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View Full Version : When will OKC make the leap?



hotpotato1092
01-06-2011, 11:02 PM
Watching a young team grow, especially one like this one that not only has an amazing collection of talent, but great team chemistry, is in my opinion one of the best experiences a basketball fan can have. My question is this, when will they take the leap from "young up and comer, team people want to avoid in the playoffs" to "bona fide contender"?

Honestly I think they're a year away, but my other question is why can't they compete now? If you're Sam Presti, at what point do you realize that you have two of the best 15 players in the league RIGHT NOW. Not only that, they're built in such a way that they could go get that last piece without giving up a serious contributor because they have so many expiring contracts, picks, and a stable of young guys other teams covet. Even if they couldn't get a long term piece at center (my personal preference for them would be Marc Gasol, who definitely think they could get if they made Jeff Green available), they could go get a stable vet like Marcus Camby or Sam Dalembert for next to nothing. Why are they so hell bent on doing this their way, at what point do they just go all in and make their big move?

In any case, this team is going to be very good for a very long time. But back to the original question, when do they make the leap?

ChiSox219
01-06-2011, 11:03 PM
When they start playing defense again.




Watching a young team grow, especially one like this one that not only has an amazing collection of talent, but great team chemistry, is in my opinion one of the best experiences a basketball fan can have.

I agree with this and that's why I bought tickets for OKC @ CHI, instead of MIA @ CHI like seemingly everyone else was doing.

Sixerlover
01-06-2011, 11:06 PM
When they trade some of that young talent for a real post presence. You'll NEVER make the leap with Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic in the post.

210Don
01-06-2011, 11:12 PM
they gotta trade green for a good center or sg then they will make the leap ibaka is a great starting pf

GoatMilk
01-06-2011, 11:31 PM
they gotta trade green for a good center or sg then they will make the leap ibaka is a great starting pf

i like ibaka too
just wish he got more boards. should be averaging 10 with that body, athleticism

ManOnFire
01-06-2011, 11:32 PM
When they start playing defense again.

This exactly.

GoatMilk
01-06-2011, 11:35 PM
i dont think they could beat Dallas(with DIrk) or the Spurs in the playoffs
if they have homecourt, then they could beat Utah

the team who should worry is the Lakers. i think if they meet, OKC wins, HCA or not

John Walls Era
01-06-2011, 11:37 PM
When they get a post presence on offense AND defense.

John Walls Era
01-06-2011, 11:37 PM
Jeff Green for Reggie Evans :)

210Don
01-06-2011, 11:38 PM
i dont think they could beat Dallas(with DIrk) or the Spurs in the playoffs
if they have homecourt, then they could beat Utah

the team who should worry is the Lakers. i think if they meet, OKC wins, HCA or not

i agree with that i dont think the thunder are better but they match up well with the lakers i think they beat them in a series this time around. it would be a great series to watch though either way

marvILLous
01-07-2011, 12:07 AM
I personally think they could take out the lakers if they met this year in the playoffs.. I wouldn't be surprised if they made it to the finals actually

But they are probably one real big man away from being serious contenders.. Maybe at the deadline or this summer they can make a trade for one

hotpotato1092
01-07-2011, 12:10 AM
I think they should trade Jeff Green for picks or simply let him walk, and use the money they would have spent on him to get Marc Gasol. They need a big and they want to stay young, I think that's how they get one.

zB_#85
01-07-2011, 12:12 AM
they gotta move Green for a solid frontcourt player. I think they are best when Westbrook, Harden, and KD are on the floor together. When that happens, sometimes they play Green at the 4 which isn't his strong suit. A solid PF or C for Green would make a big difference for that team IMO. It would probably be good for Green to so he can go somewhere and showcase his game instead of playing the same position on the same team as the best scorer in the league.

Phenomenonsense
01-07-2011, 12:13 AM
I think they should trade Jeff Green for picks or simply let him walk, and use the money they would have spent on him to get Marc Gasol. They need a big and they want to stay young, I think that's how they get one.

Nothing against you, just wondering why everyone thinks they're going to just sign Gasol? He's a RFA bro. He wasn't a 1st round pick, but he didn't have a 3 year contract, only 2, so he is still a RFA.

sargon21
01-07-2011, 12:13 AM
i don't think they will with the current cast that they have, similar to the hawks the past couple years

SteveNash
01-07-2011, 12:14 AM
Never.

