The day has come where players get new jerseys, new homes, and new opportunities. Of course I'm talking about the NBA's Free Agency. There's tons of big players that could be moved, including Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, and many, many more.
WHAT HAS OKC DONE SO FAR?
The Thunder's staff has yet to get new players to put ink to paper, but former members of the Thunder have, including 2012-2013 3rd leading scorer Kevin Martin. Martin signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves this past week to a 4-year, $28-million deal. With that, the Thunder lose their best shooting guard on the roster, and the position is now down to Thabo Seflosha and 2nd year player Jeremy Lamb. With little cap space and a sophomore Shooting Guard at No. 2 on the list, we need to make a move, but how big of one is possible? Not much, due to cap space being such a problem, also the reason we lost Kevin Martin, and may be losing Ronnie Brewer and Derek Fisher. OKC is a team too good right now to re-enter a rebuilding phase, so they must move forward.
WHAT IS OKC GOING TO DO?
The moves that the Thunder may make are totally unknown, besides one. WTLC is very big on this move, and that includes yours truly. Sam Presti had been looking into Dorell Wright, the former Philadelphia guard, but reports indicate that he has signed with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Outside of Wright, there's not much on the market inside of the available money and expectations. Here is what we have available.
When it comes to a veteran, there's very few options at the shooting guard position for a minimal deal. One of those options is Sam Young, the former Indiana Pacer. The twenty-eight-year-old could fit into the Thunder's system as a defender, but not great on the offensive side. Young only averaged 2.8 PPG this past season, which wouldn't please Mr. Presti or Coach Brooks, but defensively, he could be a threat. If you look into Young, he doesn't let his man get away easily, that's the upside of his game.
NOTE: You've probably heard of Sam Young before, because (possibly) the best play of his career occurred against the Thunder in 2011.
Another veteran on the watch-list is small forward Stephen Jackson. The thirty-five-year-old can fill the hole Derek Fisher left, a veteran that can bring quality minutes, spread the floor, defend well, and score when needed. Jackson wouldn't be expected to put up fifteen points a night like Kevin Martin was, but a six-to-eight point performance would be a great night along with a couple assists and a few boards. If Jackson can position himself under the basket and grab an offensive board or two a night, it's a successful night.
With Wright off the table, there are some other SG's on the market that the Thunder could sign when the noise calms down and transactions are at a minimum. A guy that I would be pleased with signing is Dahntay Jones. Jones will most likely not be returning to the Atlanta Hawks after they agreed to a four-year extension with Guard Kyle Korver on Wednesday. Jones is another player that could offer leadership and a spot on the depth chart behind Kevin Durant, but also the ability to play the two-guard. Jones can put the three-ball, too. He only shot about 25% this past season, but in 2011-12 he shot just below a 43%. That's something the Thunder could use.
The only trade I see happening at all is a sign-and-trade with Ronnie Brewer, or DeAndre Liggins being traded and both are still extremely unlikely. Looking at a Eric Bledsoe of the Los Angeles Clippers; He has been shopped and offered several times, but nothing has gone through.
DeAndre Liggins for Eric Bledsoe is successful on the ESPN Trade Machine, due to financial problems with both teams, and it would be a good trade. DeAndre Liggins has good upside, and Bledsoe has already proven himself. I doubt it will even be discussed, but you never know with financial problems.
As one commenter recently noted, the Thunder are still drafting for the future but everyone else is buying. Can OKC stay ahead of the pack? Keep reading in this space and we'll figure it out in the end.
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