Oklahoma City Thunder: Small Forward Position One To Target This Summer
The Oklahoma City Thunder missed Kevin Durant this season and looking for his replacement is necessary if they want to advance in the playoffs.
Westbrook was a do-it-all player for the Thunder this season and he had an MVP-caliber season, which is great, but he needs help. Westbrook cannot be relied on to get a triple-double every night. It is nothing to him, but he will need to be able to rely on teammates if the Thunder want to go anywhere.
The position that has the biggest hole is the small forward position, which was occupied by Kevin Durant a season ago.
There are options for the Thunder during the offseason and they will need to bolster that position if they want to be able to do more than a first round exit next season.
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The small forward position will need to bea superstar. Somebody with KD’s scoring ability and star power. It can be a rising star or somebody that is established. Either way the team will need a second option at that spot.
Victor Oladipo will be the third option if they can get him to realize his potential. In the offseason he will have to work hard to push his limits to the next level and help get the Thunder a Big Three.
Carmelo is a player that has had to deal with horrible seasons in New York. Phil Jackson doesn’t want Melo on the team anymore and it looks like these are his last days of being a Knick. If the Thunder were going to get Melo they would have the offensive player that they need to help Westbrook.
Melo is an older player but he still has a couple of years left of good basketball. He says he doesn’t want to leave New York, but he is also human and he wants to win.
The Thunder need a second offensive threat and Carmelo can score anywhere on the floor and in any way.
He can score with his back to the basket, driving, facing the basket and at the line. Melo is a good player down the stretch of games also, so he can make the Thunder a dangerous team with options.
It would be a good fit because the Thunder have role players that do the dirty work and all Melo would have to do is be plugged in and focus on scoring the ball, though it remains to be seen if OKC could put together a trade package that makes such a deal worth their while.
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Gordon Hayward is a good fit because he is a grind-it-out player that works hard on both sides of the ball. Hayward fits in with the team because he fits the identity of the Thunder, which is hustle hard.
Hayward might not want to leave the Utah Jazz because they are building something there and he would still be in the Western Conference but if the Thunder were able to persuade him to join, he would be playing with Westbrook, who is a top-three player — something that the Jazz do not have.
Paul George is a player that has seen success in the Eastern Conference and moving to the Western Conference might hurt his brand because there are so many stars established in the west already but the Thunder are a team that has role players that can help you win games. They have the potential to be great, but they need that one player that gives them another scoring option.
George has the ability to score at an outstanding rate and he can single-handedly win games by himself. If George comes aboard that means there are two players on the Thunder that have the same drive. It would make them dangerous.
The Thunder already won almost 50 games with just Westbrook and now with George they could be that team that they once were with Durant, though again, it’s unknown what kind of trade package the Pacers would accept for PG-13 knowing that he may be Los Angeles-bound in his 2018 free agency.
A star player joining the Thunder knows that it is Westbrook’s team, but they also know that they going to a team with a winning culture.
All three players have been on teams that haven’t been to the NBA Finals but Westbrook has been to the Finals with the Thunder.
Being in the West is tough, but again, a winning culture is what makes the Thunder so appealing. OKC would be able to turn these three players’ fortunes around.