Giraffes Rule
01-07-2011, 12:20 AM
2012-2013 season

Westbrook, Durant, Love, Ibaka, Harden as your starting lineup would be spectacular.

Hoopsadvocate
01-07-2011, 12:22 AM
when the get a legit big (either at pf or c) jeff green aint gonna cut it.

Dade County
01-07-2011, 12:33 AM
Jeff Green for Reggie Evans :)

Are you talking about this guy?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv1cBN8M-9I&feature=related

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

iCOOKiE MONSTER
01-07-2011, 12:47 AM
Just curious, What about Green, 1st rounder for bynum from the
Lakers. Would work out for both teams, Okc gets a BiG n L.A
Gets a good SF in green

hotpotato1092
01-07-2011, 12:48 AM
Nothing against you, just wondering why everyone thinks they're going to just sign Gasol? He's a RFA bro. He wasn't a 1st round pick, but he didn't have a 3 year contract, only 2, so he is still a RFA.

Memphis is a pretty cheap organization, they're not just gonna match any offer, especially considering they just payed Gay and Conley a lot of money and they're still locked into Randolph's contract. I think they either let him walk or sign and trade him.

I Am Awesome-O
01-07-2011, 01:05 AM
Memphis is a pretty cheap organization, they're not just gonna match any offer, especially considering they just payed Gay and Conley a lot of money and they're still locked into Randolph's contract. I think they either let him walk or sign and trade him.

Uh, no. Memphis WAS a cheap organization. People tend to forget that Michael Heisley has paid the luxury tax before. When he blew up the team, he decided to be a cheapskate for a few years while they rebuilt. Now it looks like Heisley is ready to spend big bucks again.

People also don't understand that just about everything that comes out of Heisley's mouth is the truth. So when he says that he's going to do anything in his power to retain his core (Conley, Mayo, Gay, Randolph, and Gasol), he's absolutely going to do whatever he can to do so.

Basically, Marc Gasol isn't going anywhere. And they are especially not about to let OKC snag him and watch them dominate the West for years to come. Unless of course they offer up Westbrook, which they obviously won't.

ManRam
01-07-2011, 01:09 AM
They need low post scoring, and they need to get back to their defense-first ways.

I wasn't drinking their kool aid, or Durant's really, this pre-season, and I'm certainly being reminded why. They really do have one more significant step to take. I don't think it's just "being a year away" at this point. They need some roster enhancement.

I also don't think Durant is what we thought (wanted) him to be this off-season. He's a great scorer, but he isn't in the Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Howard etc. realm yet.

ChiSox219
01-07-2011, 01:21 AM
I wasn't drinking their kool aid, or Durant's really, this pre-season, and I'm certainly being reminded why. They really do have one more significant step to take. I don't think it's just "being a year away" at this point. They need some roster enhancement.

I also don't think Durant is what we thought (wanted) him to be this off-season. He's a great scorer, but he isn't in the Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Howard etc. realm yet.

Durant had a slow start and battled the injury for a while.

Outside of that, he's played well on both ends of the court and is a top 5 player at age 22.

Did miss his month of December? .647 TS%

He's also been the #1 fast break player in the league this year.

soonabooma
01-07-2011, 01:28 AM
It's all on Presti. I've been saying it all along. This guy was great at draft time, but he's still too scared to go out and get us that last piece. He's trying to be too perfect, he's afraid to do anything that might bring even the slightest bit of risk. There are so many things he could have done by now, like getting Tyson Chandler last summer instead of letting Dallas get their hands on him. But he's not doing these kind of things, he's just kinda sitting there preaching that whole "we wanna build through the draft and then evaluate what we have because patience is the key" crap. We've already heard that and 3 years later it's time to move on to phase 2. He did an amazing job in phase 1, but that's over. It's time to move on. We're gonna have to spend that money anyway, might as well start thinking about what guy we could bring in to really complete this team. We've got so much in place already, but we're not a finished product yet. It's time for Presti to start handling some business.

