The Search For A 15th Man
Days after Thursday’s trading deadline saw four players shipped out of Oklahoma City and only return three, effectively creating one open roster spot, speculation about which player might join the Thunder began to run rampant.
Corey Brewer and Jason Kapono were two of the early names the Thunder reportedly had interest in.
But on Tuesday, the team’s plans for the 15th position became a little bit clearer. And those plans don’t sound like they include Corey Brewer or Jason Kapono types.
“That 15th spot, nothing against that 15th spot because I was that 15th spot a few times in my career, it’s very slim that that spot plays,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “It’s usually a high energy (player) that makes practices very competitive.”
Look back through the Thunder’s history and you’ll see that precise pattern.
During the 2008-09 season, the Thunder signed center Steven Hill to man that spot, then waived him when Nenad Krstic agreed to an offer sheet. Point guard Chucky Atkins was then acquired as part of a mid-season trade with Denver and assumed the role. Late in that season, Shaun Livingston was signed as the 15th man when Joe Smith was waived on March 1.
Last season, the Thunder started the year with Ryan Bowen as its 15th man. Bowen logged just eight minutes in one game before being waived. He was replaced by Mike Wilks in late November. Wilks played just 59 minutes over four games. When the Thunder acquired Eric Maynor, it had to take on Matt Harpring’s contract as well, forcing the team to waive Livingston and Wilks. The Thunder later waived Harpring (who was injured and never reported to OKC) and signed Antonio Anderson from the D-League’s Rio Valley Grande Vipers as the 15th man. Anderson played 15 minutes in just one game while lasting on two 10-day contracts. In mid-March, the Thunder replaced Anderson with guard Mustafa Shakur, first inking him to a 10-day contract, then for the rest of the season. Shakur never appeared in a game for the Thunder.
Going off the Thunder’s history, the current spot would seemingly be filled by a lesser known player, perhaps from the D-League or a veteran who can provide a stabilizing presence. A few of the more realistic names include: Leon Powe, Elijah Millsap, Dominic McGuire, Jannero Pargo, Devin Brown, Trenton Hassell, Da’Sean Butler, Kyle Weaver (yes, that Kyle Weaver) and Ime Udoka.
That’s all just more speculation, of course, as there is a chance, albeit remote, the spot goes unfilled.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 15155OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 10481Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 7111Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 6362Soaring gasoline prices hurt Oklahoma City area retailers
- 6344Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments
- 5951Student shot dead during botched home invasion
- 4162As Boy Scouts' vote on gay members nears, faith groups weigh in
- 4151Oklahoma City Thunder: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins?
- 3884Rockets guard Patrick Beverley bombarded with hateful Tweets after Thunder get eliminated
- 3305Record lottery prize is a powerful draw for Oklahomans
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients