The decision to more or less choose Serge Ibaka over James Harden may go down as one of the dumbest personnel decisions in the history of the NBA if Durant and Westbrook cannot lead them to at least one title in the next few years which I'm doubting more and more due to the HEAT's presence and for some reason I have it in my head that Westbrook may leave to become the man on another squad when his contract is up.
Having three supreme scorers is unheard of and they would be unguardable. At any given time they would have the option of having at least 2 of the 3 on the floor.
The fact they chose an athletic shot blocker over Harden when they come around extremely often is mind blowing to me (Even though Ibaka is one of the better long shot blockers going around).
I think people are forgetting their draft record. They will draft somebody to replace the bench scoring. I think they did not have time to adjust because Harden trade was at the last minute. Getting rid of Perkins contract and adding a offensive big is their biggest issue.
Whilst they have pulled some nice picks out of the back end of the draft, they've also made some blunders on the front. Robert Swift and Mouhamed(Saer) Sene at 12 and 10 respectively, taken ahead of guys like Rajon Rondo, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson..
I think that the Thunder should trade Perkins and their lottery pick to the Phoenix Suns for Marcin Gortat and either Shannon Brown or Jared Dudley.
The Thunder are in win now mode and need a big guy who can score. Marcin Gortat struggled to put up numbers for the 2nd half of last season, but I believe it was because he was not motivated to play well because the Suns were losing so much. Gortat is a true post 7 footer who is athletic, can finish with both hands, can rebound, run the floor, and even hit a few mid range shots. Gortat is not as good of a one-one defender as Perkins, but he blocks more shots weak-side and will make a formidable 4-5 punch with Ibaka. The improvement in offense from Perkins to Gortat is night and day. Gortat will make the game easier for every player on that team because of his ability to get buckets in the paint.
Jared Dudley can play both the 2 and the 3 and he is pretty versatile. Dudley is not athletic, but he has high I.Q. and makes the right play. He also plays great team defense and hits his open shots, inside and out.
Shannon Brown is and undersized 2 guard (6'3), but his offensive capabilities are sometimes underappreciated. He runs the floor, can finish in traffic, and hits his open shots from 3 as well.
I believe that both Brown and Dudley fit in with the Thunder, but if the Thunder are not going to re-sign Kevin Martin they should request Brown and not Dudley.
Absolutely love it for both teams. Phoenix needs to cash in on Gortat and get the lottery pick and then play the rookies next year and try to get the #1 pick in 2014.
I've heard this trade idea mentioned many times and I'm a fan of it particularly for the Thunder. Having Gortat to score in the post would help shift the jump shot happy Thunder offense and actually help get them easier jump shots. Kendrick Perkins is a great one on one defender of big guys, but that's it. In truth there aren't many dominant big guys (by big guys I mean centers) and half the time they have to bench him for his lack of overall contribution.
He should've excelled and been able to play big minutes considering he needed to match up with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph but he only averaged 23 minutes per game in the series. Gasol alone played 40+ minutes per game and dominated against the Thunder...where was Perk and his great D?
If the Thunder can jettison Perkins and the pick to get Gortat I'd certainly make the deal. It would give the Thunder a new dimension there offense hasn't had...an offensive post presence.
They already have enough perimeter scoring when healthy, Harden wouldn't have changed that. They desperately need a guy in the post though, I want them to amnesty Perkins, let Martin walk and use the money saved to get Al Jefferson. That way you get a low-post guy who can score, and Ibaka's mid-range shot means opponents won't be able to double down without getting burned.
Because it's extremely obvious that Ibaka is never going to be a scorer in the post.
I do agree, they shouldn't of traded Harden... they should of amnestied Perkins, kept both Harden and Ibaka, and payed the damn tax. I think everyone thought the Thunder was headed for the Finals before Westbrook went down so was the trade really that terrible? This trade looks worse now because Westbrook went out and Ibaka didn't play very well but they are still going to be title contenders going forward. Once Lamb gets his confidence up, Westbrook is healthy, and Ibaka improves his offensive skills this trade really won't look that bad.
Its been at least 3 years since Perkins could be considered a great defender.
I agree, but more often than not people are still raving about Perkins tough D. I haven't seen it since the last Celtics-Lakers finals before his knee injury. Perkins doesn't provide much as a player at this point. He's slow, can't score well, and doesn't rebound well for his size. He seems he should be a teams back-up center making slightly above league minimum.
I honestly think the Thunders cryptonite is their age. Look at LeBron until he finally got older, and grew up physically. In CLE he was great, but didn't have the strength to play in the post, and could never play the PF like he does today. If Durant and Ibaka can hone their frames like LeBron, then I don't see why they couldn't just play Durant at the 4 and Ibaka at the 5.
