Breaking down the OKC Thunder's training camp roster

by Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: September 26, 2013

The Oklahoma City Thunder is set to kickoff the 2013-14 season.

On Friday, the team will host media day before practices begin in earnest Saturday.

This season's squad will feature up to three new players, rookies Steven Adams and Andre Roberson, as well as veteran Ryan Gomes. Others are expected to take on bigger roles. Reggie Jackson could be the team's newest sixth man. Jeremy Lamb could be counted on to space the floor with perimeter shooting. And the backup center spot could be up for grabs between Adams, Hasheem Thabeet and Daniel Orton.

As training camp gets underway this weekend, here's a look at each of the 15 players projected to make the roster. We examine their expected roles, how they fit and their individual strengths and weaknesses.

STEVEN ADAMS

Position: Center

Height: 7-0

Weight: 250

School: Pittsburgh

Years pro: Rookie

Contract status: Four years, $9.7 million.

Expected role: Third or fourth string center

Notable: Selected 12th overall in this year's draft … A native of New Zealand … Youngest of 18 children … Has a sister who is an Olympic gold medalist as a shot-putter.

Has a skill: Size and athleticism are his two biggest strengths. He runs the floor and uses his frame to discourage opposing offensive players from scoring inside.

Needs to drill: Rebounding. In summer league play Adams was often in the right position but for some reason was slow to use his athleticism to haul in rebounds.

NICK COLLISON

Position: Power forward

Height: 6-10

Weight: 255

School: Kansas

Years pro: Nine

Contract status: Two years, $4.82 million

Expected role: Interior energy off the bench. Minutes often hinge on matchup.

Notable: Has never been with another NBA franchise … Appeared in at least 63 games in all of his nine seasons … Shot a career best 59 percent both of the past two years … Won Big 12 Player of the Year at Kansas.

Has a skill: Consistency. He's going to play hard. He's going to play energized. He's going to play smart. He's going to serve as the team spokesman after the game. He's never going to complain about his limited role (even if the fans do). Not much more you could ask.

Needs to drill: Post defense on bulkier big men. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol overpowered Collison at times during the Memphis series last year, leaving him in vulnerable positions. He's not usually known as a hacker (2.4 fouls per game), but here are his foul totals against the Grizzlies: 5, 6, 5, 6, 4. Tough task, but he has to be better against those two.

KEVIN DURANT

Position: Small forward

Height: 6-9

Weight: 235

School: Texas

Years pro: Six

Contract status: Three years, $57 million.

Expected role: Starting small forward and go-to scoring option.

Notable: Last season he became the youngest player in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the 3-point line and 90 percent from the free throw line … Averaged a postseason career-high 30.8 points last year … Recorded three triple-doubles last season.

Has a skill: Scoring. Few, if any, do it better. Durant already has won three scoring titles, and there isn't a spot on the floor where he can't put the ball in the hoop.

Needs to drill: Defense and ball security. Durant improved both last season, but he still has room to grow. His length should allow him to be a consistent stopper on the ball, and he's got to do a better job of not fumbling the ball away or getting stripped.

DEREK FISHER

Position: Shooting guard

Height: 6-1

Weight: 210

School: Arkansas-Little Rock

Years pro: 17

Contract status: One year, $1,399,507

Expected role: Veteran presence in the locker room, 3-point specialist in limited minutes on the court.

Notable: Third oldest current player in the NBA (behind Steve Nash and Marcus Camby) … Owns five championship rings … Fourth all-time with 273 career playoff 3-pointers.

Has a skill: Clutch and streaky shooter. How many straight shots did he miss after joining the Thunder in March last season? 19? 20? 200? But when he finally got his rhythm, and when OKC needed him most, Fisher got red-hot from deep, going 24-of-51 from 3 (47 percent) in 11 playoff games.

Needs to drill: Athleticism — but good luck finding a time machine. At this point, we know what Fisher is and we know what he's not. Wake him up in mid-April.

RYAN GOMES

Position: Small forward/power forward.

Height: 6-7

Weight: 245

School: Providence

Years pro: Seven

Contract status: One year, $884,293

Expected role: Reserve defender and perimeter shooter.

Notable: The 50th overall pick by Boston in 2005 … Has spent time with Boston, Minnesota and the Los Angeles Clippers … Amnestied by the Clippers in July 2012 … Played last season in Germany.

Has a skill: Versatility. Gomes is not great at anything but does a little bit of everything, from scoring to rebounding to passing and defending.

Needs to drill: Ball security. His turnover percentage, or turnovers per 100 plays, in his last NBA season was 13.1, putting him on par with Russell Westbrook's percentage last season.

SERGE IBAKA

Position: Power forward

Height: 6-10

Weight: 235

Country: Congo/Spain

Years pro: Four

Contract status: Four years, $49 million

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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