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OKC Thunder: DeAndre Liggins would like to return to OKC — but does the Thunder want him?

Liggins said: “I don't know if they want to bring me back. I would like to be in OKC. But of course, this is a business.”
by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 3, 2013

Liggins will compete with the Thunder in this year's Orlando Pro Summer League. It will be another way for him to carve out a role in OKC. He knows this summer will be an important one.

“I'm a guy that will work very hard,” Liggins said. “One thing about me is I exaggerate everything. So if somebody tells me to walk 10 miles I might walk 15.”

It's no surprise then that Liggins envisions himself evolving into an impact player and all-around threat.

“I think I can be an eight-point, five-rebound, five-assist type of guy in this league,” Liggins said. “If I keep working, get stronger, keep working on my weaknesses, I think can be that type of guy, that Thabo type guy; defender who can knock down the open shot.”

For now, the Thunder would like it if Liggins focuses on defense. At 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, he has prototypical size and length to be a pest on the perimeter. He also is in a great position to learn from Sefolosha, something Liggins said he did this season.

By following Sefolosha's lead, Liggins said he began to understand defensive schemes better. He slowly picked up on small things within coverages such as when and when not to help.

“I still have to get better with them,” Liggins said. “And I'm willing to do whatever it takes for me to play in the NBA for a long time.”

Liggins already has the energy and effort part down and that often is half the battle. Now, Liggins said he wants to do everything he can to take the next step.

Watch film. Study opponents. Analyze personnel.

“I'm going to have to start knowing what my opponent ate last night,” Liggins said. “I'm going to have to know. That's my job. If I'm going to be a great defender, I'm going to have know them things. That's what the Bruce Bowens do. All the great defenders do that stuff. That's what I'm going to start doing.

“It's going to take time. It's not easy. Of course, Thabo works his tail off. Defending is not easy. If it was easy, everybody would do it. But it's not easy. You got to have energy You got to have commitment to it.”