2013-2014 Thunder player grades: Nick Collison, Mr. Intangibles

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

WTLC kicks off its player season reviews today, beginning with their longest tenured player, Nick Collison.

(We're kicking off our player season reviews today. We'll be rolling them out, one at a time, over the next 2 weeks to both signify closure of the season as well as to help get ready for the NBA draft.)

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Full Name: Nicholas John Collison

Nickname: Boog, Los

Years in NBA: 2004-2014; 10 seasons

Contract Status: 4 years/ 11,030,000: made 2,585,668 in 2013-14, entering final year of contract, due to make $2.2M next year.

Player History:

Nick Collison joined the the Seattle Supersonics after winning Most Outstanding Player at Kansas University.  In college, Collison lead the Jayhawks to the National Championship game where he suffered a defeat to Carmelo Anthony's Syracuse Orangmen.  In the 2003 NBA Draft, the Seattle Supersonics selected Nick  with the 13th pick, but after injuries to both shoulders, he missed out on his rookie season. Throughout his career in the NBA, Collison has remained loyal to his team and has provided valuable role player floor time.  He transitioned from a prolific college scorer to an all around, do it all type of player happy to come off the bench to do whatever his team needs.

Pre-season Expectations:

No one expected Collison to score 20 PPG and grab 10 RPG this year because we all know Nick.  His expectations are to set good screens, play solid defense, and maybe score some points.  What we expected was around 20 minutes per game and a nice contribution in those minutes.  Nothing more, nothing less, and those contributions would help the Thunder win games.

Regular Season Grade: B-

Nick Collison did not have an unbelievable season.  When you're a role player coming off the bench, what is amazing? When Perkins was injured, he filled in and played well in those few weeks.  He provided great defense and decent offense while being an awesome locker room leader.  His veteran-esque qualities made him a player for the younger guys to look up to. We hope that he can continue to tutor rookie Steven Adams in the nuances of the game.

Post Season Grade: D

In the postseason, Nick struggled and was inconsistent.  Brooks tried starting him in place of Serge Ibaka but he made a microscopic impact.  As the Western Conference Finals continued on, his floor time decreased every game.  Collison wasn't much help in the postseason- unfortunately. Whether because of rotation or because Collison's years of wear and tear are grinding him down, Nick was his least effective of his career in these playoffs.

Most Memorable Game/Moment:

Honestly, no game was truly memorable, but one that stood out was when he scored 12 points near the end of the regular season to have his best offensive game of the year.  It was against the 76ers when Collison scored 12 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, with 1 block, and 2 steals in just 26 minutes.

Also, Collison wore a crimson mask in the Thunder's series against the Spurs that would make Rick Flair proud.


Future Expectations:

As Collison gets older and older, his play style and minutes on the floor will decrease.  I don't see him ever leaving the Thunder, though.  He will always remain a solid role player for the Thunder to treasure.  He is in his final year of his contract, but his cap hit is so small that the Thunder should be able to re-sign him for another 2-3 years without much concern for their financial structure.

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Player Grade Explanation:
A: Far exceeded expectations
B: Exceeded expectations
C: Met expectations
D: Did not meet expectations
F: Fell far short of expectations

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