Waiver Wire Watch: Eric Maynor

By Zack Cimini

Oklahoma City made a quiet move but one that’s going to keep their team young and up and coming. They traded for rookie point guard Eric Maynor from the Utah Jazz. It looks as if the experiment with using Shaun Livingston as their backup point guard did not pan out. Livingston was waived to make the move possible without going over roster limits.

Before we delve into how much of an impact Maynor will be, lets give huge credit to Shaun Livingston. We had the chance to do an interview with him while he was rehabbing through his horrific knee injury. He worked his tail off and has been positioning himself for a regular rotation spot since that injury two years ago. If there is someone that isn’t going to give up it is Livingston. He has the size at 6’7 but lost a ton of quickness and lateral movement he once had. Look for him to keep working with trainers to get some form of sharpness and foot speed back.

Eric Maynor is just another young player the Oklahoma City are stock piling. Maynor is instantly going to pay dividends and be able to be a complimentary backup point guard to Russell Westbrook. Maynor had a tough time keeping minutes and finding an primary role with the Jazz. Their intentions were to have him backup Deron Williams and develop from there. For whatever reason the Jazz decided to unload him and now he is in a perfect fit with the Thunder.

Maynor will not let this trade curtail his rookie campaign. If anything he should be able to step in and help this young team due to the fact he played all four years in college. Arguably Maynor could have been looked at as the top point guard coming out of last years draft. He was part of one of the best classes in a long time from a point guard standpoint. Just being selected 20th overall in that class shows how much value the Jazz saw in him.

Deron Williams did miss some time in mid November. During that three game stretch the Jazz inserted Maynor to play some big minutes. With the increased minutes Maynor averaged 17 points, 7 assists, and four rebounds a game. The shot selection may have not been the best and his turnover margin was a bit high. There isn’t a young guard in the league that doesn’t struggle in that area though.

In limited minutes overall with the Jazz, Maynor made the most of them and had decent numbers with 5 points and 3 assists a game. Oklahoma City will surely use Maynor more than the Jazz did. Shaun Livingston was averaging ten minutes a game before his departure, and based on Maynor’s skills we could see him getting around fifteen to seventeen a game.

Maynor is definitely a player to keep your eye on. They have a lot of athleticism and could play just about any five athletes on the floor. Oklahoma City wasted no time in getting Maynor involved by inserting him in the game against the Suns. He seems very comfortable already and adds that element of running with the core of players the Thunder have and allowing them to finish. Livingston was more of a steady half court point guard which tended to slow their offense down for stretches.