Oklahoma City Thunder 2017 NBA Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook
Oklahoma City Thunder 2017 Preview
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The Oklahoma City Thunder have won 62.2 percent of their games under coach Billy Donovan and have made the playoffs in seven of their last eight seasons overall. Despite losing one of the top players in the world last year in Kevin Durant, OKC won 47 games and showed they can still hang around in a loaded Western Conference. This season, the excitement and expectations are back after pairing Russell Westbrook with another marquee piece.
This should end up being a fun season for the lovable Thunder.
USA TODAY Sports
Here is your Oklahoma City Thunder 2017 NBA preview.
Key Player Losses: Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis are sent to the Indiana Pacers. Oladipo is a talented shooting guard with upside but hasn’t reached his full potential, which is why he’s on his third team in three years. Sabonis had his moments as a rookie last year, but he still shot just 39.9 percent from the field. Taj Gibson joins the Minnesota Timberwolves after playing 23 games last year after being traded from the Chicago Bulls, and he averaged nine points and 4.5 rebounds.
Key Player Additions: OKC made a monster splash by trading for four-time all-star and one of the top two-way players in the league, Paul George. PG-13 is going to take so much pressure off of Westbrook while making the Thunder better at both ends of the court. Patrick Patterson will give the Thunder one of the top defensive lineups in the NBA, but he’s also a 37 percent shooter from deep for his career, which is nice to have off the bench. Raymond Felton adds depth and experience at point guard, and he averaged just one turnover per game last season in 21.3 minutes.
Draft: Terrance Ferguson is a 6’7” shooting guard with terrific athleticism, a jump shot and likes to get his hands dirty on defense. Ferguson needs to add muscle to his upper body and improve his ball handling, but the tools for him to be a really good player at the NBA level are already there. Ferguson is a nice player OKC can coach up and take time with, and he’ll be a key rotation player at some point.
Outlook: Westbrook was able to lead OKC to 47 wins last season pretty much by himself, and now he has another star in George to help him. We’ve seen what the Thunder can do with two stars on their team with pretty much the same cast of role players. Also, a lineup of Westbrook, George, Patterson, Andre Roberson and Steven Adams is arguably the best defensive lineup in the NBA. Assuming Doug McDermott and Jerami Grant can be more consistent off the bench, there’s a ton to like with this Thunder roster and they could be that team nobody wants to see in the playoffs. The Thudner should have no problem topping 50 wins this season and could reach the Western Conference Finals if everything goes right. I’m intrigued by this team if you couldn’t tell.