By declining the option, the Thunder can simply match an offer sheet to Dort. Otherwise, he would be headed for unrestricted free agency at the end of next season.
Dort, 23, is 6-foot-3 and coming off a breakout season, in which he averaged 17.2 points, 4.2 assists and 3.4 rebounds — all career highs. He has spent each of his three seasons with the Thunder after going undrafted out of Arizona State.
“Given his rate of improvement and the NBA’s ever-growing need for wings who can contribute on both ends of the court, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Dort sign a contract in the range of $15-20MM annually,” wrote Rory Maher of Hoops Rumors.