2017 Free Agency: Northwest Division, Oklahoma City Thunder


The Oklahoma City Thunder had a great season finishing 47-35 and making to the playoffs. Russell Westbrook put up historic numbers and averaged a triple-double which led him to his first MVP award. Despite having such a high caliber player in Westbrook, a supporting cast including Andre Roberson and Victor Oladipo is not going to be enough for Oklahoma City to contend with the Warriors and Spurs. Heading into free agency OKC is going to have to be creative with their free agents since they are over the cap. Have a look at Oklahoma City’s free agents:

1. Taj Gibson 

(Getty Images)

Taj Gibson provided toughness and was a huge boost with inside scoring after being acquired from Chicago. In 23 games with the Thunder, he averaged nine points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game while shooting 50 percent from the field. Gibson can give them much needed depth in the frontcourt. According to Michael Scotto on Twitter, Gibson would like to stay and loves playing in OKC. However, the Thunder have no cap space after giving extensions to Westbrook, Oladipo and Steven Adams. We will see if they can influence him to take a pay cut as an unrestricted free agent.


2. Nick Collison

Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder

The ironman, known as Nick Collison, continues to find his way on the Oklahoma City roster. He didn’t really play a lot this season but is still a veteran leader on the team when things get uncomfortable and tight. Collison has been with this franchise since the Seattle Sonic years. He is the perfect locker room guy that can provide stability and pep talk for players that struggle during the regular season. Those type of players are hard to find which is why the Thunder will likely re-sign Collison to a veteran-minimum contract.


3. Andre Roberson

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having lackluster postseason performances against the Houston Rockets, Andre Roberson had a solid season overall. He is one of the best defenders in the league and is slowly getting better offensively. OKC fans may hate on him as if Roberson is the next Thabo Sefolosha. He can still improve, however, and really wants to re-sign with the Thunder. Being a restricted free agent, OKC can match any offers that come the 25-year-old’s way. Expect him to remain with the Thunder for the next few years.


4. Jerami Grant

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Acquired near the beginning of the 2016-17 season from Philadelphia, Jerami Grant showed promise and potential off the Oklahoma City bench. The 23-year-old averaged 5.4 points (47% FG, 38% 3Pt, both career-highs), 2.6 rebounds, and one block over 19 minutes per game this season for the Thunder. Despite the low scoring average, Grant is a great shot blocker at the small forward position. Grant wants to be stronger in the offseason and hopes to achieve that through a training regime. The Thunder intend on bringing Grant back for the 2017-18 season, as they recently picked up his team option.


5. Norris Cole

(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Norris Cole was a late signing by OKC when they were in need of a backup point guard. He gave them some solid minutes off the bench with scoring and being a general playmaker. There are no reports of the Thunder trying to bring back the 28-year-old, but if no better options for a backup point guard are available, then Cole isn’t a bad option for re-signing.

The Thunder need to figure out how to get a better supporting cast for 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook. If General Manager Sam Presti is unable to do so, teams like the Pelicans, Lakers, and Timberwolves who are making moves may pass them up in the 2017-18 campaign.


About Raymond Mora

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