The New York Knicks have bought out Metta World Peace (and Beno Udrih) and the former defensive player of the year has nominated the Oklahoma City Thunder (along with the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat) as a potential franchise of interest. While World Peace has seen limited action since signing with the New York Knicks, he still seems fit enough and strong enough to play a valuable role in a teams post season run. The question is, would he be a good fit for the Thunder?
The Thunder were quiet this season as the trade deadline came and went. Some people thought they might like to try and bolster their bench for a playoff tilt, but welcoming back Russell Westbrook was the only move the Thunder made. Now, with a number of players looking at being bought out of their contracts, there is another exciting period of time where players may or may not find themselves on different teams and altering the fortunes of another franchise.
Oklahoma City Thunder could use a bit more experience, some defensive assistance and reliable outside shooting. It may ease the pressure on the stars Westbrook and Durant, but it also might take some of the burden off the bench and young guns like Jeremy Lamb who have yet to really experience the intensity of playoff basketball. They could also use a big strong wing who they can throw on players such as LeBron James when opposition teams go to their “small ball” rotations and the Thunder need to adjust.
We have recently seen Glen “Big Baby” Davis find his way to the Los Angeles Clippers and no doubt we may see a few others over the next week or so (there is talk of Danny Granger being bought out by the Philadelphia 76ers and Caron Butler being bought out by the Milwaukee Bucks). Can these veteran players still offer a contending team something? No doubt. Are the Thunder likely to be able to secure anyone? Time will tell.
Granger has reportedly been keen on the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, and Caron Butler would almost certainly team back up with Dwyane Wade at Miami where he played earlier in his career – but will Metta World Peace find a home? Would the Thunder gamble on the volatile small forward and would the return be worth the risk?
World Peace seems to have calmed down since his “bad boy” days and can still be a defensive presence in short spurts, but his outside shooting – something the Thunder could really use – is lackluster at just 30% from deep this season. Since the Thunder are already rolling and trying to incorporate Westbrook back into the lineup, I highly doubt they make a move such as this. If Granger ends up being waived though and is willing to come to Oklahoma City – that could be a different story.