The Oklahoma City Thunder may have lost a key future player in DeAndre Liggins. The third year guard was arrested on a domestic abuse charge Saturday by Oklahoma City police.
Liggins, 25, is a non-guaranteed contract, meaning he would have to make the roster this season in order to get paid. In light of the news of Liggins’ off-court issues, it is highly unlikely he will return to the lineup for the Thunder this season.
Despite having poor offensive showings in Liggins’ short tenure with the Thunder, he was a high hopeful to step in for current starting Thunder guard, Thabo Sefolosha. Liggins is known for exceptional, tight defense and was working on his outside shooting this offseason to become a more well-rounded player.
Last season, Liggins averaged just 1.5 points per game and 7.4 minutes per game. He found more playing time in the Thunder’s first round matchup with the Houston Rockets in the playoffs, and he showcased impressive defensive skills by slowing down Rockets’ All-Star guard, James Harden, in that series.
Unfortunately for Liggins, he will suffer the consequences for his off-court actions. Many people (including myself) were anxious to watch his development through the years. He had the potential to become a consistent contributor for the Thunder, but now it looks like he will never get the opportunity to prove himself.
The Thunder organization is known for being a pillar in the community and having a roster full of upstanding citizens. Management will now be put to the test by facing what could be its first felony offense if Liggins is convicted.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti released this statement via KOCO-TV:
“We are in process of gathering more information and have no further comment at this time.”
With that said, Liggins is certainly expendable as a player. If anything, Thunder coaches now have an easier job of filling the final 15th roster spot.
Already shaping up to be stiff following the draft night additions of Andre Roberson and Steven Adams, the competition for that final spot now includes free agent signee Ryan Gomes and the expected signing of combo guard Diante Garrett.