Pre-Draft Analysis

Areas Of Strength
The multiple skills of Russell Westbrook were unleashed in historic fashion with his classic triple-double average, and the Oklahoma City offense completely revolved itself around his whims. For the most part, that was positive, as Westbrook set the pace and was all-too willing to be the hero in the clutch (and he often succeeded). His teammates appeared very willing to allow Russ to be Russ, proof that little to no chemistry was altered by Westbrook’s style of play.

Needs Work
Westbrook was so ball-dominant that Oklahoma City didn’t have a solid No. 2 guy. Victor Oladipo appeared to be in awe of Westbrook and seldom took an aggressive stance, and in the process his outside shooting never developed. Other than Oladipo, the Thunder also have issues with scoring at the crucial swing positions; neither Andre Roberson or whomever they plugged in at small forward displayed the kind of scoring mentality that teams need at those spots.

Two Stats That Matter
32.7 -- OKC was dead last in three-point shooting, which is usually a deadly stat in an age of downtown offense. The team tried to spruce up by adding Doug McDermott at the trade deadline and overtime, he could help. Still, this team simply isn’t loaded with long-ball threats and this must be addressed in the off-season. Even Westbrook at 34 percent was iffy at that distance; he did much of his damage with the mid-range and off the dribble.

1.51 -- The combined blocked-shot average of OKC’s two-headed center demonstrates how lacking the team is in this department. Neither Steven Adams and especially Enes Kanter are intimidating at the rim, although Adams is fairly effective as an on-ball defender. OKC will likely live with this unless it unloads one of the two, possibly Kanter, and fetches some inside defensive help.

The Way To Go
NBA.com's Draft expert, Scott Howard-Cooper, offers up his suggestions:
The search for three-point range, and better shooting in general, could lead to Terrance Ferguson at 21. Ivan Rabb does not yet have the ability to step outside, but does a lot of other good things on offense, although the Thunder picked another power forward, Domantas Sabonis, a year ago.

2016-17 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank) 
Offensive: 106.6 (11th)
Defensive: 105.1 (10th)

Under Contract
G: Russell Westbrook
G: Alex Abrines
G: Victor Oladipo
G: Semaj Christon
F: Josh Huestis
F: Domantas Sabonis
F: Kyle Singler
F: Doug McDermott
C: Enes Kanter
C: Steven Adams

Free Agents
F: Jerami Grant (team option)
F: Taj Gibson (unrestricted)
F: Nick Collison (unrestricted)
G: Andre Roberson (restricted)
G: Norris Cole (unrestricted)

Recent Draft History
2016: Domantas Sabonis (11)
2015: Cameron Payne (14), Dakari Johnson (48)
2014: Mitch McGary (21), John Huestis (29)
2013: Steven Adams (12), Archie Goodwin (29), traded to Phoenix; Alex Abrines (32)
2012: Perry Jones (28)


-- Shaun Powell


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