A year ago, the Thunder selected Stanford forward Josh Huestis with the 29th overall pick, and he quickly became a pioneer in NBA circles. He was essentially a domestic draft-and-stash player — the Thunder didn’t offer him a rookie scale contract after drafting him. Instead, they assigned him for the entire season to the Oklahoma City Blue, so they wouldn’t burn a roster spot or salary cap space on him.
Now, a year later, they signed him to a standard four-year rookie scale deal, the team announced in a press release:
The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed forward Josh Huestis to a contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are excited to add Josh to our roster as he allows us to continue to increase our depth through his athleticism and versatility,” Presti said. “Josh knows our culture and our organization as a result of his time with the Blue and we look forward to his continued development with the Thunder.”
Huestis likely won’t play much — he plays the same position as Kevin Durant, who is expected to be healthy. But the Thunder took an unorthodox approach with drafting him in the first round and then sending him down to the D-League. If they’re happy with his development and decide the experiment was a success, it could be the first in a trend.