The Oklahoma City Thunder recently made a lot of noise during the offseason, as Sam Presti managed to pull off a couple of impressive moves to land All-Star duo of forwards Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to try and help Russell Westbrook lead the team back to the NBA Finals.
Thunder fans got extremely hyped and thought this move would represent an instant playoff bound for the reigning MVP and his franchise, but after a dismal 1-2 start, it seems like it may take some time while they build up some chemistry and start racking up Ws.
Of course, being three players that enjoy to have the rock on their hands as much as possible, at least half of the fans raised serious doubts and concerns regarding their ability to play together and actually be productive considering they would all have to sacrifice a lot of touches to succeed together.
The standout trio has played pretty well individually and all together, but there are serious doubts regarding this team’s durability, considering how shorthanded they got in order to land PG-13 and Melo, having a really thin bench in the fiercest conference.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some free agents that may actually help the Thunder get some spark off the bench and ease some pressure off their OK3’s shoulders.
5. Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes’ offense isn’t really a factor here and perhaps you may say that they don’t need another guy that’s unable to send the ball to the bottom of the nets like Andre Roberson, but Barnes defense could come really handy for the Thunder.
Barnes has always been an extremely pesky and crafty defender, and he could really make up for some of the defensive liabilities that both Paul George and Carmelo Anthony bring to the table whenever they’re on an NBA hardwood.
4. Rodney Stuckey
Rodney Stuckey won’t give you anything on defense and it’s not the best playmaker you’ll see, but he can definitely get you buckets and that’s something the Oklahoma City Thunder desperately needs off the bench.
Stuckey could play alongside Raymond Felton and even off the ball in some sets alongside Russell Westbrook as a sharpshooting specialist, and with Russ constantly attacking the lane, he’d get a lot of open looks.
3. Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson has been trying to get back to the NBA for a very long time now, even letting the Phoenix Suns know that he’s available to take Eric Bledsoe’s spot if (when) they both decide to part ways eventually.
Robinson could bring instant offense off the bench and we all already know what he’s capable of doing with the rock in his hands, and that kind of grit he always brings would definitely suit well on a team that’s keen to shut mouths this season.
2. Derrick Williams
Ever since Domantas Sabonis and Enes Kanter left the team it was pretty obvious that the Thunder was going to be extremely shorthanded in the frontcourt, as the Turkish man was their first player off the bench and logged heavy minutes on a nightly basis.
Williams is an already proven and very productive substitute power forward and he can provide a lot of energy and solid rebounding off the bench, trying to ease some pressure off Adams’ shoulders to try and keep him fresh.
1. David Lee
Just like Williams, David Lee could provide a lot of spark off the bench for a team that’s definitely lacking some help in the paint, and even though he’s never been much of a defender, his offensive game and rebounding have always been pretty decent.
Of course, Lee’s nowhere his former self and his better years are way behind him, but he could still score in the low teens and provide a lot of experience and fresh legs to the Thunder, and he could be really useful in small lineups featuring all shooters.