Ibaka did an alright job guarding Gasol at times during the series, and he would be a major miss match on offense for some centers. Durant at the 4 is what I've been clamoring for years now. There is no doubt in my mind that if Durant played the 4 he could be a better defending Dirk…and that's scary. This would allow the Thunder to start another offensive player, maybe Lamb who's inexperience would be masked in the starting line up, while still starting Westbrook, Thabo, and Ibaka; all capable defenders at their position.
If the Thunder implored this idea I'm sure they could still win a title without Harden. They need to realize what's best for the team now, and maybe that consists of firing Brooks, and switching up the line up a bit.
The Thunders just need a big that can score down low. The Thunder only won one game against the Heat in the Finals last year. Perkins was &$#%#&@! me off last night too. He has to be one of the sorriest bigs in the league. Charles Barkley and Shaq brought up great points last night. They said that the Grizzlies would have beat them with or without Russell Westbrook. This is the same Grizzlies team that beat the number 1 seeded Spurs a couple of years ago. They were without Rudy Gay due to injury back then. They took the Thunder with Durant, Harden, and Westbrook to a 7 game series in the Western Conference Semifinals in 2011. So the Thunder were at full strength and barely beat them. So they have always been a very good team. The Thunder already have good perimeter shooting. The past champions of the last 5 years have had bigs they can go to and score when needed. The Heat had Bosh and Haslem, The Mavericks had Dirk, The Lakers had Bynum and Gasol, the Celtics had KG. You could even go further than that. The only team in the past 10 years that didn't have a go to scoring big were the Detroit Pistons. I don't think the Thunder were wrong in keeping Ibalka. Kevin Martin has done a good job replacing Harden. They just need another big that can score to go along with him. I like the Gortat trade idea. If the Thunder keep their pick, they need to go big.
It's absolutely stupid to say they chose Ibaka over Harden. Ibaka is an All NBA Definsive first teamer. He is on a very reasonable contract. The offered Harden 4 years and 58 mil I think and this was even more they could efford. Harden is now on a max deal and deserves this absolutely. KD is on a max deal, Westbrook is on a max deal. They just can't pay 3 max deals on this roster.
I really hated to see Harden walk and was very upset back then but they made the right choice.
Except the Center position I think this team is set for the future. Lamb and especially Jackson are top talent coming of the bench. All they need is a backup 3 and a solution for Perks situation.
Brooks made horrible matchups against the Grizzlies and I see absolutely no reason why Perk played only like 20 mins a game. Durants body language was awefull the whole series. He complained about every contested shot he missed and didn't went back to the defensive end.
KD really needs to put on some muscles to become a better post player and not only the slashing and shooting player.
If I'm the Thunder I would let Martin walk and install Jackson and Lamb as the first players of the bench. Sign a backup 3 like Alonzo Gee and give Perry Jones some minutes. Draft either Adams, Len or Zeller and put them into the starting five playing 20mins a game and bring Collison and Pleiss who should come over now at the 4/5 position, maybe start Collison.
If they can either flip Martin or Perk into something like Gortat or Varejau do it. If not amnesty Perk and give this team a new idetity.
The biggest winner of this postseason for the Thunder is no one else but Westbrook. The team was completely lost on offense and the anger he expresses in situations like this was really missing.
Scott Brooks should learn how to implement more players into the offense and should run more plays for the big men. They are very predictable and even KD and Russ are very dominant on offense, they are still the only reliable players. There is just too much scoring on the wings and absolutely nothing on the inside.
Martin is expendable and if he is asking for more than 7 mil per year (what is very likely) let him walk or do a sign and trade.
This team needs a new identity. The used to be a good post defense team but after what I've seen from Perk zhis year they just aren't what they pretend to be. There was no better matchup for Perk and he wasn't even on the floor for the most time against the Grizzlies. He is done and they should really give up on this experiment.
The best way to play Ibaka to me is move him to the 5 if they fail to find a better player there. He should be what Dwight was for the Magic or what KD was for the Celtics the last couple of years, the defensive anchor in the middle cause he is just an above average man to man defender at best.
They need to fix this team or they won't go nowhere in the future. They are an incredible unballanced team right now. Defenders and Scorers, that's it.
Durant fell to him as a gift with the 2nd pick and he was right about Harden, but then gave him up for low value, cut Nate Robinson, traded Eric Bledsoe and Quincy Pondextor for Cole Aldrich, traded BJ Mullens for a 2nd round pick, Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins. They may not have been able to keep all of those guys because of the salary cap, but the name of the game in trades is value and not one of those qualifies as getting good value. I don't believe that there wasn't a better deal out there than the Harden trade to Houston.