Carey
01-07-2011, 01:41 AM
I know everyone would like to speed up the process since the exciting playoff series but we are a team still very much in evaluation. I think this offseason is when you'll see Sam Presti shape this roster with a couple vets and make a decision on Jeff Green. This is still a very young team, most of our core guys are years away from their prime and nobody said we had to win a championship 2maro. Most instances when you see people make trades to get over the hump they usually dont and get saddled with bad contracts. Our goal sustained success.

210Don
01-07-2011, 01:47 AM
I know everyone would like to speed up the process since the exciting playoff series but we are a team still very much in evaluation. I think this offseason is when you'll see Sam Presti shape this roster with a couple vets and make a decision on Jeff Green. This is still a very young team, most of our core guys are years away from their prime and nobody said we had to win a championship 2maro. Most instances when you see people make trades to get over the hump they usually dont and get saddled with bad contracts. Our goal sustained success.

exactly its gunna take time. everything is there theres just one thing missing.
maybe a big or a 2 guard. if you could trade jeff green for a good big, and harden for a great 2 ur set but that be changing the team 2 much. its better to let time take its course, time is on your side thats a great thing to have when so many teams times is there enemy.

daleja424
01-07-2011, 01:52 AM
when they trade some potential for some proven...

Carey
01-07-2011, 01:54 AM
when they trade some potential for some proven...

With the cap space we have this summer we may not have to....

daleja424
01-07-2011, 02:02 AM
and who exactly are you targeting?

daleja424
01-07-2011, 02:03 AM
(also consider that the new cba will be in effect and no one knows what it will look like)

Carey
01-07-2011, 02:08 AM
^You can say that for any team in the NBA, but we will head into the summer with a payroll of 39 million with 11 players and a very good core in place. Unless the new cba establishes some unexpectedly low cap i'd say we are in good shape.

daleja424
01-07-2011, 02:10 AM
to nab who though? this class is not full of difference makers like last year's class was. This is a class of finishing pieces and OKC is more than a finishing piece away from a title.

ChiSox219
01-07-2011, 02:15 AM
^You can say that for any team in the NBA, but we will head into the summer with a payroll of 39 million with 11 players and a very good core in place. Unless the new cba establishes some unexpectedly low cap i'd say we are in good shape.

You have to figure Green is gonna be getting ~$8 million or so, that puts you at ~$47m

daleja424
01-07-2011, 02:24 AM
and next year is when they will talk extension with westbrook as well. It wont count into the money for this summer, but you better believe that OKC (as a smaller market) will be very conscious of the big extension they will have to give to Westbrook.

Carey
01-07-2011, 02:28 AM
to nab who though? this class is not full of difference makers like last year's class was. This is a class of finishing pieces and OKC is more than a finishing piece away from a title.

Its a core of 21 to 23 year olds....of course they arent just one piece away from a title, experience and development plays part in that. But to throw out some scenarios we need size and shooting, with the uncertainty in Denver i could see Nene opting out of his deal, he'd bring a presence that would also fit into the running style of this team. For a team that hasnt had anybody to show any resistance at the rim besides Ibaka to suddenly have 2 guys would go a long way. Then plug in a year more experienced Aldrich and your not so small anymore. Then maybe you look at a guy like Kapono as a 10th man/shooter, a guy to play some spot mins when teams want to zone us, need to stretch the floor, etc. and you add that to an improved Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Green?, Maynor, Harden and i say you have a team moving even further into the right direction.

daleja424
01-07-2011, 02:55 AM
Its a core of 21 to 23 year olds....of course they arent just one piece away from a title, experience and development plays part in that. But to throw out some scenarios we need size and shooting, with the uncertainty in Denver i could see Nene opting out of his deal, he'd bring a presence that would also fit into the running style of this team. For a team that hasnt had anybody to show any resistance at the rim besides Ibaka to suddenly have 2 guys would go a long way. Then plug in a year more experienced Aldrich and your not so small anymore. Then maybe you look at a guy like Kapono as a 10th man/shooter, a guy to play some spot mins when teams want to zone us, need to stretch the floor, etc. and you add that to an improved Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Green?, Maynor, Harden and i say you have a team moving even further into the right direction.

but then the team is done building... that is your team for the next 5 years until some of those deals run out...and that team is not really good enough to win a title IMO.

thats the problem. When you build a team of entirely young potential guys, you get locked into those guys when they all come up for extensions...

