After watching the Spurs collect their 5th Larry O'Brien Trophy, I reminisced on the Thunder's season. A successful regular season. A heated 7 game series vs. the Grizzlies. An easier matchup against the Clippers. And then a complete collapse at the hands of the champions.
I was in utter disbelief. OKC definitely had more of the star power and energy. Yes, the Spurs had a group of ageless veterans and an efficient bench but I didn't think that was good enough to take down the Thunder. And as I deciphered their brand of play, I realized that on most reps, the Spurs move the ball 10 times in between blinks. Some plays, the ball never touches the ground. Ball distribution and ball movement were the assets that got San Antonio to the Finals. With their quick ball movement, they were able to break apart the Heat defense and put up a 5th banner in SA.
Ever since watching the Spurs win from passing the ball, I have advocated a style of play that the Thunder must adopt this offseason. They have always lacked ball movement, and I think it was the knife in their hypothetical heart this season. OKC can take a number of different approaches. They can either go after a guard that can dish and kick out to shooters (they already have Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson) or they can go with the big man approach, which I find much more efficient.
There is nothing like a big man who can pass like a guard. For the Spurs, Boris Diaw was a vital part of their title run because of his ability to pass the ball both on the outside and in the paint. While Diaw is a free agent this offseason, the chances of him leaving Texas are less than Adam Morrison making a comeback and winning MVP. However, he is not the only passing big out there.
Josh McRoberts is a player who recently opted out of his contract with the Charlotte Hornets and could be looking for a team ready to win. McRoberts is an all around player praised for his sneaky defense and ability to move the ball. And when you compare him to Diaw, he might even be a better player than the praised man from SA.
In assist percentage, McRoberts records a 21.9 mark to Diaw's 16.3. In terms of turnovers, Diaw's 16.3 turnovers per 100 possessions is significantly greater than McRobert's 12.1. He also collects more assists and rebounds than Diaw.
In a starting lineup that already features Serge Ibaka, it would be tough for McRoberts to find starter's minutes. However, he would still be valuable to the team and would supply bench production, which the Thunder have lacked all season. As an all around player and just 27 years old, McRoberts has a long career ahead of him as a coveted role player.
Financially, he comes at a cheap price. Though after a career season, he will be expecting a step above what he was making in Charlotte. In 2013-14, McRoberts made $2,652,000. With the possibility of the departure of Thabo Sefolosha and his nearly 4 million dollar contract, making room for McRoberts would be no problem.
As a player off the bench, Josh McRoberts' can provide what the Thunder have lacked, ball movement and bench contribution. At a low price, he would fit perfectly on the roster and be a valuable piece in their pursuit of a ring.