A former first-round pick by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2004, Nick Collison has stayed with the same franchise for 11 seasons. On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder ensured that would remain the case for at least a couple more years.
The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry has news of the contract extension:
ESPN's Marc Stein provided the financial details of the extension:
Collison is just ninth on the team in total minutes played, but as general manager Sam Presti explained, via The Oklahoman's Anthony Slater, the 34-year-old veteran's value goes far beyond the court:
Kevin Durant spoke to that when he congratulated Collison via his Twitter account:
Averaging career lows in field-goal percentage (41.6), minutes (16.0) and points per game (3.8), Collison has seen his role decrease in 2014-15. He still serves as an important veteran presence off the bench, providing solid rebounding, defense, toughness and energy.
Collison has always been someone who doesn't put up big numbers but helps the team in ways that don't go on the box score. Last season, according to NBA.com, the Thunder out-scored teams by 12.2 points per 100 possessions when he was on the court, the largest margin on the team. When he was on the bench, that margin was just 4.5, the second-lowest on the squad behind Durant.
With Durant's potential free agency on the horizon, it's difficult to justify handing out an extension to someone playing less than 20 minutes per game, but the Thunder clearly value culture.
Collison has given his NBA life to this franchise, and he is being rewarded.