That is why it is ideal to sell some of the youth while the potential factor is high.

The Baby Bulls tried it... it didn't work. The Blazers tried it.... it didn't work. There is always some up and coming young team, but rarely does all the potential pan out...and then you are left being a middle of the pack type team.

WHODAT8o8
01-07-2011, 02:58 AM
When they get a post presence on offense AND defense.

exactly wat i was going to put

MalZee24
01-07-2011, 02:59 AM
When they get a solid post player and more depth at the 5-3 positions

MalZee24
01-07-2011, 02:59 AM
And a true PG.... Westbrook is a combo guard.

Baller1
01-07-2011, 02:59 AM
As soon as Scott Brooks sets is inflated ego aside and starts Serge Ibaka...

ChiSox219
01-07-2011, 03:00 AM
but then the team is done building... that is your team for the next 5 years until some of those deals run out...and that team is not really good enough to win a title IMO.

thats the problem. When you build a team of entirely young potential guys, you get locked into those guys when they all come up for extensions...

That is why it is ideal to sell some of the youth while the potential factor is high.

The Baby Bulls tried it... it didn't work. The Blazers tried it.... it didn't work. There is always some up and coming young team, but rarely does all the potential pan out...and then you are left being a middle of the pack type team.

Bulls never had a real #1, hell Westbrook is better than anything the Bulls had.

Blazers would've been dirty if they weren't derailed by injuries.

I think the Thunder are on the cusp, Westbrook and Durant are elite players. They are surrounded that with a defense stopper (Thabo), an aggressive defender/rebounder (Ibaka), big time scoring 6th man (Harden).

I do think it'd be wise to look into moving Green/other pieces for a big that can score inside but those aren't plentiful nor cheap.

IMO, the Thunder are very close to being a top tier/elite/championship contender.

Baller1
01-07-2011, 03:00 AM
And a true PG.... Westbrook is a combo guard.

No, Westbrook is and will be our PG for a long time.

daleja424
01-07-2011, 03:02 AM
I just have never seen a team built entirely of potential guys that all worked out and lead to a championship, b/c unfortunately, "potential" is an overrated commodity.

ChiSox219
01-07-2011, 03:03 AM
I just have never seen a team built entirely of potential guys that all worked out and lead to a championship, b/c unfortunately, "potential" is an overrated commodity.

What about Jordan/Pippen/Grant?

Baller1
01-07-2011, 03:05 AM
I just have never seen a team built entirely of potential guys that all worked out and lead to a championship, b/c unfortunately, "potential" is an overrated commodity.

Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili.

Sixerlover
01-07-2011, 03:09 AM
Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili.

What do you mean?

blueplanet
01-07-2011, 03:11 AM
When they get a LEGIT big man.

daleja424
01-07-2011, 03:12 AM
What about Jordan/Pippen/Grant?

good one!

however, I think we can mostly agree that this situation would seem to be the exception to the rule, rather than the rule itself.

daleja424
01-07-2011, 03:16 AM
Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili.

thier run started with Robinson... and that right there is A HUGE difference. Parker and Duncan were young players on a contender with Robinson at the time.

and Ginobili came along later and was already an experienced pro at the time.

ChiSox219
01-07-2011, 03:23 AM
good one!

however, I think we can mostly agree that this situation would seem to be the exception to the rule, rather than the rule itself.

Durant/Westbrook/Ibaka


Might be another exception to the rule

daleja424
01-07-2011, 03:27 AM
It MIGHT! However, it is statistically far more likely that they are not. It is far more likely that they will fall into NBA limbo...

That is my only point, you are far more likely to win a title by selling potential while it is high, than waiting for it to all pan out.

jmtapia
01-07-2011, 03:49 AM
Durant 22, Westbrook 22, Green 24, Harden 21... they need a legit inside presence and thy are going to be crazy good for a very long time.

Kevin Love would look absolutely golden on that team.

THINKBLUE15
01-07-2011, 03:59 AM
Never.

lol, nice. haha

Giraffes Rule
01-07-2011, 04:05 AM
thier run started with Robinson... and that right there is A HUGE difference. Parker and Duncan were young players on a contender with Robinson at the time.

and Ginobili came along later and was already an experienced pro at the time.

