Paul Watson fills a big OKC Thunder void as the 3 and D specialist

OKC Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors guard Paul Watson (1) defends : Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors guard Paul Watson (1) defends : Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder new addition former Toronto Raptors guard Paul Watson (1) goes up for a layup against the Hornets: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /

The OKC Thunder continue to tweak the roster as they inch closer to training camp. Most of the players this season will fall into a few categories. The established core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, and Aleksej Pokusevski are the trio of current untouchables.

The next group features a returning group of youngsters who will be anxious to carve out their role within the future core of the organization. Players like Darius Bazley, Theo Maledon, Isaiah Roby, and Kenrich Williams comprise this group. Meanwhile, Derrick Favors and Mike Muscala are the two veterans who’ll man the hardwood and practice sessions.

Yet the vast majority of the OKC Thunder roster is comprised of youngsters vying to grow and develop within the system. Their hopes will be pinned on earning a role and demonstrating why they’re the perfect fit for Mark Daigneault’s squad.

Included in that group are four rookies with a trio on the varsity squad (Josh Giddey, Tre Mann, Jeremiah Robison-Earl) and Aaron Wiggins who’ll begin his Thunder tenure on a two-way contract.

Why Paul Watson will keep OKC Thunder 2-way conversion streak intact

This weekend, the OKC Thunder filled in the second 2-way contracted spot by picking up Paul Watson Jr. after the Toronto Raptors waived him to create cap space. The initial glance at his NBA career offers more insights from his G-League run but there are more than a few reasons to be excited about this addition.

Despite his limited varsity run, Paul Watson was a great offseason pickup for Sam Presti. In fact, it was a commonplace rant of mine with cohort Rylan Stiles that I wished the OKC Thunder would go steal Watson from Toronto. Suffice to say this news was met with glee on this end of the world.

The forward’s main issue has been consistency during his four-year tenure and breaking into a championship roster didn’t help his cause. Last offseason, Watson spent his time developing alongside good friend Pascal Siakam and looked great in training camp.  There were many in Raptorland who felt this would be the season Watson would earn a consistent rotational spot in Nick Nurse’s reserve lineup.