Roberson Re-Signs to Reinforce the Perimeter
By Nick Gallo | Thunder Basketball Writer | firstname.lastname@example.org
In the modern NBA, keeping teams together to generate continuity is a challenge. This offseason, at the shooting guard spot, it was a priority.
Thunder General Manager and Executive Vice President Sam Presti sealed up a contract with the Thunder's own homegrown defensive ace, Andre Roberson. Coming off just his fourth season in the league, Roberson earned All-Defensive Second Team honors, and was also the team’s second leading scorer in the 2017 playoffs while shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range.
“In addition to developing into one of the premier perimeter defenders in the NBA, Andre is the ultimate teammate, hustle player and selfless competitor,” said Presti. “Our fans know he will bring grit and maximum effort every time he puts on a Thunder uniform. Andre made it clear that Oklahoma City is the place he wanted to play, and this set the stage for us and his representation to come to an agreement early in the summer. We are thrilled that Dre will continue to be with us as we look to create our future.”
Watch: 1-on-1 with Andre Roberson
Avoiding an offer sheet situation, the restricted free agent Roberson and the Thunder mutually decided to stick together, providing the Thunder with an ideal defense-first guard to balance Russell Westbrook and the Thunder’s other playmakers and shooters on the perimeter. Roberson himself is also a player who continues to make strides on offense and, with more firepower on the floor with him, can be utilized as a power forward or even center when the Thunder has the ball while still chasing around guards when he’s on defense.
While Roberson’s role and assignment can change drastically on a nightly basis, the results that the Thunder has tried to produce on the floor hasn’t changed much. Sustaining success isn’t easy. Yet the Thunder has managed to be in the conversation now for nearly all 10 years of its time in Oklahoma City. Part of the reason why has been its ability to retain core members of the franchise. In this case, it’s Roberson, the ultimate team-first, do-the-dirty-work athlete who sacrifices his body and his statistics for the betterment of the group.
"It’s just doing what I love to do, to go out there and defend," Roberson explained. "I’ll go out there and do it to the best of my ability and focus on that and concentrate on that and go from there."
"I want to be a part of something special," Roberson added. "We want to keep rolling, keep building, keep moving forward."
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) July 14, 2017
That spirit has been a defining quality of Thunder teams for the past decade, and guys like Roberson are the glue that helps this team’s stars be so effective on a nightly basis. The balance generated cultivates an atmosphere of excitement and suspense during each game – a high-flying product that entertains those near and far. Roberson’s leaping, length and love for the game contribute to that Thunder identity, and now he’ll get a chance to keep on making his mark for years to come.
"It was an easy choice for me," Roberson said. "OKC is always where I wanted to be. There was no doubt about it."