OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder have waived Mitch McGary and Ronnie Price, the team announced Monday afternoon.
Both McGary, signed through this year for $1.5 million, and Price, signed through 2017-18 at $5 million total, were on guaranteed deals.
The Thunder have also waived non-guranteed players Kaleb Tarczewski and Chris Wright.
The deadline to get down to the league-mandated maximum of 15 players was 4 p.m. CT Monday. In the process, the Thunder ended up leaving Semaj Christon, who entered training camp with a partially guaranteed deal, on the roster.
Waiving Price means the Thunder will have to pay him the $2.6 million they owe in full for this year. They can decide on a later date either to spread his $2.4 million cap number for 2017-18 over three years or pay it in full next season.
The foot injury Cameron Payne suffered during training camp opened up a path for Christon to make the final roster. The 2014 second-round pick performed well during preseason, and will enter the year as the Thunder's backup point guard with Payne still sidelined.
Though the extra money Price leaves on the books is somewhat inhibiting for the organization, the salary isn't quite as exorbitant as it appears. Minimum salaries could go up next season, which means the $2.4 million owed to Price may not be quite as high in proportion to cheap players as it is today. The $2.6 million is a sunk cost.
Christon's 2016-17 salary of $534K does not become fully guaranteed until January. The Thunder also have him signed on for two more non-guaranteed years after this one. They owe him $905K in 2017-18 and $1.05 million in 2018-19.
The Thunder drafted McGary in the first round of the 2014 draft, but the Michigan product never quite worked in Oklahoma City, aside from a strong stretch he had at the end of his rookie season.
He showed up last season out of shape and never found a consistent role on the floor. He sustained a five-game, marijuana-related suspension this summer to be served at the start of the regular season. The NBA later docked him with a 10-game ban.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports McGary "hopes" to head to China or Europe.
McGary averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds during his two-year Thunder career.