Even before Kevin Durant announced OKC the Thunder had acquired Victor Oladipo. Oladipo not only fills the position the Thunder have long had trouble with, shooting guard, but he is a talented player that the Thunder have wanted on their team since he declared for the NBA draft. For his career Oladipo averages 15.9 points, 4.0 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game. Those sort of numbers are not too shabby for a 24 year old who has never been on a super talented team.
Now the Thunder have experienced so much in this offseason. They have seen the salary cap explode and players get paid way too much, their superstar player deciding to go to play for the enemy, their former shooting guard missing his chance to get a better deal with OKC, and listen to all kinds of rumors about Russell Westbrook. It has been an offseason that will change the Thunder franchise forever, to say the least. After all these instances happened they are now recovering from them and, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Thunder are looking to give Oladipo a contract extension.
Obviously the first motion the Thunder are going to try to make is to get Russell Westbrook to sign an extension, and a make one at that, but afterwards the Thunder will focus on Oladipo. If they can reach extensions with both of those players then it will not only give them a great back-court for years to come, it will also give them some more flexibility going into next offseason. Rumors throughout the league are saying that next offseason the cap will explode even more and if that were to happen then the Thunder could go after another huge piece, Blake Griffin.
Griffin might be hard to get in free agency as many believe he is a man who loves the spotlight and his current situation is perfect for that. Still though, Sam Presti could make a great pitch to Griffin if he had Westbrook and Oladipo by his side. Griffin is from OKC and the Thunder can prove that they have the talent around him to win a championship.
There is no doubt that Presti has a plan moving forward for the Thunder’s future. He will give it his all to keep his guys, Westbrook and Oladipo, but if he cannot do that then he surely has multiple back-up plans. Kevin Durant may have left the Thunder in the dust but all hope is not lost. OKC has a strong core of players and, more importantly, a genius front office.