Oklahoma City Thunder 2016 Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook
Oklahoma City Thunder 2016 Preview
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The Oklahoma City Thunder were one win away from making the NBA Finals in the first season under coach Billy Donovan. This season will look a little different with a roster that has been turned upside down.
Can the Thunder remain a threat in the West?
USA TODAY Sports
Here is your 2016 Oklahoma City Thunder NBA preview.
Key Player Losses: The Thunder were shocked when Kevin Durant left during free agency and it’s the biggest loss for any team during the offseason, as he’s a top-five player in the league and one of the main reasons OKC was a NBA Finals contender. Serge Ibaka was also traded to Orlando after seven seasons with the Thunder and leading the franchise all time with 1,300 career blocks. OKC also says goodbye to a talented shooting guard in Dion Waiters, as he scored over 1,300 points in 125 games played with the franchise.
Key Player Additions: The two big additions for the Thunder are the players they got in the trade with the Magic; Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova. Oladipo is a young, extremely athletic shooting guard who has his best basketball ahead of him and will give OKC the most explosive backcourt along with Russell Westbrook. Ilyasova has been a consistent shooter his whole career, especially from deep where he makes 37 percent. Ilyasova is a nice piece to fill the void that Ibaka left.
Draft: OKC got Domantas Sabonis in the Ibaka trade, and he’s a big body who is comfortable around the basket. Sabonis can play either center or power forward in the NBA. Daniel Hamilton was traded from the Nuggets and may spend much of this season in the D-League, as he’s one of those players who left college a year early.
Outlook: Even without Durant, the Thunder are still a playoff team, as Westbrook has shown how scary good he is when he doesn’t have to share the ball with another superstar. Oladipo blends in well with this roster, while the size and length of Steven Adams, Enes Kanter and Andre Roberson make OKC once again one of the top defensive teams in the league. The Thunder may not be true championship contenders right now, but this is still a club that’s going to have a lot to say in terms of who comes out of the West.