3 underrated free agents Thunder must pursue this summer

Mar 12, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Jalen Smith (25) and Oklahoma
Mar 12, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Jalen Smith (25) and Oklahoma / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Jalen Smith

A player many viewed as a player the Thunder should have actually pursued at this past February's trade deadline, with his current contract with the Indiana Pacers set to expire, coupled with talents such as Obi Toppin and, of course, Pascal Siakam being ahead of him on the depth chart, this summer could provide the franchise with a do-over of sorts.

Measuring in at 6-foot-10, the fourth-year pro has the build of a modern-day center, though his mobility, floor spacing potential, and defensive capabilities allow him to slot in at either the four or five which, considering Oklahoma City has shown an affinity toward running Chet Holmgren at the pivot, could be of great use when it comes to lineup formations.

Though his NBA career started off a bit slow considering he was barely ever used on the all-in Phoenix Suns, since joining Indiana two seasons ago Smith has proven why he was such a highly touted prospect when coming out of Maryland back in the 2020 draft.

Over the last three years, the 24-year-old has found himself posting solid averages of 9.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and just shy of a block while cashing in on 52.0 percent of his attempts from the floor.

This year, in particular, Smith showcased his much improved long-range shooting stroke down in the frontcourt, as he converted on a career-high 42.4 percent of his three-point shots while hoisting up 2.4 a night, and, on top of all this, sported a 61.9 percent effective field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot attempts which, considering the Thunder attempted the seventh most of such shots and converted at the third-best rate in 2023-24, he could be a seamless addition to their scheme.

With his build combined with his two-way skills, Jalen Smith is a player who should be near the top of Oklahoma City's wish list this offseason.