Recently, the Oklahoma City Thunder inked veteran sharpshooter Anthony Morrow to a three-year, $15 million contract, adding a perennial deep threat to their offensive arsenal. In 2013-14, the Thunder shot roughly 36 percent from three, which amongst other NBA teams is fairly average. Take away MVP Kevin Durant‘s long distance contributions and the team shot right around 33 percent, placing them bottom five in three point field goal percentage. In simpler terms, Durant needs some help.
Last season for the New Orleans Pelicans, Morrow shot the ball at 45.1 percent from three point range, a staggering improvement at the shooting guard position for OKC, who got 31 percent, 33 percent and 36 percent contributions from Thabo Sefolosha, Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb, three players who played significant minutes at shooting guard.
What Morrow lacks in defensive intensity, he more than makes up for in pure shooting ability. He’ll most likely set up shop in the corner — his most productive location on the floor — while Durant and Russell Westbrook penetrate and look to find open guys.
After a miserable season from the Thunder bench, the addition of Morrow brings along attention from opposing defense. Space immediately gets created in a typically crowded paint area. The best part of this deal is that Morrow’s weaknesses don’t ever have to be exploited or exposed. He is there to do one thing, shoot the basketball and shoot it well. If he can do that, Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka can pick up the slack on defense, along with the promise of wing defender Andre Roberson. The Thunder added offensive firepower in an area that lacked in 2013-14.
Look for Morrow to make a significant difference immediately.