Its official, Oklahoma City has casted their choice for their franchise's first two-way contract, and unsurprisingly enough, Daniel Hamilton came out as the victor. I and most other G-League pundits have had our eyes on Hamilton for the last year, and he's certainly one of the few whom proven themselves far past the ceiling of the Gatorade League. Dakari Johnson, the Blue’s center who recently signed a contract with the Thunder, spent a year longer than Hamilton in the league, but hard work and year long accolades won over the Thunder's hearts. Johnson's signing wasn't as surprising as Hamilton’s though, due to the multitude of doubt for the Thunder's sixth man's future, Enes Kanter.
In an official release by the Thunder, general manager Sam Presti spoke kindly of Hamilton and expressed how proud he was of the young chap. "Daniel has shown significant strides in his development since entering our program..., we are thrilled that he will receive the first two-way contract in Thunder history as we expect him to spend time with both teams this season as he continues to evolve as a player."
Splitting his time among the Blue and the Thunder, Hamilton will be paid a much more comfortable $75,000, in comparison to the much lower and scrutinized payout tiers of a typical G-League salary. He will be able to play a maximum of 45 days with the Thunder, and to me seems like the perfect candidate of the newly structured two-way player. In addition to the two-way payout, Hamilton will receive a rookie-contract sum for each and every day he spends playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After leaving UConn prior to his Junior season, Hamilton averaged 14.9 points, 8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from deep for the Blue. It'll definitely be interesting to see how the Thunder choose to develop the young baller, and how he'll fill the needed support role that the small market franchise is looking for.
With the addition of Paul George, and the re-signing of Andre Roberson over the offseason, it seems to be the Thunder could be in contention for one of the highest tiered lockdown defenses in the west. In this case, it’d make absolute sense that they will be in focus of aggressive but accurate shooters. And since all I can do is speculate on how the lad from Connecticut will turn out, it'd be great to see the coming season spent on deep shooting abilities, trying to heighten his 37% sniping statistic up to the low 40's.
Oklahoma City has longtime been lack of a dedicated deep shooter since the exit of Anthony Morrow. Therefore, a skilled outside offense-man coming out of their very own development team would be both efficient and something to brag about for the organization.
They currently boast Doug McDermott and Alex Abrines who have already stood out to be improvements in OKC's outside shooting efficiency, so hopefully fans of the Thunder can expect to see a change of momentum from outside this season. No matter the turnout, it will still he interesting to see how the Thunder’s young team turns out with the addition of Dakari Johnson, Terrance Ferguson, and now the sophomore, Daniel Hamilton.