Parker also had pro experience already from playing in France. And Duncan? The best player at his position possibly of all time doesn't come around too often.

AlandoTucker29
01-07-2011, 07:39 AM
In my opinion....never. They are like the Portland Trailblazers the last couple years or like the Atlanta Hawks the years before that. They have the young talent but they don't have the veteran presence to make a real push. Joe Johnson couldn't get it done with Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, ect. and Roy Couldn't get it done with Fernandez, Aldridge, ect. Durant is good but he is one dimensional and the team doesn't have the defense to make a stong push against the Lakers, Dallas, San Antonio in a 7 game series.

KnicksorBust
01-07-2011, 08:04 AM
but then the team is done building... that is your team for the next 5 years until some of those deals run out...and that team is not really good enough to win a title IMO.

thats the problem. When you build a team of entirely young potential guys, you get locked into those guys when they all come up for extensions...

That is why it is ideal to sell some of the youth while the potential factor is high.

The Baby Bulls tried it... it didn't work. The Blazers tried it.... it didn't work. There is always some up and coming young team, but rarely does all the potential pan out...and then you are left being a middle of the pack type team.

Thunder fans should remember that I made this exact post a year and a half ago and everyone thought it was ridiculous. :rolleyes: You only have a small window before you cap out on your own guys and your potential players show their true value.

KnicksorBust
01-07-2011, 08:07 AM
What about Jordan/Pippen/Grant?

Right. You can build around 3 young guys. But you can't build around 6 like the Thunder are doing. Where's Bill Cartwright and John Paxson?

xabial
01-07-2011, 08:38 AM
Thunder receive the Clippers' 2012 first-round pick (top 10 protected in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, unprotected in 2016. In 2012, the Thunder would receive the lesser of the Clippers first-round pick or the T'Wolves' first-round pick (Marko Jaric trade))


BEST PICK OF THE NBA LMAO. If a Legit C/PF is drafted during that draft, Thunder make something special

SteBO
01-07-2011, 10:03 AM
When they stop drinking their own kool-aid, and get back to defending and rebounding the ball, then they will make the leap. Until then, they're currently a second-round team.

Hellcrooner
01-07-2011, 10:06 AM
Why do you think they WILL make the leap?

Everyone was expectin g the leap from the Gordon, Deng, Hinrich Bulls back then or the Clippers some years ago, or the blazers most recently.

And it never happened, rookie contracts had to be reuped and some of them had to walk away.

Its not that easy man.

Hellcrooner
01-07-2011, 10:09 AM
Nothing against you, just wondering why everyone thinks they're going to just sign Gasol? He's a RFA bro. He wasn't a 1st round pick, but he didn't have a 3 year contract, only 2, so he is still a RFA.

:cool: he is playing his third season right now and no he did not sign any extension nor anything of any kind.

Carey
01-07-2011, 10:18 AM
Our ability is just as much current and tangible as it is potential. Durant is already a top 10 player in the league, Westbrook is rising to the upper echelon of point guards. Ibaka is already one of the league best shotblockers, and a productive player(10 ppg 7 rebs), as well as Harden, Maynor is probably one of the better backup points in the league. Sefolosha and Collison are very good defenders at their respective positions. This team won 50 games last year and well on their way to wining 50+ this year, all while evaluating the team with no moves to get prematurely get over the hump. I think its laughable and lazy when people try to lump us in with teams like the baby bulls. What player on that team or any of these other teams people like to throw out had the players the caliber of Durant and Westbrook as the cornerstones? Alot of these teams mess up because the skips steps in the process, we have alot of good players who will be with us for a while because our GM had the patience and foresight not to rush, or not to take a bad contract. We will be a good team for a very long time and compete for championships consistently instead of making a move or 2 for a couple years crack at it.

Carey
01-07-2011, 10:22 AM
When they stop drinking their own kool-aid, and get back to defending and rebounding the ball, then they will make the leap. Until then, they're currently a second-round team.

