OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder have trimmed their roster from 19 to 16, waiving three training camp invitees, the team announced Wednesday.
Cutting ties with guard Bryce Alford, guard Markel Brown and Oklahoma City-native Rashawn Thomas takes the Thunder within one roster spot of the regular-season maximum. They must slim down to 15 players by the start of the NBA regular season.
They have 14 guaranteed contracts on the roster currently with the futures of two point guards, the non-guaranteed Semaj Christon and training camp invitee Isaiah Canaan, in question. Christon's contract guarantees Oct. 15. Russell Westbrook and the currently injured Raymond Felton, who suffered a sprained left wrist during OKC's second-to-last preseason game, are the other two point guards on the roster.
The Thunder could head into the regular season with 15 players, keeping one of Christon, who was the backup for most of last year, or Canaan, who has previously played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls. They could also choose to release both and move forward with only two point guards. Making such a decision could save some money on a final roster spot and leave a slot open for a buyout candidate down the line while also allowing 2016 second-round pick Daniel Hamilton, who is on a two-way contract, to step in during an emergency situation.
Players on two-way contracts can be on the NBA roster for up to 45 days throughout the regular season. They spend the rest of the season in the G-League.
All three players waived Wednesday have a strong chance to play for the Thunder's G-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, this season. None of the three played in any of the Thunder's four preseason games.
The Thunder begin the regular season Oct. 19 when they welcome the New York Knicks to Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Fred Katz is the Thunder beat writer for the Norman Transcript and CNHI Oklahoma as well as a host of the OKC Dream Team, a weekly Thunder podcast that runs every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter: @FredKatz.