As we all kno the thunder and miami are the 2 teams set up to dominate for the next 3-5 years. The thunder need to make a few moves this offseason to make sure they never lose in the finals in the manner in which they lost this year. My reasoning is quite simple and if you disagree let me know why and what you would do.
1. sign jeff green to a cheap deal sice he was loved by everybody and was a complete player that when they go small it wont be as bad because he can play the 3 or 4
2. Think about what you're about to read b4 I just get get killed for saying what I saw. Trade Harden for the #2 pick while he has great value and draft Beal. The thunder need a shooter/scorer who doesnt need the ball in their hand to be effective with westbrook and durant. This helps them give Ibaka a good contract and have a good wing player for cheap for 4 more years without letting go of good role players. Harden is a nice player but for him to reach his full potential and the thunder to reach their full potential they need to part ways asap. Harden needs the ball to be effective and the thunder have two superior players right now in that category so he is really luxury for them that they can succeed without. The thunder need a guy that can be effective on offense without the ball (Beal) that can rebound and play defense. Charlotte would take this trade and feel they have a steal and the thunder could maybe squeeze another protected #1 pick from jordan in the process.
3. This is just a possibility but I'm going to throw it out there hire Jeff Van Gundy to coach these guys and you know what you will get out of Durant but I couldn't think of a better coach for Westbrook. He really seems to use common sense when commentating their games and by the sound of his voice seems like he would really like a chance to coach them. But who wouldn't....
No, they need a post player who they can throw it to on the block and can score.
Luis Scola/Patrick Patterson
Kevin Garnett, if he takes less money.
The Thunder are pretty maxed out, so they won't be making any free agent splashes. Tibor Pleiss, the return of Eric Maynor, and any addition through the draft could help. Andrey Voronsevich, a Euro big about whom I know very little, could also join the team, as reported by ESPN (and highlighted by an earlier McDunkin post).
If I were the Thunder, I would look to trade down in the draft to save money. They would certainly rather have an unguaranteed rookie contract than a guaranteed contract for a late 1st rounder. Other than that, I think it would be wise for the Thunder to just count on internal maturation and not do anything to drastic that could disrupt team chemistry.
I dont care about the negatives but I would like for people to engage in a debate and tell me whats wrong with what im saying... Harden is only effective going left and with the ball in his hands... Westbrook and Durant already have it enough and it's hard to have 3 players that all need the ball to be effective. None of these guys know how to get open without the ball besides running to the top of the key. If you're going to lose Harden or Ibaka anyway why not trade harden and get a prospect like Beal that even if he's not a star he will be a great complimentary player. If the thunder had a floor spacer it would take them to another level and give their bigs and superstars room to operate. Harden can be replaced without getting a star player back
bball fan I agree that they cant do much in free agency but jeff green will come for cheap and they will get lowball offers for Harden next year. You have to take chances to become a champion or do a sign and trade with boston and get allen and green for perkins. The thunder need a shooter
Harden is much better than Beal at this point, long term maybe Thunder are better with Beal, but they're right on the cusp of a title, they're honestly a few roster tweaks away from a title, heck not even, if they shot better from 3 OKC would prolly win the finals this year.
they need someone who can score down low, whether that is durant if he bulks up some, or they need to find a player to do so. Carl landry would be a nice fit with them and he wouldn't be too exspensive to get. then add maynor, and add a player in the draft and that is about all they can do.
Then they have to hope that the loss will anger durant and westbrook to become great and do what ever it takes to win the title. The reason the heat won was because LeBron needed the title because had he lost he would have faced all the critisism for another year and all the pressure would stay on him, while the thunder wanted it.
Plus you're incorrect saying Harden needs the ball to be effective. Harden is a fairly good shooter, contrary to what he did in the finals, and he fits perfect with KD and Westbrook when he's on his game, unlike the finals. Honestly I think you're overreacting to one poor series of his. He missed shots, he went through a cold spell, it happens to every player, it just happen to Harden at the worst possible time. Like I said OKC's real problem is they have no post player to score, and get good looks through, they live by jumpers, and come finals time they hit a rough patch a died by jumpers. A post player who gets layups/dunks, causes the defense to sag to create more open looks and space would really open things so much more.
