When you look back on the personnel of previous teams who have the NBA title, you notice a few things: A go-to player and someone who can just flat out win games for you, a post-presence, and a shooter.
2011-2013 Miami Heat:
Go to scorer: LeBron James.
Post presence: Chris Bosh
Shooter: Mike Miller/Ray Allen/ Shane Battier
2010-2011 Dallas Mavericks:
Go to scorer: Dirk Nowitzki
Post presence: Tyson Chandler/ Dirk Nowitzki
Shooter: Jason Terry
2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers:
Go to scorer: Kobe Bryant
Post presence: Andrew Bynum/ Pau Gasol
Shooter: Sasha Vujacic/ Trevor Ariza
Now, take a look at the Thunder roster. They have the go-to- scorer in Durant. Matter in fact, they have two of them. Two deadly scorers. But, what are they missing? The answer is a post presence and a shooter.
As hard as it is to say, I really don’t think Oklahoma City can get the job done with Kendrick Perkins as their starting center. Yes, he brings a tough mentality to this Thunder team. Yes, he is a vocal guy in the locker room. But, no, he doesn’t bring much of anything that will actually help this Thunder team come playoff time. My suggestion? Amnesty or let Perk go.
Why? Because if you also look at that Miami Heat roster last year and the year before, they usually went with a small line-up with Bosh, James, Wade, Allen, and Chalmers. Why can’t the Thunder do the same? They have the personnel for it. A line-up of Jackson, Westbrook, Durant, and Ibaka would be pretty darn hard to stop. I would absolutely love to see Presti let go of Perk, or just have Scott Brooks limit Perk’s minutes and not have him in late in a close game.
In terms of trading Perkins, I can’t think of any team that would really take Perkins at this point in his career. He was a valuable asset in Boston, but it almost seems as if he lost his mojo when he came to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green.
It’s pretty hard to dodge the fact that, last night, Perkins logged only 16 minutes as Brooks went to a small line-up. Nick Collison played 21 minutes, and Ibaka 25 minutes.
The good news for Thunder fans is that after last night’s game, Perk tweeted, and then deleted,”I’m sitting here thinking and it might be time for a change.”
If Presti lets him go, that may be the best decision he has made in a while. Let Brooks go with a small line-up, and put trust into 1st round pick, Steven Adams.
In terms of a shooter, the Thunder as of late could have really used one. Per game, Oklahoma City is shooting 22.7 threes a game, and only hit five of those. That’s an atrocious 22 percent. Last night, the Thunder were 2-18 from deep. It’s no wonder why Oklahoma City went after Marco Belinelli, and Dorell Wright.
If the Thunder were to trade right now for a shooter, there are a few options. They could bring back Daequan Cook, played for the Thunder two years ago, and spent last year with the Bulls. Other options are Leandro Barbosa, Andrew Goudelock or Richard Hamiliton.
These are just a few options for Sam Presti and the Thunder right now. I don’t know what the Thunder will do to improve, if anything. But I do know that the Thunder won’t win a title with this current roster in tact.