2014 Oklahoma City Thunder

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Oklahoma City Thunder (Last Year: 59-23)

2013-14 Season Summary:
A consistent title contender the past few season, the Oklahoma City Thunder was once again unable to get over the hump, losing to the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. Kevin Durant played out of his mind this season and got solid support from the Oklahoma City “Big Three” along with Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. However, the supporting cast outside of those three guys left a lot to be desired and will be an area of focus this offseason.

2014-15 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Kendrick Perkins/Steven Adams/^Hasheem Thabeet

PF: Serge Ibaka/Nick Collison/Grant Jerrett

SF: Kevin Durant/Perry Jones/Andre Roberson

SG: Jeremy Lamb

PG: Russell Westbrook/Reggie Jackson

NBA Free Agents:

SF-Caron Butler (UFA)

SG-Thabo Sefalosha (UFA)

^C-Hasheem Thabeet (TO)

2014-15 Team Salary: Approximately $68 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Shooting Guard: With Thabo Sefalosha a free agent, the Thunder should be on the lookout for a shooting guard. Sefalosha has been a solid role player, specifically on the defensive end, but in order to get to the promise land, Oklahoma City should look for an upgrade at the two. Since the Thunder is already over the cap, the team will have to use its midlevel exception to find a replacement if Sefalosha does leave since Jeremy Lamb is not ready to step into a starting role.

2. Bench Scoring: Caron Butler was signed late in the season and provided a needed spark off Oklahoma City’s bench. He is a free agent, and Derek Fisher is now the head coach of the New York Knicks, so the Thunder could be losing two veterans capable of providing some instant offense and shot-making ability. If Butler is not brought back, Presti should look for another veteran capable of stepping into this role.

3. Shop Perkins: Kendrick Perkins’ name seems to frequently come up in the Thunder trade rumors, and that won’t be any different this offseason. He is entering the final year of his deal worth about $9.1 million, and since he is pretty much worthless when on the floor, Sam Presti should shop Perkins’ expiring contract in hopes of finding a better big man.

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