OKC Thunder: OKC Blue reap dividends of mid season moves

OKC Thunder (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder affiliate the OKC Blue are reaping the dividends of the midseason moves which have them back in playoff seeding.

Despite the loss of Abdul Gaddy through injury and the OKC Thunder calling up Isaiah Roby the OKC Blue is moving back up the standings. While the Gaddy loss is huge, Devon Hall has stepped into his role admirably. However, the savvy moves of the Blue front office have been huge.

To recap these moves, the Blue traded Vincent Edwards and two 2020 first-round draft picks for Tyler Cook from the Canton Charge. They then waived Courtney Alexander II to make room for NBL standout Scotty Hopson.

In 22 games this season, Cook has averaged 13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He is shooting 59.1 percent from the field. He is another player in the Blue stable who has NBA experience, appearing in 11 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers, scoring 1.7 points in 3.2 minutes per game.

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Hopson, who played last season for the OKC Blue has spent time in the Australian NBL with the New Zealand Breakers. Here he averaged 19.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.1 assists. Last season with the Blue Hopson averaged 16.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists.

Interestingly, this now makes two players on the Blue roster who have used time in Australia to hone their game. Devon Hall played with the Cairns Taipans last year and Hopson this year. Add to this Terrance Ferguson who spent time with the Adelaide 36ers and the OKC Thunder seem to be using the Australian league as an alternative source of development.

Since both Hopson and Cook have been receiving meaningful minutes the OKC Blue has gone 3-0 in a season where they have struggled with the injury curse. Cook has averaged 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists, Hopson has averaged 16.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.1 steals.

With 11 games left in the season, the Blue has managed to get themselves back into the sixth seed. They are just two games back from the third seed and potential home-court advantage.

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Momentum is on their side and with the rumors of LiAngelo Ball about to be signed things could get interesting.