The 2016 off-season for the Oklahoma City Thunder started out quite possibly the worst way imaginable; they lost their MVP superstar Kevin Durant. But oh, what a difference a year makes. The 2017 Thunder off-season was arguably the greatest in NBA history.
First, days before free agency started the Thunder landed Paul George from the Indiana Pacers, and as the off-season drew to a close they managed to swing another blockbuster trade and land Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks. In between that, the Thunder also managed to add a lot of depth to an already established playoff team.
The price for landing Paul George was an extremely small one by NBA standards. The four-time all-star costs the Thunder only 2nd year Domantas Sabonis and veteran Victor Oladipo. Both Sabonis and Oladipo where valuable contributors but neither of them will produce what George can.
The Thunder paid a pittance for Anthony as well, giving up only lottery-disappointment Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott and a 2nd round pick. Anthony, who is entering the twilight of his career, will give the Thunder another valuable scorer to pair with George and Russell Westbrook.
Keeping Russell Westbrook happy and convincing him to re-sign was what all these trades were really about. The Thunder did not want to have another situation like they had with Kevin Durant happen with Westbrook. The Thunder were successful in this in that they were able to convince the reigning MVP to re-sign to a five year extension.
The moves for the three superstars where the most notable moves for the Thunder, but they also made some minor moves that really help with their depth. First they signed veteran point guard Raymond Felton to back up Westbrook, than added Patrick Patterson to bolster their front court.
Front court depth will be the one issue that the Thunder could have this season. Anthony would be an undersized power forward and would have trouble guarding more traditional forwards such as Lamarcus Alderidge and Derrick Favors.
Rookie Dakari Johnson and veteran starter Steven Adams are the only seven footers that the Thunder have on their roster: Patterson and the last remaining Sonics hold out Nick Collison round out the bigs for the Thunder. Though, the Thunder do have a glut of guys around 6 foot 8, most of them are fineness players and not guys who are effective in the paint.
If the Thunder can keep opposing bigs from having too much success in the paint, NBA betting odds for OKC games say they should be able to reclaim the Northwest title and challenge the Warriors in the west.