After months of talks, charity games, the NBA Lockout is pretty much over! Let’s talk Thunder basketball and some of the key things they need to do for upcoming season.
Signing Westbrook to an extension has to be the number 1 priority for the Thunder. The NBA has quickly become a point guard driven league and Westbrook has the speed, range, and skill set to go up against the other elite point guards such as Rose, Paul, and Williams. If the Thunder fail to get extension from the All-Star or receive indications that he wants to stay in OKC past this year, they should consider trading him in order to get value for him. Making an aggressive sales pitch for Chris Paul would be a nice option.
The mid-season trade by the Thunder last year to add size to the front court gave the team a little bit of an attitude in the middle, which it needed, but also yielded mixed results. Ultimately, foul trouble and his presence in the middle, both offensively and defensively, fell short of people’s expectations. I think it was a combination of joining a new team mid-season and recovering from injuries that mainly affected his play. This year, however, he won’t have those excuses. He’s not expected to score 30 a night like Durant, but GM Sam Presti would not have signed him to an extension if he felt Perkins could not contribute to the team long term.
Rumors, News, and Notes
The Thunder will need to add some bench scoring if Harden becomes a starter. Resigning Daequan Cook could definitely provide a spark off the bench, as could the addition of Shane Battier or Tyson Chandler. Former KU product Cole Aldrich could definitely see more playing time this year provide solid depth and be an un-expected role guy that could come in and be like Denver’s Chris “Birdman” Anderson.
The Thunder will play the Mavericks twice in the preseason. The first game at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at American Airlines Center in Dallas and the other game at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at Oklahoma City.
Hopefully OKC can get a Christmas day game versus Memphis to start the season.