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It was probably one of the biggest no brainers for the Thunder this season but they made it official on Wednesday afternoon.

The Oklahoma City Thunder signed Lu Dort to a multi-year contract, keeping him in Oklahoma City for the foreseeable future.

The terms reported are a four-year deal worth $5.4 million. This season’s pro rated salary is $155,657. Then, he’ll receive $1.78 million for next season, $1.93 million for the 2022-23 season and he will make $2.05 million for the 2023-24 season. Next season’s $1.78 million is fully guaranteed. 2022-23 is guaranteed at $300,000 and the 2023-24 season is guaranteed at $325,000. Meaning, he’ll make the $300,000 no matter what if the Thunder decide to release him prior to the season starting, in which the contract then becomes guaranteed.

Dort, the undrafted rookie out of Arizona State shined during his time with the top club. After signing a two-way deal, allowing him only 45 days to spend with the Thunder and the rest with the Oklahoma City Blue, Dort took full advantage of the situation, finding himself inserted into the starting line up and becoming a fan favorite for his hard work and dedication on the court. At only 6-3 he was unafraid of anyone and gave his best to guard everyone.

One of the most memorable moments for Dort is when he was a large piece in holding James Harden to 1-of-17 from three-point range in his first start. The Thunder won the game and Dort won our hearts.

Dort, 21, averaged 6.3 points per game on 41.4 percent shooting before the shutdown. His career high came against Sacramento when he dropped 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including going 5-of-6 from three-point range.

Dort on a two-way contract would have let him finish out the remaining regular season on the traditional terms. New rules for the Orland bubble situation would have let Dort play in the playoffs. In a traditional season, two-way players are ineligible for the playoffs and become free agents at season’s end. The Thunder decided to bypass any of that and sign him now.

He’s been starting since January 20 and the Thunder have been rolling ever since. Oklahoma is 16-5 when Dort is in the starting lineup and 22-7 when Dort is in the game. He makes the Thunder better and they saw to it he can make them better in the future.

Oklahoma City has found success with multiple Dort lineups. Pairing him with CP3-Gallinari-Adams-SGA, the Thunder’s offense is solid, hitting good efficiency across the board, while the defense slips to 117 DRTG.

When you put him with CP3-Gallinari-Noel-SGA the Thunder have been unstoppable. Their +36.2 net RTG means their offensive rating of 130.6 is 36.2 better than their defensive rating (100 is average).

Where to go from here? That’s the deciding factor and how the Thunder will play in Orlando is a fat question mark.

One question has been answered: Where Lu Dort will spend his next few years playing professional basketball.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.