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2009 NBA Offseason: Oklahoma City Thunder

Draft Grades, Offseason Needs, Free Agents


Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com




Oklahoma City Thunder (Last Year: 23-59)


Live 2009 NBA Draft Grades:

3. James Harden, SG, Arizona State
I still don't love it since Rubio was still on the board. Harden with Westbrook, Durant, and Green form a tremendously talented young core in OKC. Again, Rubio would have been my pick. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)

25. Rodrique Beaubois, PG, France
The Thunder swapped this pick to land B.J. Mullens whom they reportedly were very fond of. Oklahoma City doesn't have a lot of talent at center besides Nenad Kristic, and since they are in the youth movement, a project pick this late works. (Even though I think Mullens will be a bust.) (Pick Grade: Meh)



2009 NBA Offseason Transactions:
  • Kings sign SF Desmond Mason
  • Thunder sign PG Kevin Ollie
  • Pacers sign PG Earl Watson
  • Thunder acquire C Etan Thomas from Timberwolves for SF Damien Wilkins, PG Chucky Atkins, 2nd-rounder
  • Thunder cut PG Earl Watson
  • Thunder acquire SG Robert Vaden from Bobcats for cash
  • Thunder acquire C B.J. Mullens from Mavericks for PG Rodrique Beaubois



    2008-09 Season Summary:
    The Thunder were awful in the 2008 portion of the season but were able to come together enough to be a respectable team in 2009. They played in a ton of close games and the roster really grew under Head Coach Scott Brooks after he took over in late November. The core of the team put together by GM Sam Presti truly gelled over the course of the season and is in good shape to build for the future.





    2009-10 Projected Depth Chart:


    C: Nenad Krstic/Nick Collison/B.J. Mullens/Etan Thomas

    PF: Jeff Green/D.J White

    SF: Kevin Durant

    SG: James Harden/Thabo Sefolosha/Robert Vaden/Kyle Weaver

    PG: Russell Westbrook/Kevin Ollie



    NBA Free Agents:


    PG Shaun Livingston (UFA)

    F Malik Rose (UFA)

    C Robert Swift (UFA)



    2009-10 Team Salary: Approximately $41.7 million


    2009-10 Expected League Salary Cap: $57.3 million


    NBA Offseason Needs:


    1. A second two guard - GM Sam Presti has made it clear he intends to build the team's future around Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook. However if the Thunder are going to be successful they need a scorer that can play on the wing and can also slash to the basket. Durant is obviously the first scoring option but the Thunder are much better off if Green becomes the third scoring option and Westbrook can become more of a floor general.

    2. A Defensive Stopper - While OKC has a good offensive core of players they don't really have anyone that can match-up against the opponent's best scorer on a night to night basis. With all the close games that the Thunder were in last season, a lock down defender could be the difference between a 25 win season and a 33 win season.

    3. A Veteran Locker Room Presence - The Thunder are obviously built for the future with all of their young players but the current roster doesn't feature a single player that embodies the "Vocal Veteran Leader" role. Presti needs to get someone that is a so-called "glue guy" that will keep the locker room upbeat and help the young players get acclimated to the NBA life.



    Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
    Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
    All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: wpc112@gmail.com








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