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SI: NBA scout says Carmelo Anthony trade was addition by subtraction for OKC

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Sports Illustrated spoke to league scouts about each NBA team. What’d they have to say about the Thunder?

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated recently released a piece titled “NBA Scouts Unfiltered”, which gave an inside look at each team through the eyes of scouts around the league.

When it came to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the anonymous scout made it clear that trading away Carmelo Anthony was the correct decision for Sam Presti and the organization. “I think George and Westbrook will spread their wings together and be more comfortable in their system without Carmelo Anthony there. That trade was big addition by subtraction, and they added Dennis Schroder too.”

It’s getting repetitive, but this scout also noted the significance of Andre Roberson’s injury, saying that if he had been healthy, the Thunder would have defeated the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs last season. “His absence changed their whole defensive identity. Put him and George together, and that’s one of the very best perimeter defense duos in the league. Take him away, and they’re scrambling their lineups and they’re just not as imposing. Roberson would have helped so much against Donovan Mitchell.”

There’s plenty of interesting notes here, including the scout’s idea that the Thunder should close games with Dennis Schroder, some Jerami Grant appreciation, but not as a starter, and Nerlens Noel serving as a viable backup to Steven Adams.

Check out all of the Thunder notes here.