Western Conference early free agency moves put OKC Thunder on high alert

OKC Thunder Steven Adams, Russell Westbrook and Paul George. (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Steven Adams, Russell Westbrook and Paul George. (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

How do the OKC Thunder keep pace in the Western Conference? The answer is simple.

During the first day of free agency, the OKC Thunder had a wild ride. They seemed to have secured a deal with Nerlens Noel to bring him back, but he backed out of that reported commitment.

From there, the team inked Mike Muscala, a floor-spacing power forward veteran who they hope can add some depth to their roster.

Then, Nerlens Noel officially re-signed with the OKC Thunder without any cryptic Instagram posts.

Related Story. Thunder finalize deal to re-sign Nerlens Noel – for real this time. light

Although the team also added wing depth with the signing of Alec Burks, the reason the Thunder will keep pace with the rest of the west is not any of these additions. While they will help, they are not enough.

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In my opinion, the OKC Thunder will keep up in the west. They will at least keep their sixth seed status from a year ago, but they have a chance to even improve on that mark. And the reason why comes down to one thing —

The answer is simple: health.

The OKC Thunder should be getting shooting guard Andre Roberson back after rehabbing over a year on an injury he suffered in 2017-18.

Paul George was playing at an MVP level during last season, and that is why he was nominated for the award, but a pair of shoulder injuries derailed his campaign.

With both of them healthy, and a bounce-back year from star point guard Russell Westbrook, the OKC Thunder will be just fine in their race out west.

In fact, they could be one of the conferences best teams.

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How do you think the OKC Thunder will do in the new look west?