BILLINGS – It won’t be surprising if Great Falls native Josh Huestis doesn’t sleep well tonight. Details of his NBA career sort of hinge on it.
One way or another, Huestis stands to make a lot of money. But Oklahoma City has to decide by Tuesday whether to pick up the fourth-year option of his rookie contract. If not, he can sign with any team at the end of this season.
OKC recently has been watching Huestis like a hawk. He’s played all six games this early season after seeing action in just seven NBA games through the past two seasons combined.
The rest of his time was spent in developmental league play.
Huestis is versatile enough to play multiple positions. He hasn’t been a big offensive threat, but has developed a nice 3-point shot. His bread and butter appears to be defense.
If OKC picks up his option Tuesday, Huestis will earn $2.2 million next season.
The issue is, OKC is already over this season’s salary cap. If newly acquired Carmelo Anthony opts in next year for his final season, that’ll cost almost $28 million. If Paul George re-signs, he makes more than $30 million next season. Russell Westbrook is due more than $35 million.
So, with that exploding payroll, Huestis would seem like a bargain at $2.2 million. But if the Thunder decline his option, he’s free to play anywhere next season, possibly for more.
He could also re-sign with the Thunder as a free agent, but OKC would not be able to offer him more than $2.2 million under those circumstances.