@ChrisCross I agree, some people are overreacting to Harden's Finals performance and say he's trash now. He's only 22 and just had an off series. I guess people forgot what he did the 1st 3 series, especially what he did to the Mavs in the 1st series
Also, I would love for Carl Landry to come to our team. He and Harden both coming off the bench would be a huge offensive upgrade. We could actually leave our 2nd string of Maynor-Harden-Cook-Landry-Collison in for a long time and be fine because all the offensive liabilities wouldn't be on Harden
@ chris cross "if they shot better from 3 OKC would prolly win the finals this year." those are your words and im saying get Beal a true shooter and he will have a cheap 4 year contract where the thunder wont have all their money tied up and have to let him go for free because the new cba wont allow him and ibaka to make over 10mil a year and both contracts are up next year. This isnt about 1 ring its about multiple rings
I didnt say he is trash but I'm saying I choose ibaka over him and he's a good player with value that will get you something really good in return. If you replace Beal with harden there will be no drop off in that team. Harden needs his own team and I agree they need a low post scorer but those are way harder to come by than a wing player
Also after Harden's crappy finals, I seriously doubt Bobcats give up #2 for Harden when he could be gone fairly soon. Plus you're banking on Beal being a good player to replace Harden who would start for just about any other team, and is an all-star caliber player. While I'm high on Beal and think he will be good, there's a chance he doesn't turn out, and you've made OKC a lot worse and not a title contender. I would understand the thought of making a move if they were struggling to make the finals or if they had lost in the finals for 2 or 3 times, but they're steadily ascending and will more than likely win it all next year or the year after.
Well, the Heat aren't going anywhere so I would still put the Heat ahead of the Thunder. When the Bad Boy Pistons broke through the Celtics, Bird and the gang had already peaked then they lost to the Lakers in 1988 basically when the Lakers peaked (or they peaked in 1987). The Pistons came back and beat an injured and broken down Lakers team in 1989 and a Blazers team in 1990. The Pistons, therefore won their titles after the Lakers and Celtics had already peaked and just before Jordan and the Bulls went on a role. The Bulls beat the Pistons in 1991 as the Pistons rapidly declined. Isiah Thomas and Bill Lambeer retired within a few years with Joe Dumars on the wrong side of his peak right around the same time.
The Bulls took off winning 6 titles in 8 years going through some good knicks teams, the Blazers, Suns, Sonics, and Jazz. The Bulls had the best player in the game during his prime. Ewing, Barkley, Drexler, Kemp, and Malone/Stockton were all great players but they weren't as good as Jordan. Usually you have to wait out great teams like that. Hakeem did that in 1994 and 1994 with Shaq and Duncan doing the same a few years later.
The fear is that the Thunder team is like the old Blazers and Sonics teams. Great young teams who couldn't get through the Bulls dynasty. Then both teams had already peaked when Jordan left the scene and couldn't fully capitalize (the 94 and 95 Sonics teams, which was the Rockets worst nightmare, got upset in the first round both years).
If history is any guide the Thunder might have to wait out the Heat's prime for a great shot at a title. The Blazers lost twice in 1990 and 1992 first to the peak Pistons and then to the juggernaut Bulls. The Jazz had great teams but lost in 1997 and 1998 to the Bulls too. Both the Blazers and Jazz were unlucky. Also, the Blazers were a bit too old in 1994. The Jazz were a bit too old in 1999.
Those Bad Boy Pistons teams got lucky just as the 2004 Pistons team lucked out due to the Shaq-Kobe Lakers having peaked out, GP breaking down, and Karl Malone being banged up.
So the Thunder might have to wait a few years. Maybe add another guy or even tweak the lineup.
In this draft I like Draymond Green. He is a playmaker, a rebounder and would give OKC another big. He can also shoot some.
Other than him I like Jeff Taylor as an athlete, defender, and backup to Durant.
Unfortunately, not signing Shane Battier came back to haunt them. He could have defended LeBron, hit corner 3's, and grabbed some rebounds.
He is also a good leader and teammate.
i would love to see KG and KD on the same team but its more unlikely that he'd take less money