The Oklahoman's staff writers discuss three topics surrounding DeAndre Liggins.
1. Does DeAndre Liggins have a future with the Thunder?
Darnell Mayberry: Let's hope so. Liggins is young, tough and cheap. He works hard and has a great attitude. Combine that with his defensive mindset and the Thunder could have a gem of a dirty worker for the foreseeable future.
John Rohde: Anyone who doesn't mind playing defense and doesn't care about scoring has a potential future with the Thunder.
Berry Tramel: Absolutely Liggins has a future with the Thunder. I see him as the No. 10 man. A guy who can provide defense and energy. And if his offense improves, so does his playing time. Best of all, he comes cheap.
2. How much upside does Liggins have?
Mayberry: Probably more than we think. Liggins averaged 3.6 points on 48 percent shooting and 2.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.6 steals in games he played at least 10 minutes. He only had 10 of those games and averaged only 17.5 minutes in those contests. Those numbers aren't great but they're not bad by any means. Also, keep in mind Liggins is nothing more than a glue guy whenever he's on the floor. With steady improvement and ample opportunity, I don't see why Liggins couldn't be a guy who on any given night gets you 10 points, six rebounds or four assists.
Rohde: He showed in his start against Portland he has tremendous upside, but has also disappeared at times. Strive for consistency.
Tramel: Not a ton. I suppose he could become a Thabo Sefolosha-type player, but that's a stretch. Thabo had quite the offensive game in Europe. I don't think Liggins has ever had quite the offensive game in the U.S. Liggins averaged 8.6 points his final season at Kentucky, his junior year. So I think defensive specialist, with limited minutes, is the top level.
3. Who should Liggins pattern his game after?
Mayberry: Tony Allen. No reason Liggins can't be a similar bulldog. Liggins isn't the same athlete but defensively he could pester opponents just as much thanks to his superior length. Offensively, Allen has mastered the art of cutting and snaking his way into the painted area for offensive rebounds and putbacks. Liggins already has shown an ability to make similar plays. He'd be wise to focus on doing those things more.
Rohde: Thabo Sefolosha wouldn't be a bad idea, everything from defense to his spot-up shooting. Liggins already has the work ethic.
Tramel: Well, Thabo, even if Liggins doesn't quite get there. Here's a guy who made a living as a tough defender without much of an offensive game — DeShawn Stevenson, who started 54 games on an NBA title team two years ago and has carved out a 13-year career. Stevenson is limited offensively but has managed to make 34 percent of his 3-pointers as well as play tough defense.