Who are the 2017-18 Oklahoma City Thunder? | Bonehead Picks

Who are the 2017-18 Oklahoma City Thunder?

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The last big trade of the NBA summer involved longtime NBA All-Star and former New York Knick Carmelo Anthony, who was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and the Chicago Bulls’ 2018 second-round draft pick. The Thunder finished last NBA season as the 6th seed in the Western Conference, which was very surprising considering they lost NBA superstar Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors. Despite having another superstar in point guard in Russell Westbrook there were thoughts that the Thunder were a 8th or 7th seed at best in the Western Conference, the historic season of Westbrook that ended in his first MVP award led the Thunder to the 6th seed. The 2017 summer for the Oklahoma City Thunder has been transformational and it is fair to wonder how their new pieces will fit.

Before acquiring Carmelo Anthony, the Thunder acquired All-Star swingman Paul George from the Indiana Pacers for guard Victor Oladipo and forward Domantas Sabonis. There are now three Oklahoma City Thunder players who have been selected to the NBA All-Star game at least four times while Anthony has been selected ten times. Although Russell Westbrook’s style can be polarizing, he is a clear superstar and can be the best player on a championship-level NBA team. He now doesn’t have to carry so much of the offensive load with the acquisitions of Paul George, who has a nice blend of offensive and defensive abilities, and Carmelo Anthony, who averaged 22 points a game last season despite the negative attention he received in New York.

It is important to remember that while the Golden State Warriors are still the class of the NBA, the Thunder have a promising starting lineup this season. Steven Adams will be the physical enforcer as the starting center while likely starting shooting guard Andre Roberson is among the best defensive wing players in the NBA despite his horrid offense. Paul George will be the second best player on the Thunder as the starting small forward who will have to readjust after being the best player on the Pacers for a number of years. Carmelo Anthony will have to adjust to being the 3rd offensive option and will have to play power forward, which is the smart move given his age and issues guarding quicker players on the wing. It will be up to the face of the Oklahoma City Thunder, point guard Russell Westbrook, to put the team together to become a legitimate threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

 

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