Oklahoma City Thunder: One Move Away From an NBA Championship
As Oklahoma City went from just another lottery team to a 50-win team last year, they became the perfect example of how to build a team.
It all started with Kevin Durant.
He was drafted second overall in the 2007 NBA Draft, right behind Greg Oden. Then came Russell Westbrook; he became the established floor leader, and the team had its foundation.
The Thunder continued to draft and trade for different pieces of the puzzle, and have now compiled two All-Stars, an All-Defensive player, one of the league's best shot blockers, and a bunch of scorers and hustle players to come off the bench.
The only thing Oklahoma is missing is a low-post scoring threat.
Serge Ibaka, a high-octane defender with a nice offensive game to boot, is a nice player to have. But until he shows that he can consistently bully players down low for easy points, he's best suited to helping the defense of the second unit.
But without any other true power forward down low, Ibaka is forced to start.
Let's go back to Greg Oden.
He was hyped to be the best big man in the game since Shaq, and still has a ton of potential. If Oklahoma could grab him during this year's free agency and move Kendrick Perkins to the starting Power Forward spot, they'd have a shot at becoming the best defensive team in the NBA.
But Oden brings something else to the team: Scoring.
Oden can score off putbacks, post-up shots, or alley-oops and setups.
If Oklahoma doesn't want to gamble on Oden's injury risk, there's another big name out there.
This offseason, Zach Randolph becomes a free agent.
Randolph is a top-five rebounder in the league and averages more than 20 points per contest. He brings the scoring punch they need and a boost to their rebounding.
He also provides a needed veteran presence, which could help this team, as he's lately shied away from his old habits of being a cancer to the locker room.
If the Thunder could make something happen here, they could well be on their way to their first NBA Championship.
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