With another NBA Finals complete, we focus our attention upon the greatest corridor of Oklahoma City Thunder speculative dialogue: the off-season.
Today, our well-informed Twitter followers provide two insightful, divergent questions for consideration.
What free agents Should OKC go after (Realistically) Milsap, griffin, ibaka, etc....— Eric Vanegas (@ericvanegas) June 17, 2017
This off-season, facing near certain luxury tax penalties, reportedly GM Sam Presti is undeterred from pursuing high-priced talent. That stated, team owner Clay Bennett might absorb sizable tax figures to aid Russell Westbrook with a coveted secondary scorer.
If approved, expect OKC to allocate approximately $100-140 M of capital in an attempt to entice a free-agent headliner such as Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, or Otto Porter Jr. to join their encampment.
Though, to ensure this works, Oklahoma City likely would renounce free-agents Andre Roberson & Taj Gibson while locating a trade partner to absorb the salary-dump of either Enes Kanter or Victor Oladipo.
Therefore, paying premium for an additional All-Star could induce regression in other vital areas. Yet, with circulating rumors listing Oklahoma City as a willing player, this summer might realistically yield a major Thunder addition to alleviate Westbrook’s usage burden.
Should the Thunder sit tight in Free Agency this year and save money while they try to develop the young guys?— literally sports (@M3kk0) June 17, 2017
While speculation regarding potential summer moves abound, an inconspicuous free-agency may become Oklahoma City’s likeliest route.
Historically, as a small-market franchise, since relocating, Oklahoma City has struggled to attract top names via off-season signing and instead forged advancement through transcendent draft picks.
And choosing at #21 this summer, a ready-made impact piece isn’t likely to materialize next year for Presti and company.
Thus, there is greater incentive associated with featuring the talent available on this current roster, while perhaps adding two reasonably priced needs-based free agents, and re-signing Roberson or Gibson to a value contract.
This answer isn’t flashy, or sexy, but it is, however, practical.
When apprising OKC’s lineup, burgeoning pieces such as Alex Abrines, Domas Sabonis, Steven Adams, Victor Oladipo, Doug McDermott, and Jerami Grant leap out.
Furthermore, when considering the playoff growth afforded to this nucleus, it stands to reason that signing an adequate reserve point guard & finalizing a deal with Roberson could elevate the 47-win Thunder into 50-win territory next season.