I'm not sure either has what it takes to crack an NBA roster - especially now that I've realized Longar will turn 28 this season - but at least they'll contribute to a fun D-Leagu- watching experience.