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OKC Thunder: Thunder roster might change after all

It's buyout season, and that means veteran players who, for one reason or another, haven't panned out elsewhere could be on the move.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 23, 2014

“You immediately realize that they're bigger than you are individually,” Fisher said of championship-caliber teams. “And often times guys, I think, are better able to sacrifice and check their ego at the door because they know they're fortunate to be in a situation where they're getting a chance to maybe be on a team that maybe has a chance to win a championship.”

For some, that might not be the case.

Granger and Ben Gordon, another player the Thunder could target if Charlotte finalizes a buyout, both will turn 31 in April. They both are in the final year of their contracts and could seek the most opportunity possible to prove they're worthy of one last big contract.

Another option for the Thunder could be Roger Mason, who, at 33, no longer is playing for long and lucrative deals. But as a career 38.3 percent 3-point shooter, Mason could be the consistent perimeter threat the Thunder is missing. Sacramento is expected to soon release him after acquiring him from Miami at the deadline.

The trickiest part about buyout season for a team like the Thunder, though, is adding a player and fitting him in without giving up anyone. Oklahoma City already is working Russell Westbrook back in, which reduces minutes for other players, while other talented players are finding it difficult to crack the rotation as it is. Unlike a trade, where a player often goes out, minutes aren't being freed up by someone's departure.

Therefore, much of the Thunder's decision-making will be about determining not just which player is the best available, but also which player is the best fit for what the team can offer.

But with two open roster spots, as well as a little wiggle room under the tax line thanks to Ryan Gomes' trade to Boston earlier this season, the Thunder could be a player in buyout season after sitting out this year's deadline dance.

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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