#ThunderRank – A look at the top 17 players for the Thunder and how their seasons might shake out
If the Oklahoma City Thunder was a car, then, of course, Russell Westbrook would be the engine that keeps the thing going. But if I had to pick a player to represent the chassis of the car, it would definitely have to be Nick Collison. The foundation upon which the Thunder was built was started around Collison, Westbrook, and Kevin Durant. Every other player was a supporting beam. That is the importance of Nick Collison. With Durant’s departure, the Thunder need Collison’s veteran presence now more than ever.
While Collison’s impact on the court may be in decline, his impact off the court is still sky-high. He’s done wonders for the development of Steven Adams and Enes Kanter. And he will likely do the same in the development of Domantas Sabonis and Joffrey Lauvergne. Player development is one part playing time, one part mentoring. If either of those two things are lacking, then the player likely doesn’t develop to his full potential. Just look at the young players on the Sacramento Kings or the Philadelphia 76ers. They’ve had plenty of playing time over the past 3 seasons, but the people mentoring have been subpar, which has led to below average player development. Keep Reading…