NBA Trades: Breaking Down the Oklahoma City Thunder's New Starting Lineup
Just hours before the NBA trade deadline a deal shocked many fans when the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder decided to swap Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.
This was obviously a trade that has big implications on both of these teams lineups, and many experts say it could make the Thunder a favorite in the West.
This slideshow breaks down the new Thunder lineup and points out strengths and weaknesses.
Feel free to comment below with your own assessments of the Thunders lineup.
C: Kendrick Perkins/ Serge Ibaka
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Kendrick Perkins will be the starting center for the Thunder moving forward, but right now he is out with a sprained MCL.
Perkins is a great defensive presence for the Thunder, and will be a big improvement over current center Serge Ibaka.
Ibaka will probably end up sliding over to the power forward position, where he is more natural of a fit.
Perkins will be the anchor that this defense needs if they want to make a push and compete with teams like the Lakers and Spurs down the stretch.
This is a big improvement for the Thunder, and the biggest benefit of the trade.
PF: Serge Ibaka/ Nick Collison
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With Perkins being added to the team Ibaka will be able to move back over to the power forward position which Jeff Green has now vacated.
Green was not producing much from the position prior to being traded, and won't be too missed by Thunder fans.
Until Perkins comes back from the injury Nick Collison will hold onto the position. Collison is not exactly the ideal player to be here, but its only temporary until Perkins recovers.
Cutting ties with Jeff Green allowed the Thunder to move over Ibaka and will benefit the Thunder down the home-stretch.
SF: Kevin Durant
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No change here, the Thunder wont be replacing Kevin Durant with anyone any day soon.
Durant is the best player on the team, and maybe the best player in the league right now. He is currently averaging 28.8 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game.
Durant could potentially win the MVP award, and if the Thunder were to make it to the NBA Finals, it would in large part be because of Durant.
This position is unchanged by the trade, but Durant will be happy to have Perkins down low and Robinson handling the ball.
SG: Thabo Sefolosha
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Thabo Sefolosha has struggled of late, and may not hold onto the starting shooting guard position for long.
Sefolosha has scored no points in the last two games, even though he has played more than half the game in each.
James Harden had replaced Sefolosha while he was out with an injury, and could take his spot back soon. Harden is averaging 10.6 points per game.
Shooting guard is probably the biggest weakness in the Thunder starting five, mainly because of the lack of stability.
PG: Russell Westbrook
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The other half of the dynamic duo the Thunder have with Kevin Durant is Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is averaging over 22 points per game, to go along with his 8.5 assists and almost five rebounds per game.
Westbrook has really broken out to be one of the best point guards in the league, even though he is only in his third year.
The addition of Nate Robinson will not hurt Westbrook's paying time, but rather give him a break when he needs it.
The Thunder have a great point guard, and if he can stay away from playoff nerves he could take them very far.
Bench: Nate Robinson, James Harden, Others
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The addition of Nate Robinson to the Thunder makes them have one of the better and deeper benches in the NBA.
The Thunder now have five plays who can give them over 20 minutes off of the bench.
Nate Robinson is a great addition because he is a great spark coming off of the bench. James Harden will be a scorer off the bench in the shooting guard position.
Throw in Daequan Cook, who can also score at the guard position, and big men Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich and the Thunder are very deep.
The Thunder already had a strong bench, and Robinson only makes them more valuable.