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Maynor, Thunder stop contract talks; he will be a free agent

Oct 29, 2012, 1:09 AM EDT

Eric Maynor Getty Images

Eric Maynor is going to be a key part of the Oklahoma City Thunder this year, a role that just got bigger in the wake of the James Harden trade.

Maynor is going to get a piece of the Harden role. No, he hasn’t been asked by management to grow a beard. Probably. But Maynor is going to have to create shots and get the offense going with the second unit. He’s going to get the plenty of rope, plenty of run to prove himself.

Then, next summer he’s going to be a restricted free agent.

Maynor and the Thunder have stopped talking contract extension and have agreed to pick up talks again in July, reports the Oklahoman. That means next July the market will set the price for Maynor (the Thunder can match any offer from another team). But the two sides could not reach a deal right now.

But two issues have complicated matters. Maynor is coming off a major knee injury, and second-year point guard Reggie Jackson is emerging into a potential impact player. Maynor tore his ACL nine games into last season but is now recovered and ready to reclaim his position as the primary backup to Russell Westbrook. But coach Scott Brooks has maintained that the backup job is an open competition between Maynor and Jackson, who showed tremendous growth this preseason.

Jackson clearly is considered an important part of the Thunder’s future, which puts a small level of pressure on the franchise to decide how much it is willing to commit to Maynor

Maynor is going to get a healthy pay raise next summer, he is a quality point guard. Some team is going to step up and pay him. It may well be the Thunder (they could have used Maynor in the finals over what’s left of Derek Fisher). Whatever the Thunder decide, Maynor will get paid.

But one of the points of how Thunder GM Sam Presti handled the Thunder trade was to give himself flexibility going forward. It makes sense not to lose some of that flexibility by locking in with Maynor now.

  1. progress2011 - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    This is not a story. This guy is not a game changer. He is a one trick pony….Just Like Harden !

    It’s comical, this website’s writers are talking of Harden aka. a bench player/ the dude that CHOKED in the finals, as if he is the cornerstone of the team.

    OKC has a 6’5″ first round draft pick, that has more talent than Maynor. They need to give him any minutes, Maynor’s limited capabilities, would have garnered.

    • eventhorizon04 - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:24 AM

      The reason why Harden is described as a key former player for OKC is the fact OKC players, coaches, and the fans repeatedly called him OKC’s third most important player.

      Newsflash – if Harden wasn’t important to OKC, they wouldn’t have offered him $52 million.

      Your denial of reality is comical.

      • progress2011 - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        eventhorizon,

        What’s even more comical, is you can’t comprehend, OKC is a small market team!

        Offering a “BENCH PLAYER” $52 Million would have had them cash strapped for years to come.

        But Harden was gonna drag it out all year, while causing all sorts of Dwight Howard type drama the entire year and force OKC to pay up or lose EVERY option, at the end of the year.

        It was a GREAT business decision to cut ties now, get a really good player in Martin, a very promising First round draft pick and 2 additional first round picks.

        While keeping the drama, outta the locker room…..over a dude that CHOKED, under pressure….which is why he is a BENCH PLAYER.

        Your inability to understand BASIC Economics, is really what’s comical.

  2. lgolson - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    Maynor and his agent realized that its best not to piss off Presti. Maynor could end up in Russia if he’s not careful lol.

  3. dls612 - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    I guess they want to see how much of an impact he will be now that harden is gone. So why make any offer or discuss any deal! Here’s an opportunity for maynor to show the thunder he can fill in for harden. His role this year is key if he’s looking for a deal that is fair.

    • chawbacon14 - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:15 AM

      I think they are still not sure bout Maynor’s recovery from blowing out the knee. And in the pre-season, Reggie Jackson looks like a different player than what we saw last season. He’s challenging Maynor and Maynor may be dispensible.

      Maynor is facilitating PG, he’s not expected to replace Harden , a SG. And Maynor will be on the court with KMart, who will get a lot of wide open looks because of Maynor.

      • dls612 - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:14 AM

        At what point in my comment did I say he was expected to replace harden as a SG? Besides he don’t have to be a SG to have an impact. My point was about the contract negotiations.

      • dls612 - Oct 29, 2012 at 9:18 AM

        PGs do score u know!

  4. jolink653 - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    We won’t know if he’ll be the same kind of player as he was before he tore the ACL so it makes sense not to overpay him just yet…He is a good player though, but with Jackson finally coming on it might just be better to let Maynor walk or maybe try and trade him for a pick

    Loved Harden, but Presti made the right choice to ensure financial flexibility and to also stick to the example the rest of the team set…Can’t have the salary cap tied up in 5 players with no money to sign bench players…Maynor will have to adjust to the take less than market value philosophy if he wants to stick around here

  5. vtboo41 - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    The only thing Reggie Jackson demonstrated this preseason is he still has no clue about taking care of the ball. He is a turnover machine.

  6. bighalnunn - Oct 30, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Maynor has the ability and determination to fight through this injury. Known him since middle school and he can overcome and produce in intense situations. We will have to see. @lgolson, who is his agent?

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