Your absolutely right about the current team, well maybe its ur own thought(Charles is that you? :D)

SteBO
01-07-2011, 10:24 AM
Your absolutely right about the current team, well maybe its ur own thought(Charles is that you? :D)

I did hear it from Charles, bt I really like that phrase. It's a cool one. :D

Carey
01-07-2011, 10:35 AM
^Lol, yea i did too, and i thought they were spot on, same thing i've been yelling at my tv about all season :D

canigetawitness
01-07-2011, 10:40 AM
I think OKC is a year away from being really scary. They have some very nice pieces on that team that complement the core, but the key is to stay healthy. We were all singing similar praises for Portland not too long ago and now look at their misfortunes. Sad.

Anyway, the international game only added to their worldly experience (Brooks and Durant) so the sky's the limit for OKC...as long as they stay healthy and don't disturb the chemistry. I picked OKC in the west before the season started, but then those fossils from San Antonio had to make things interesting :)

ManRam
01-07-2011, 11:36 AM
Durant had a slow start and battled the injury for a while.

Outside of that, he's played well on both ends of the court and is a top 5 player at age 22.

Did miss his month of December? .647 TS%

He's also been the #1 fast break player in the league this year.

He's a great scorer...that's what I said. I don't think he's an elite defender, I don't think he makes his teammates better like LeBron, Wade and the elite PGs to, or even Kobe. His all around game isn't where it needs to be to carry a team to a championship.

He's 19th amongst all forwards in win shares/48 minutes, 9th in win shares, 36 in defensive win shares and 61st in defensive rating. Yes, he started out cold, but those defensive numbers aren't good at all...

Defense is the biggest thing that separates him from the elite guys. LeBron, Wade and Kobe are all elite defenders. I wouldn't even say Durant is a good defender this year.

Defense is holding them back. No playoff team, besides the Knicks, has a worse team defensive rating. They hold opposing offenses to the 19th best eFG%. They just have regressed so much in that regard as a team, and Durant has regressed a ton as well as a defender. I do think we were too quick to crown him this off-season. People really wanted him to be the best player this year...but he just isn't.

Baller1
01-07-2011, 01:38 PM
Thunder fans should remember that I made this exact post a year and a half ago and everyone thought it was ridiculous. :rolleyes: You only have a small window before you cap out on your own guys and your potential players show their true value.

I remember, don't worry. But I also remember you saying to trade for Kaman too... :p

Baller1
01-07-2011, 01:42 PM
He's a great scorer...that's what I said. I don't think he's an elite defender, I don't think he makes his teammates better like LeBron, Wade and the elite PGs to, or even Kobe. His all around game isn't where it needs to be to carry a team to a championship.

He's 19th amongst all forwards in win shares/48 minutes, 9th in win shares, 36 in defensive win shares and 61st in defensive rating. Yes, he started out cold, but those defensive numbers aren't good at all...

Defense is the biggest thing that separates him from the elite guys. LeBron, Wade and Kobe are all elite defenders. I wouldn't even say Durant is a good defender this year.

Defense is holding them back. No playoff team, besides the Knicks, has a worse team defensive rating. They hold opposing offenses to the 19th best eFG%. They just have regressed so much in that regard as a team, and Durant has regressed a ton as well as a defender. I do think we were too quick to crown him this off-season. People really wanted him to be the best player this year...but he just isn't.

He was top 5 in defensive win shares last season, and as we saw against Kobe in game 3 of the playoffs last season, he has the ability. He hasn't mastered it by any stretch of the imagination of course, but his less than impressive defensive numbers this season can be directly accredited to the team's pathetic regression in that regard thanks to Brooks (who happens to be one of the most overrated coaches in the league).

I'm not making an excuse for Durant's regression, but it isn't as bad as it seems. There have been a few examples of Durant single-handedly winning a game on the defensive end (against New Orleans, shutting down David West who was dominating the entire game.

Just my 2 cents on the situation.

Baller1
01-07-2011, 01:48 PM
And just to add a little about his offensive game, just by watching the games you can see that Durant was playing out of his comfort zone early in the season. I've seen about 30 of the 33 games this season, and the difference is really blatant from November and December. Durant was trying way too hard to become a player he wasn't. By that I mean he was forcing passes, trying to be a facilitator, and not focusing more on his strengths (scoring and rebounding, defense can fall into that a bit as well).

I'll say it again, I'm not trying to make excuses for his regression this season, but being a consistent viewer of all his games I can attest to his struggles this season.