Okay, so it's been a whole 6 months since Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks destroyed the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. I know, it seems like an eternity, right? So to help everyone get back in the saddle, here's the Thunder's roster situation post-lockout.
The only players coming off of contract are Robert Vaden, Daequan Cook, and Nazr Mohammed. Mohammed will most likely stay in Oklahoma City, depending on the development of Cole Aldrich. Daequan Cook has announced his intention to stay, and it's likely that request will be honored. Vaden will probably not be re-signed, given that we have to make room for incoming rookie Reggie Jackson.
We now have an amnesty clause to use concerning our players, completely nullifying any contract we might want to get rid of. The only potential candidates we really have are Sefolosha, should we think he's not worth the remaining three years of his contract at 3.5-4 mil per year, and Nate Robinson, who might want to move teams. My money's on the clauses not being used at all.
Right now, we're the favourites to win the Northwest Division. The Nuggets will have a lot of turnover in their roster, and, as of right now, they are guaranteed not to get J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, and Wilson Chandler back, as they have all signed in China. Nene and Aaron Affalo could also be moving. The Trail Blazers are in disarray, with lots of overpaid players and a tighter salary cap. Meanwhile, the Jazz have to re-sign AK47 while looking for leadership, and the Timberwolves are as much of a mess as ever, except now with Ricky Rubio.
Dallas looks to be back and just as good as ever. They've got a few players to sign, but it's looking like they'll have the whole crew back, plus Caron Butler.
There will be no problems in retrieving any of the Thunder players from overseas, as both Sefolosha and Ibaka have NBA-outs in their contracts.
The most significant emotional problems players had over the off-season were relatively minor. Kendrick Perkins was arrested while trying to fight the manager of a club in Texas, and sustained "minor" injuries. And Nate Robinson was arrested for peeing outside of a Barnes and Noble in New York City. Both could get fines, at best.
Chris Paul isn't a free agent until next season.
Yep, that's about it for now. Right now, we're one of the most stable teams in the NBA, with a strong and young roster. You can't ask for much more heading into next season! Except, perhaps, for a scorer off of the bench.