Despite overflowing roster, OKC could make strides in free agency
Oklahoma City’s offseason fell just as the Thunder would have hoped.
With the draft now in the rearview mirror and free agency underway, the Thunder are now looking to complete their roster for the 2022-23 season.
To do that, the Thunder have a load of decisions to make both to make offers and to get rid of contracts.
The Thunder remain well above the roster limit but have plenty of time to make those decisions. With free agency underway, the Thunder have already re-signed Lu sleeps and Mike Muscala after declining their team options earlier in the week.
Now the Thunder are moving forward looking at players in the league who are free agents looking to join a new team for the right price. This is an interesting situation for Sam Presti and OKC as if they sign more players, they will have to further downsize to reach the magic number at the start of the season.
Despite that, there’s still a chance OKC could target a handful of potential names to complete the budding roster.
A name that would feel the need for OKC is Otto Porter Jr.. Porter just wrapped up a season where he won a ring and is now looking for a potential new fit. Last season with the Warriors, he was on a deal worth less than $3 million, which would fit OKC’s portfolio perfectly for the upcoming season.
Porter is likely due for a contract for more than one season. His last three trades have all lasted a year and will most likely receive more money than he was paid last season. Porter, a former No. 3 overall pick, is entering his 12th NBA season and could provide a solid piece for the Thunder’s forward positions.
Porter averaged just over eight points per game last season and shot 37% from 3-point range. He is a career shooter at almost 40% from beyond the arc.
Stick with the attackers, Derrick Jones Jr.. is another interesting free agent. Which, given the Thunder’s needs, fits the roster nicely. Jones also fits the Thunder roster mold well. He is younger at 25 and continues to improve his game.
Jones would provide depth at the small forward position for OKC and potentially see plenty of minutes. Jones does most of his damage inside with devastating dunks and driving ability, but is a good 3-point shooter, last season Jones had his best 3-point percentage at nearly 33%. It hovers around 30% for his career.
The Thunder are unlikely to become big spenders in free agency, but there are players who would make sense for the roster who can be snagged for a low-budget deal without breaking the bank. If the Thunder make any moves in the free agent market, expect them to fill ultra-specific needs, primarily forward and 3-point shooting.
Young players love the keeper Donte Di Vincenzo, looking to stay with one team, could be in the cards for OKC. Most decisions will be to add depth to the roster, as the Thunder’s starting five could see limited changes from last season with the addition of Chet Holmgren.
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