2013-14 record: 59-23
First place, Northwest Division
Lost in conference finals to San Antonio
2014 Draft Picks: Round 1 - Picks 21, 29
TRADE 1: Oklahoma City Thunder acquire the No. 55 pick Semaj Christon from Charlotte in exchange for cash considerations.
Areas of Strength
Star power. With MVP and scoring champion Kevin Durant, and three-time All-Star Russell Westbrook, plus ever-improving power forward Serge Ibaka, the Thunder arguably possess the youngest, most talented core in the league. They’ll continue to rank as a top-10 offense and defense as long as this trio remains healthy.
Ibaka has become a reliable third scorer, but as his absence in the early portion of the West finals revealed, the Thunder don’t have other go-to scorers and particularly a knock-down perimeter shooter. Kevin Martin was a stop-gap addition obtained in the James Harden trade, and they hoped late-season addition Caron Butler could be that in the playoffs.
Two Stats That Matter
8.0 -- The Thunder averaged 8.0 more points per 100 possessions with Kevin Durant on the floor than with him on the bench. It led to Durant playing more minutes than any other player in the league by a wide margin.
15.3 -- That number ranked 24th in the league in turnovers per game.The Thunder’s fast, aggressive style lends itself to miscues, but coach Scott Brooks has preached for years about taking better care of the ball. The only Western Conference playoff team that averaged more turnovers in the regular season was Houston (16.1).
The Way To Go
NBA.com's Draft expert, Scott Howard-Cooper, offers up his suggestions:
Thabo Sefolosha was struggling with his shot, lost his starting job, and was careening toward free agency on a team that some games was not even playing him in the Western Conference finals – shooting guard had quickly and clearly become a need. With Jeremy Lamb having an increased role in the regular season but inconsistent minutes in the playoffs and 2013 pick Alex Abrines yet to come over from his native Spain, the Thunder had a position to target at 21 (from Dallas) and 29, along with possibilities through free agency or trade. P.J. Hairston could be there at the earlier pick, Jordan Adams, C.J. Wilcox and Bogdan Bogdanovic at the latter.
2012-13 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 108.1 (7th)
Defensive: 101.1 (5th)
C: Steven Adams
F/C: Nick Collison
F: Kevin Durant
F: Serge Ibaka
G: Reggie Jackson
F: Perry Jones
G/F: Jeremy Lamb
C: Kendrick Perkins
G: Andre Roberson
C: Hasheem Thabeet
G: Russell Westbrook
F: Caron Butler
G: Derek Fisher
G: Thabo Sefolosha
Recent Draft History
2013: Steven Adams (12), Archie Goodwin (29, traded to Golden State), Alex Abrines (32)
2012: Perry Jones (28)
2011: Reggie Jackson (24)
2010: Eric Bledsoe (18, traded to Los Angeles Clippers), Craig Brackins (21, traded to New Orleans), Quincy Pondexter (26, traded to New Orleans)
2009: James Harden (3), Rodrigue Beaubois (25)
2008: Russell Westbrook (4), Serge Ibaka (24), Walter Sharpe (32, traded to Detroit), Trent Plaisted (46, traded to Detroit), DeVon Hardin (50), Sasha Kaun (56)
2007: Kevin Durant (2), Carl Landry (31, traded to Houston) Glen Davis (35, traded to Boston)
-- Jeff Caplan