Coming off of an embarrassing 5 game loss to the Heat in last year’s NBA finals, the Thunder have much to prove this year. But that might not be hard seeing as the team has made some big moves in the more recent part of the offseason. The most notable being the trade for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, but what exactly does that mean for the Thunder?
1. A New Scoring Threat
Kevin Martin has always been one of the most underrated scorers in the NBA. Martin has been a consistent 20 point scorer over his career.
The Thunder are an NBA team made up of dynamic scorers, from Westbrook to Kevin Durant, the Thunder were third in the League in scoring last season, averaging just over 103 points per game. Martin has the opportunity to add to this offense. He is a scoring threat, even more so than Harden. While Harden was a key component in the Thunder’s finals run last year, he averaged 16.8 points per game (a career high), while having Martin on the team gives them a more prolific scorer.
Coach Brooks said that Martin will most likely come off the bench this season, something rather new to Martin. But that shouldn’t upset Martin seeing the production that James Harden brought when he was the sixth man for the Thunder.
Jeremy Lamb, the heart and soul of last year’s disappointing UCONN basketball team. Showed his potential for greatness over his last two seasons in college. He was the 12th overall pick in the NBA draft, and for good reason. He is a 6’5" skinny lengthy guard who can flat out shoot the ball. The man has a 7’0" wingspan. Basically, he looks like a basketball player.
While he is no James Harden yet, he brings the type of potential that was brought when Harden was a rookie in 2009 as well as some consistent scoring off the bench.
The Thunder also acquired Perry Jones III, who many thought to have the most pure potential in the draft. Jones plus Lamb gives the Thunder more young consistent bench players this season to an already thriving bench.
3. Laker’s Threat
The Lakers come into this season as the favorite after making some big offseason moves. Knowing this, there were many people who forgot about the Thunder over the offseason. But what fans all over the Western conference need to remember is that the Thunder, despite a finals performance that personally made me cry, won both the Northwest division and the Western Conference.
The additions of Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb gives Thunder fans a little reassurance that they are still the top dogs in the Western Conference. While the Lakers may have a new super team, they still have to go through the defending champs.
It will be interesting to see the Lakers when they come to Chesapeake Energy Arena on December 7th. It will be very interesting to see the two new big 3s in the NBA go to work against one another.
This trade made a lot of sense for the Thunder. They received two players who know how to play the game, and one of them, Kevin Martin, who we know has played at the highest level. While the Thunder lost some other decent role players in Lazar Hayward, Cole Aldrich, and Daequan Cook, the gain definitely outweighs the loss.
Basically "Fear the Beard" is no longer alive in Oklahoma City.