In this tough economy, any job for a player these days is a good one. And there is talk the Thunder, with 14 guaranteed contracts and no worries about the luxury tax, might be a rare team that has no problem with a 15-man roster.
That’s why veteran forwards Michael Ruffin and Ryan Bowen will be heading to the Thunder camp on nonguaranteed contracts, looking to earn a job.
Ruffin is a nine-year veteran (out of Tulsa, mind you) and played last season
with Portland, averaging 0.5 points per game and 1.0 rebounds per game in just 11 games and 35 total minutes. He’s a 6’8″ power forward that to me, is most famous for this.
Bowen was most recently with New Orleans and is also a nine-year man out of Iowa. The 6’9″ power forward averaged 2.2 ppg and 1.1 rpg in 21 games and 10.4 minutes per game last year with the Hornets.
Bowen’s agent, Guy Zucker, said, “[Oklahoma City] tell[s] us they have a spot … And they’re looking for somebody similar to Ryan. So we think we have a good chance. They’ve got a young team, and they’re looking for [a good veteran influence]. Ryan is incredibly professional, he’s unbelievably smart, he’s experienced, and he has no ego.”
If you remember last year, the Thunder brought swingman Derrick Byers, seven-footer Chris Alexander and former Oklahoma State star John Lucas to camp before cutting all three. So nothing is certain for Bowen and Ruffin. Though OKC does have an extra roster spot open, Sam Presti generally likes flexibility so unless they really knock some socks off in camp, I doubt either one is part of the roster come October 29.