Nazr Mohammed is sticking around for a little while longer. The Thunder announced today that they have agreed to a contract extension with the veteran big man from Kentucky.
I guess when he randomly tweeted “Thunder Up!!!!” and “Today is a good day!!!! #Blessed” this morning, we should’ve seen the writing on the wall.
“We are pleased to be able to keep Nazr in the Thunder family,” said Presti. “He is a valuable part of our organization both on and off the floor. His professionalism, experience, and on-court play have had a positive impact on our young and evolving roster.”
Mohammed is entering his 14th NBA season and was a productive piece to the Thunder’s playoff run last season. He was acquired from Charlotte for D.J. White and Morris Peterson and gave Oklahoma City a solid big man to play behind Kendrick Perkins. The Thunder lacked size inside and Mohammed not only was a good physical defender, but added a little timely offense at times too.
Terms of the deal weren’t entirely disclosed but it is a one-year deal. Mohammed would’ve become an unrestricted free agent July 1 if OKC didn’t reach an agreement with him. It’s probably in the $2 million range. As Tom Ziller pointed out, that means OKC has a frontcourt of Mohammed, Perk, Ibaka and Collison all locked up for a total of $14 million. That’s almost what Tyson Chandler made last year alone.
The Thunder have young big men waiting in Cole Aldrich and Byron Mullens but clearly don’t see either of those as ready to step in and fill rotation minutes. I thought if the Thunder let Mohammed walk that meant that they thought Aldrich was ready to play. Evidently not.
Presti raved about Mohammed’s professional and work ethic after the trade deadline when he was acquired having known him in San Antonio. Mohammed is the ideal Thunder veteran — someone that contributes both on and off the court, handles himself in the most professional manner, is fine with whatever role he’s given and is ready to play meaningful minutes at any moment.
There was a little question as to if Mohammed would be retained, but clearly the Thunder values the big man. Yeah, the CBA negotiations are coming and people are worried about the new future of the league, but a minor contract like this doesn’t worry the Thunder. It’s no big surprise here that Mohammed’s back in the mix for the Thunder again next year.
Next up: Settling Daequan Cook’s situation.