The Thunder needed shooters.
And so general manager Sam Presti went out and found two of them.
Now, will Morris Peterson and Daequan Cook be able to make an impact?
Cook, acquired from Miami along with the 18th overall pick in the 2010 draft, is a career 35.8 percent 3-point shooter. Peterson, a 10-year veteran who came over in the trade with New Orleans that brought No. 11 overall pick Cole Aldrich, has shot 37.4 percent from 3-point range for his career.
Only Kevin Durant (36.5 percent) and James Harden (37.5 percent) shot a better percentage from behind the 3-point line last season than Cook and Peterson have for their careers. The Thunder ranked 25th among the league's 30 teams in 3-point percentage at just 34 percent.
But Cook and Peterson are joining a jam-packed backcourt that features incumbent starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha and emerging second-year swingman James Harden. The Thunder also has versatile forward Kevin Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook, both of whom can play minutes at shooting guard.
So where do Cook and Peterson fit?
The answer, for now at least and barring significant injuries, seems to be as specialists. With the Thunder committed to developing its young talent, Peterson and Cook appear to be long shots to remain on the roster past 2010-11. The Thunder, though, could use both in certain game situations, most notably the end of games, the point in the game that OKC struggled so much last season.
"I'm one of the premier shooters in this league now," Cook said. "I can help a lot."
Rather than have Sefolosha on the court in late-game situations solely because of his ability to inbound the ball, coach Scott Brooks can call upon Cook or the more experienced Peterson.
Cook, the 2009 NBA 3-point Shootout Contest champion, excelled as a spot-up shooter for the better part of the past three seasons alongside Dwyane Wade in Miami. Cook made 153 3-pointers in 2008-09 before a shoulder injury derailed his development last season. In Oklahoma City, he could benefit from similar drive-and-kick opportunities that Westbrook creates much like Wade does for the Heat. Durant's nightly double teams also could free up the perimeter for Cook and Peterson.
But the often overlooked skill that Peterson and Cook both possess is the ability to make open shots on limited opportunities. Both players can come in and provide timely baskets in short stints — something they'll likely have to do this season with the Thunder.
"I feel like I can come and give them some veteran leadership and help with my basketball skills," Peterson said.
"I think that this system in Oklahoma fits my style and I feel like I can get the job done."