NBA Free Agents 2011: Veterans OKC Thunder Must Target to Make NBA Finals

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 03:  Shane Battier #31 of the Memphis Grizzlies battles for position with Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first quarter in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2011 at Oklahoma City Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder are a young team and adding some veteran players with playoff experience during this free-agency period would help the team make the NBA Finals.

Shane Battier and Grant Hill are two veteran players who would really help the Thunder get to the Finals, and both players have not won a championship before, so their competitive fires still burn brightly.

Let's look at four veterans OKC must target to make the Finals this season.


1. Tayshaun Prince

Tayshaun Prince is an unrestricted free agent and with the Detroit Pistons rebuilding he is unlikely to re-sign with them.

Prince is a good defender whose length allows him the versatility to guard small forwards and shooting guards.

Prince's outside shooting would stretch the floor for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to drive towards the basket.

On a championship contender, Prince could be an important role player who will bring NBA Finals experience and dependable production at both ends of the floor.


2. Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster is a very dependable rebounder and is very efficient with the minutes given to him. He gives tremendous effort and could play the power forward position for the Thunder.

Foster has averaged about seven rebounds per game in his career with 20.7 minutes per game of playing time.

Foster would be inexpensive, likely available for the veterans minimum, and would add some nice depth to the OKC frontcourt.


3. Shane Battier

Shane Battier is a highly respected player who can shoot well from the three-point line and is a dependable shooter.

Battier is also an elite perimeter defender. He has defended stars such as Kobe Bryant very well, and would instantly make the Thunder a better defensive team.

With Battier on the roster, Durant would never have to defend the other's team's best perimeter scorer.


4. Chuck Hayes

Chuck Hayes is a really good post defender who is a bit undersized at 6'9", but he is still a quality big man that would add tremendous depth to the OKC frontcourt.

He averaged 7.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game last season for the Houston Rockets. Hayes would not be an expensive addition for the Thunder, and you can never have enough quality big men who can defend and rebound.