The Oklahoma City Thunder have been relatively quiet during this free agency period. Aside from a number of rumors and plenty of speculation, the only off-season move made thus far has been the signing of backup veteran point guard (and former high school phenom) Sebastian Telfair who spent last season dominating the Chinese league.
The Thunder have been heavily linked to a number of free agents including Pau Gasol but the wait continues as all teams are standing pat, waiting for Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James to decide where they will continue their NBA careers.
When OKC drafted Mitch McGary and Josh Huestis in the 2014 NBA Draft, it looked as though they were future-proofing the side. This is a very strategic move and in line with the Thunder franchises “sustainable success” model, but many are wanting to see OKC use their trade exception and mid-level exception this season to add pieces that will contribute right away.
The Thunder were sent packing by the eventual NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in six games, but most felt the Thunder were very close to a return to the NBA Finals. Now that Derek Fisher has taken up coaching and Thabo Sefolosha has decided to join the Atlanta Hawks, replacements need to be found.
Free agency should be able to net the Thunder some outside shooting help and perhaps some low post assistance. A number of names have appeared on the “wish list” but as with everything Thunder-related, news and info is very hard to come by. In fact, OKC fans are used to not knowing what is going on until pen hits paper – and that is just the way the Thunder front office like it.
Knowing that OKC can’t afford to get into a bidding war for free agents services, they try to keep their interests very quiet to avoid focus from other teams. Names like Vince Carter, Anthony Morrow, Mike Miller and countless others have been thrown around – but there is nothing concrete. Other potential Thunder targets like CJ Miles have already decided their fate – and it won’t be in OKC.
Heading in to the second week of the free agency period, basketball fans are getting restless. All moves are on hold until the superstars choose where they want to play and then it will be a flurry of action to sign the “leftovers”. The Oklahoma City Thunder always have a plan – and the general feeling around the place is that they have their targets set on getting Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka some help. The development of Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb and Steven Adams will only do so much – and Sam Presti knows it.
With the trade exception the Thunder received for Kevin Martin expiring on July 11, the Thunder would be hoping Melo and LeBron makes their decisions quickly. Then OKC can spring into action – and hopefully deliver a knockout blow that no-one saw coming.