Oklahoma City Thunder Should Continue Targeting These 5 Free Agents
Oklahoma City Thunder Looks to Regain Its Lightning Through Free Agency
The Oklahoma City Thunder were all set to have a rematch against the Miami Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals, until their All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook went down with an injury. As the Thunder regroup and try for a third time, they will need to continue targeting these five free agents if they want to pick up where they left off.
During the 2013 offseason, the Thunder suffered a huge blow when they lost their best scorer off the bench in Kevin Martin, who decided to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Thunder once again were one of the best teams in the Western Conference with a 60-22 record. They were in the top 10 both offensively and defensively, and had a chance until the dynamic one-two punch of Kevin Durant and Westbrook was gone when the point guard had a season-ending injury in the playoffs.
If the Thunder realized one thing about their early disappointing exit against the San Antonio Spurs, they finally got a taste, along with Durant, of what life would be like without their star point guard.
To make matters worse, the Thunder have lost two key players in consecutive offseasons in James Harden and now Martin.
Replacing Harden was hard enough, but with Martin gone, the Thunder do not have their typical scorer off the bench, and will need to continue targeting these five free agents to replace a key ingredient to their success.
5. PG Mo Williams
Mo Williams would be the first person the Thunder should go after in terms of finding a backup point guard for 2013. Williams is not only an exceptional three-point shooter, but he is the best available point guard on the market.
If the Thunder could some how pry him away from the brink of signing with the Heat, the Thunder would have a dynamic point guard on the second unit that would surely offset the loss of Martin immediately.
4. PF Lamar Odom
Getting Lamar Odom to come to the Thunder is an intriguing situation, but nonetheless, the Thunder could use his skills and athleticism in their front line. For years, the Thunder have had a tough time scoring down low with their big guys, but with Odom, things could change.
If Odom ever became the player he once was, he could be the missing piece the Thunder need to achieve their goal. Odom can rebound, shoot, dribble, defend and help take the pressure off of Thunder’s two star players from time to time.
3. SF Mickael Pietrus
Forward Mickael Pietrus is another player that can help offset the departure of Martin, as he is a good shooter from distance as well. Although Pietrus has not been able to duplicate his success during his time in Orlando, he is still a capable scorer off the bench and a strong defender on the wing.
Pietrus would add shooting, another strong wing defender and help with the scoring load on the second unit.
2. SG Darius Morris
With Martin gone, he also took his three-point shooting skills along with him. Outside of Durant and Westbrook, the Thunder do not have a legitimate shooter on their roster.
Shooting guard Darius Morris would be a good option to turn to, as he is coming off a season where his three-point shooting skills were impressive. Although he is a streaky shooter, he has turned into a decent shooter that improved greatly last season.
1. SG Leandro Barbosa
Losing Westbrook in the playoffs was terrible, but at the same time a good thing because it reminded the front office just how important their star point guard is to the success of this team.
With that being said, the Thunder need to target a point guard that can score, play a little defense and be an efficient player. In this position, I would say go after Williams, but sources have it that he is in deep discussion with the Heat. So the second-best option is to go after is Leandro Barbosa.Not only would Barbosa be a huge upgrade over Derek Fisher and Reggie Jackson, but it will also give them a good insurance just in case Westbrook needs some time to get back to form.
Barbosa may not be the best defensive player, but he knows how to score and run an offense.