As free agency rumbles on, I get an even stronger vibration (in spite of any published evidence) that the Thunder will be shopping for either Anderson Varejao or Zaza Pachulia this summer.. Why? One needn't look farther than the organization that Sam Presti was brought up in. The San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs remained as top notch candidates (if not favorites) to win the NBA title year in and year out, even after the retiring of the great David Robinson. And they didn't do it by signing another STAR center. They did it with rotating, interchangeable centers, who would bust their ass on the floor every night. Kristic, Zaza, and Varejao all fit the bill. Don't believe me? Take a look.
The system Presti learned (and proved as capable of winning championships), didn't revolve around the center as anything more than a big body that wouldn't kill you on the floor. Like the 2 Spurs teams mentioned above, We have a forward with a unique offensive skill set, who is a proven go to player in the clutch (Durant/Duncan). We have a potential lock-down defender at the other forward position, who does all the little things necessary to win (Green/Bowen). We have a lightning quick, scoring point guard, who can get to the rim, and draw fouls consistently (Westbrook/Parker), and we just drafted ourselves a slashing, old school shooting guard who can stretch a team out behind the arc (Harden/Ginobilli). The only thing we're really missing is a big man to platoon as our man in the middle behind (or in front of) Kristic. Mullens isn't that guy yet. After a workout where he got beat down physically by Utah's Luke Nevill this offseason, he was spotted in the locker room crying. Give him a few years to toughen up and he'll be fine, but a crybaby isn't ready to step in and fill this role. I think that Presti is looking to the past in order to dictate his future, and thus, I think that (as much as I'd love to see Millsap or Lee wearing Thunder blue next year), Zaza or Varejao will be our guy this offseason.