As the Thunder head into the 2nd-most scrutinized offseason in OKC history, questions abound as to what the team will do and can do next. We all know what we want the most, but after that, what can we hope for? There is still a nucleus of talent that can make some noise, but is it time to alter expectations, or will the Thunder reload once again?
The WTLC team has a list for you of our own thoughts and, given OKC’s limited flexibility, free agency will be a narrow road. We’re eager to hear your ideas as well. What would make you, Thunder fans, most happy as we look ahead to next season?
1. Re-sign Paul George.
Right, let’s just get this out of the way first and everyone can agree that getting this done essentially determines the arc of the Thunder for the next 2 years at least. He’s officially opted out of his Thunder deal (as we expected) and now it’s time to play the waiting game.
2. Re-sign Jerami Grant.
Grant has blossomed into one of the team’s most important players. He has a pterodactyl-like wingspan, allowing him to credibly protect the rim, as well as guarding positions 1-5. Signing him to a low cost deal will ensure the bench remains solid. (Isaiah Freedman)
3. A Ripped Terrance Ferguson.
If Paul George comes back, the Thunder will be in cap hell and need young players on cheap contracts to play significant minutes to fill out the roster. If PG is gone, OKC may need to think about pivoting to focus on their future. Either way, they’ll be looking for young players to pop, and Terrance Ferguson is their most exciting young player. Their 2017 first round pick didn’t play a ton in his rookie season, but when he did play he flashed the incredible athleticism that made the team want him in the first place. His body however did not look quite NBA ready, as he’s only 19 and very lanky. Ferguson showing up to camp looking strong and jacked could be the prelude to a big improvement in his second season- as would him playing in Summer league this year, something he couldn’t do in 2017. (Ben Mertens)
4. Get Our Man, Steven Adams, Some Help.
Adams is a dominant force in this league, but he is only human. Super-human maybe, but still flesh and blood. Playing Dakari Johnson more, or signing someone if Johnson is incapable, will go a long toward carrying Adams’ energy throughout the season and the playoffs. Gobert got all the accolades in the Adams/Gobert 1st round match-up, but it would have been a different story had Gobert played the entire season and not rested 26 games nursing an injury. The Thunder have to get Adams some help and stop burning that candle at both ends. (RK Anthony)
5. Figure out a solution for Melo
Carmelo Anthony’s contract is dead weight no matter which way you look, but OKC has to figure out a way to extract some sort of value from him. Whether it be a contract buyout, a bench role, or something else, the one thing OKC cannot do is leave things the way they are with him. (Sherman)