Andre Roberson has agreed to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder on a three-year extension contract deal worth $30 million, according to multiple sources.
The extension contract is favorable for the Oklahoma City as the 25-year-old guard bet on himself last season by turning down a four-year contact deal worth $48 million. Now the Thunder gets to shell out lesser for his three year service, and keep one of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s best defenders. His contract deal is lower due to his poor postseason playoffs performance, but make no mistake, Roberson is worth keeping around the OKC.
The former University of Colorado Boulder star, who was drafted with the 26th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves but was immediately landed by the Thunder on the draft night via trade, will fit in nicely with the newly acquired talents added by the OKC this offseason. Just take a look at the starting five of the Thunder: Russell Westbrook (reigning MVP), Paul George (All-Star), Roberson (second-team All Defense), Patrick Patterson and Steven Adams.
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Lets be honest, Russell Westbrook isn’t an elite defender, but his athleticism allows the award-winning basketballer to play well enough not to get embarassed. Paul George, on the other hand, is one of the best two-way professional basketball players in the league, earning second-team All Defense twice (2013, 2016) and first-team All Defense once (2014).
Meanwhile, Patterson, who signed with the ball club this week, is a positional watchdog who can help guard the rim alongside Steven Adams, who has developed during his years in Oklahoma City. Both skillful talents provide length and high basketball agility, and will play under the helm of head coach Billy Donovan who is known for his tough defense.
The Oklahoma City Thunder was already in the top 10 for defensive rating in the season of NBA, and that was prior to adding Paul George and Patrick Patterson. The OKC have now turn into one of the top victors this offseason, with a much-improved roster from the last year.
The Thunder have made progress to be a strong contender in the Western Conference, and have assembled a defense quite strong enough to at least challenge the defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors. The gazillion dollar question now becomes whether their offense can at least equalize the power of their defense. We know about Westbrook and George’s offensive forces, but Roberson is a accountability on that side of the ball.
Roberson was one of the most open players in the NBA in the last season, but often missed an easy shots. Patterson can be good on offense, but he’s not that very versatile as Westbrook and George.
In addition to the lack of offensive competence, the Oklahoma City Thunder also lack depth on their roster. Their starting five will be a force on defense, but once the bench comes in, it’s going to be complicated for the Thunder to hang with some of the powerful teams in the Western Conference.
Nevertheless, The OKC Thunder fans have to be excited regarding the improvements made to the organization this offseason. Even if George leaves next season to join the Los Angeles Lakers, the 2017 NBA season should be entertaining for the NBA fans and alike.