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OKC Thunder: Offseason has gone according to plan

Many wonder why the team isn't doing more, but OKC is just fine. The team will take its place atop the Western Conference once Russell Westbrook returns from knee injury.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 14, 2013


photo - Oklahoma City won the inaugural championship in the Orlando Pro Summer League.
Oklahoma City won the inaugural championship in the Orlando Pro Summer League.

EVALUATING THE DRAFT

What they did: Steven Adams (12), Andre Roberson (26), Alex Abrines (32), Grant Jerrett (40).

What it means: The Thunder added four more prospects to the pipeline, which should help keep a solid supporting cast around Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.

Analysis: We'd be shocked if any of the four players turned into stars. But with Westbrook, Durant and Ibaka that's not what the Thunder needs. This draft helped OKC fill in the gaps. The Thunder got a potential post presence in Adams, a rebounder and potential defender and corner 3-point shooter in Roberson and two sharp shooters in Abrines and Jerrett. All four will need time to make their marks. But once again, the Thunder used the draft effectively, coming away with four players with various skill sets and ensuring that the franchise won't have to overpay for similar production in free agency.

EVALUATING SUMMER LEAGUE

What they did: Went 5-0 in the Orlando Pro Summer League and won the league's inaugural championship.

What it means: Not much. There were some solid individual showings, but the outcome of those games means absolutely nothing.

Analysis: If anything, the six-day summer league stint affirmed what we already knew. The Thunder has one of the best casts of young players in basketball. Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb led the way. Daniel Orton and Steven Adams looked like young big men with potential. And DeAndre Liggins and Andre Roberson supplied hustle plays and proved to be valuable energy guys. Time will tell how they each pan out. But the week in Orlando was a great steppingstone. “This created a great platform for the rest of the summer,” Thunder summer league coach Rex Kalamaian said. “There's 70 (something) days before training camp begins. They can use this to really springboard them into a great summer, which should take them into training camp. And it's really important that they continue to learn and work on the things that we started with them.”

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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