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Oklahoma City Thunder: Sometimes the best moves are few moves at all

Now that the majority of player movement has concluded, it’s time to take inventory of what actually happened. It’s an important look back because there’s this lingering notion that everyone else got better while the Thunder again stood pat.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: August 17, 2014

Arron Afflalo went from Orlando to Denver via trade in late June.

Fans grumbled.

C.J. Miles left Cleveland for Indiana early in the free agency period.

Observers complained.

Vince Carter ditched Dallas for Memphis.

People panicked.

Pau Gasol then got away, going from the Lakers to Chicago, and Mike Miller decided he would leave Memphis to again play with LeBron James, this time in Cleveland.

That’s about when this offseason was deemed a disappointment for the Thunder by many.

But has it been?

Now that the majority of player movement has concluded, it’s time to take inventory of what actually happened. It’s an important look back because there’s this lingering notion that everyone else got better while the Thunder again stood pat.

Oklahoma City’s biggest free agent acquisition was sharpshooter Anthony Morrow, a pick-up that doesn’t move the needle of excitement but a player nonetheless who could be a big addition to the Thunder’s offense. Journeyman point guard Sebastian Telfair was the team’s only other free agent signing. He’ll be the third string point guard.

Meanwhile, the Thunder let starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha and mid-season acquisition Caron Butler walk in free agency, while also losing Derek Fisher to retirement. In the draft, OKC selected promising big man Mitch McGary but also came away with two players who are headed for the Development League in Josh Huestis and Semaj Christon.

None are moves that will get the Thunder over the hump.

But take a moment to compare the Thunder’s summer to the rest of the conference. You’ll see that few West competitors found the success that allegedly eluded OKC. And, remember, with the exception of defending champion San Antonio — which has had an even quieter summer than the Thunder despite battling injuries and an increasingly aging roster — everyone else is playing catch up.

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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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