I love the offseason. It’s really almost as much fun to me as actually playing games. Moving parts, roster changes, players working on their games, speculating… it’s fun. Time to start looking at who could be here, who might not be and just the overall (and very early) outlook for next season.
By John Mietus
Special to Daily Thunder
It’s a summer of reckoning for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Next season brings renewed optimism and expectation for the club. We as fans of the team must expect things to improve and we must expect to see major changes next year in the win/loss column. The players, who I and many others believe have the right talent to win at the NBA level must piece together “unexpected” victories and become a “surprise” team contending for the playoffs. Progress can only be measured in small increments, but this year’s version of the club has made significant strides during the course of the season. Scott Brooks has done an excellent job keeping the Thunder competitive to the very last week of the season, there is no question that the team had no interest in “tanking” in order to improve draft position. I believe this is good karma for both coach and ball club, not conceding an inch even when making the playoffs is a dream long dead. Brooks continues to demonstrate he is the right man for the job of leading the Thunder into next season.
With 18 losses this year coming by six points or less the Thunder seem primed to better their overall record in 2009-2010. Even a 50% improvement in “close games” would be a major leap forward in the standings. And this belies the fact that the club has yet to fully decide on its roster going forward. We’re sitting on a heaping pile of draft picks, right now based on record: three of the top 34. Considering the success with drafting Russell Westbrook fourth last year and the additions of Jeff Green and Kevin Durant the year before, there’s a good chance the team can add at least one, if not two contributors via the draft alone this offseason. In addition, the Thunder are so far below the salary cap that they’ve got plenty of room to maneuver in that area as well. The sun is shining on Oklahoma City. Keep Reading…