While Oklahoma City’s starting small forward, Andre Roberson, has certainly made a name for himself on the defensive end, the Thunder’s lack of cap space and Roberson’s potential to see a big payday soon contributes to his unlikeliness to return to his current team. Oklahoma City is set to spend over $100 million next season on 13 players, three of which earning over $20 million. Of course, they’re not landing a Gordon Hayward or J.J. Reddick, but the Thunder could really use any kind of offensive upgrade from Andre Roberson. With Oklahoma City likely prepping for a future without Roberson, there are a few options that may be available to the team.
10.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 41.3 3p%
2016-2017 earnings: $4,583,450
At this point in his career, C.J. Miles is mainly a scorer. He’s always been a smart, dependable pro who has gotten better at the three point line year-by-year. Though his Indiana Pacers team was swept in the first round of this year’s playoffs, Miles was very efficient when shooting the ball. Miles averaged a 58.5 true shooting percentage and a 51.4 effective field goal percentage during the series. There are much worse options than Miles and while he isn’t nearly the defensive stopper Roberson is, Miles can still score at will.
12.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 12 double-doubles
2016-2017 earnings: $2,231,392
While he isn’t as efficient as C.J. Miles and played most of his career with the lowly Philadelphia 76er’s, Covington is more defensive-minded and more athletic than Miles. Covington could be considered a diamond in the rough due to how terrible his teams have been, but he has the ability to contribute to a playoff-bound team like Oklahoma City. He made a little over $2 million last season and may not be that expensive for Oklahoma’s restrictive cap situation.
9.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 48.2 fg%
2016-2017 earnings: $3,046,299
Yet another young player overlooked because of his bad team, Shabazz Muhammad may be the best combination of athleticism and scoring that the Thunder can get for their budget. Though he’s currently on the roster of a young, talented Minnesota Timberwolves team, he is often overlooked and underappreciated having to come off the bench. Playing for four different coaches in four years, Muhammad knows the importance of of learning and understanding your role on a team. He is a restricted free agent this summer so the Thunder can’t get into a bidding war for him, but they can test Minnesota’s willingness to keep him on their roster.
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