Free agency is in full swing, and the Thunder has been linked to a couple of surprising names. Center Hasheem Thabeet already has come to town for a visit, and the Thunder is believed to be interested in Lakers restricted free agent forward Devin Ebanks as well. Thunder general manager Sam Presti never tips his hand regarding these types of things and today was no different when asked about the status of those two players. But here's what he told The Oklahoman.
As we've gone through the free agent process, we've had several conversations about different players. We're looking at evaluating all of our options. I won't comment specifically on whom we're having conversations with but we are looking at different ways to improve the team. If there's something that we decide to act on, obviously we'll let you guys know. But we've talked to several different guys. A part of free agency is constantly evaluating your team and making a lot of phone calls."Thabeet is probably a lock to sign with the Thunder. In terms of free agent splashes, Thabeet doesn't even qualify as a ripple. But I've attempted to explain why the Thunder would be interested. Ebanks, on the other hand, is a very intriguing player. Ebanks was a mid-second round pick out of West Virginia in 2010. At 6-9, 215 pounds, he's got great size to be able to do several things well. But casual fans might remember him as the guy who defended Kevin Durant fairly well in the last regular season meeting between the Thunder and Lakers and at times in the second round of the playoffs. Ebanks, who will be just 23 at the start of next season, would be a great addition if the Thunder could get him. His defensive skills and potential for growth as a perimeter shooter are exactly what the Thunder needs on the wing. In time, he could develop into an ideal player to throw at LeBron James should the Thunder and Heat meet again in the NBA Finals. As it usually is, money will be the deciding factor. But if OKC can ink Ebanks to an inexpensive deal, he'd be the perfect young player to add to the program. -DM-