Northwest, OKC Thunder NBA FA Primer: Masters of the West

NBA Free Agency, OKC Thunder, Damian Lillard, Mike Conley (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA Free Agency, OKC Thunder, Damian Lillard, Mike Conley (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder, NBA Free Agency Series
Nerlens Noel #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA Free Agency Series (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder and Northwest teams enter the NBA Free Agency Moratorium frenzy with the fewest top tier free agents but greatest potential to remain the dominant Western Division.

While the Northwest Division may be the most competitive in the Association they enter free agency with the least amount top tier free agents. Nevertheless, there are a number of next tier talents who’ll impact the reshuffling of team’s rosters and will be key cogs in the 2019 NBA free agency process.

Just like the Southwest Division ruled five years ago sending the entire division to the postseason this past campaign the Northwest witnessed four of five teams make the playoffs. Moving forward, much will depend on free agency.

Still, the Nuggets, Blazers, and OKC Thunder are poised to return fairly similar rotations back while the Jazz has already upgraded by adding Mike Conley and appear to be going in hard core with the free agent market to land additional top tier players.

Meanwhile, the Wolves hope to ride Karl-Anthony Towns to success and look to make a stab at adding one additional top tier free agent talent and presumably could send out of their stars in the process.

The division as a whole should remain the strongest in the West. Yet, if the Jazz and Wolves come out firing in free agency the OKC Thunder could find themselves in a real conundrum next season. Especially if Sam Presti is looking to back out of the luxury tax bracket.

With all due respect to the Pacific Division which houses the Lakers, Warriors, and Clippers, each of whom is expected to be active in NBA Free Agency (either in terms of retention or shopping) the Northwest Division should remain the dominant division next season.

The question is how seismic the shifts will be and more importantly (at least in terms of this fanbase) how much those shifts will affect the OKC Thunder.