Oklahoma City Thunder: Breaking down the roster

Taking a closer look at each player on OKC's roster.
by Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: October 27, 2013
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photo - From left, Oklahoma City's Hasheem Thabeet (34), Nick Collison (4) and Jeremy Lamb are shown in this cyanotype print made from photos taken during the Oklahoma City Thunder media day on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Oklahoma City. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman. Cyanotype print by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
From left, Oklahoma City's Hasheem Thabeet (34), Nick Collison (4) and Jeremy Lamb are shown in this cyanotype print made from photos taken during the Oklahoma City Thunder media day on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in Oklahoma City. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman. Cyanotype print by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

STEVEN ADAMS

Position: Center

Niche: High-energy big, space-eater. Despite the rawness to his developing game, Adams will consistently bring youthful exuberance to the court and a 7-foot, big-bodied frame to push bodies around.

Opportunity: Originally ticketed for a developmental year in Tulsa, his impressive preseason performance might lead to meaningful minutes right away. It'll be interesting to follow how often Brooks uses him.

Quotable: “He's really big. His hands are really big. Even bad passes, he makes the guys look good. He's doing a great job of catching and finishing. Once he learns the game a little bit more, the small little tricks of the game, I think he's going to be a great player.” — Kevin Durant

NICK COLLISON

Position: Forward/center

Niche: Collison is the ultimate glue guy. He does the dirty work while others get the glory.

Opportunity: Collison's minutes have gradually decreased the last three seasons. His 19.5 minutes last season were his fewest the fewest he's averaged since his rookie season. That trend could continue if OKC again attempts to keep Collison freshm for the playoffs, or his minutes could spike due to his role in more small-ball lineups.

Quotable: “The guy is a flat out winner. He just represents what we want to be about.” — Thunder general manager Sam Presti.

KEVIN DURANT

Position: Forward

Niche: Scoring will always be Durant's primary role. But he's evolving as a playmaker and defender, too.

Opportunity: Many feel this is the year Durant finally snatches the MVP trophy from LeBron James. With Russell Westbrook sidelined for at least the first month of the regular season, Durant will have a chance to show how much he can carry a team. It's a chance for Durant to dominate in all facets, keep the Thunder on the winning track and silence critics who question Durant's ability to lead a team.

Quotable: “I've been second my whole life. I was the second best player in high school. I was the second pick in the draft. I've been second in the MVP voting three times. I came in second in the Finals. I'm tired of being second. I'm not going to settle for that. I'm done with it.”

DEREK FISHER

Position: Guard

Niche: Veteran presence, spot-up shooter. Fisher was brought to OKC for his NBA wisdom, but his typically steady deep shot is always welcome off the bench.

Opportunity: The minutes might be more than Fisher, and his body, would like early on, with Westbrook out. But come playoff time, Fisher will make some kind of impact. He always does.

Quotable: “People might think of him as, well, he is an old guy. But his defense is really good: keeping the ball in front, contesting shots, boxing out. He plays like he's 25 years old.” — Kevin Durant

RYAN GOMES

Position: Forward

Niche: Defense, rebounding and the occasional 3-pointer. Gomes has built a reputation for beingan experienced player who understands how to play his role.

Opportunity: Gomes is staring at a logjam at both forward positions. With Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison commanding the bulk of those minutes, there isn't much playing time left.

Quotable: “Whenever the opportunity presents itself, two minutes, five minutes, 20 minutes, I think I'll be ready to go out there and play as hard as I can.” — Thunder forward Ryan Gomes

SERGE IBAKA

Position: Power forward

Niche: Defense, rebounding and midrange shooting. Ibaka has been the league's best shot-blocker for three straight years, and he's rapidly becoming one of the game's best shooting big men.

Opportunity: With guards James Harden and Kevin Martin now out of the picture, Ibaka can slide into the role of third scoring option. There is no reason to think he can't average 15 points this season.

Quotable: “There are so many arteries to his game that I think will continue to be developed over time. He's still a very young basketball player.” — Thunder general manager Sam Presti

REGGIE JACKSON

Position: Point guard

Niche: Jackson has a knack for slithering his way into the painted area and finishing at the rim. He also can put pressure on defenses with his midrange shooting and passing.


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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