NBA free agency: Luguentz Dort, Thunder agree to long-term contract to keep guard in OKC

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Luguentz Dort and the Thunder reached a long-term agreement in the first minutes of free agency on Thursday.

Dort agreed to a five-year, $87.5 million contract to stay in Oklahoma City, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

A deal between Dort and the Thunder seemed unlikely just a few days ago.

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On Saturday, general manager Sam Presti said the Thunder planned to exercise Lu Dort’s $1.9 million team option for next season “unless something changed.”

Something did change, because on Wednesday, deadline day to decide on options, the Thunder declined Dort’s option. Declining the option made Dort a restricted free agent. If the Thunder had exercised Dort’s option, Dort would have become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023.

Rather than seeking an offer sheet from another team, which the Thunder would have then had the right to match, Dort and the Thunder hammered out a deal relatively quickly. The Thunder surely knew that’s how things would pan out when they reversed course on the option decision.

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Lu Dort reportedly agreed to a five-year, $87.5 million contract to stay with the Thunder.
Lu Dort reportedly agreed to a five-year, $87.5 million contract to stay with the Thunder.

The contract is a remarkable deal for Dort, who signed with the Thunder as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona State.

Dort joined the Thunder on a two-way contract, then signed what was seen as a team-friendly deal, and now he’s locked up nearly $90 million of future earnings through 2027.

The average annual value of Dort’s contract is $17.5 million.

Dort, set to enter his fourth NBA season, has started 131 of his 139 career games.

He’s a fan and franchise favorite given his defensive tenacity, but he’s also gradually improved on the offensive end.

Dort averaged a career-high 17.2 points per game last season.

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This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: NBA free agency: Lu Dort agrees to long-term contract with OKC Thunder