OKC has been very active this off season. After the blockbuster trade for Indiana’s Paul George, OKC still wasn’t done rounding out their roster. By shedding salary, the Thunder were allowed to resign restricted free agent starter Andre Roberson and add a host of other free agents to help bolster the bench. Though George and Roberson were the most glamorous of the Thunder’s signings, there were quite a few lesser-known, rotational guys that will help improve the team. Here are the two newest signees for Oklahoma City and what they bring to the team.
2016-2017 stats: 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 37.2% three-point
The Thunder were able to get defensive specialist and stretch forward Patrick Patterson on a three-year, $16.4 million steal of a deal. Patterson was extremely versatile for the Raptors, effectively playing the role of a 3-and-D guy in Toronto. In a limited 24.6 minutes a game, Patterson posted an offensive rating of 113.4 and a defensive rating of 102.5 for a net rating of 10.9. The majority of his shot attempts came from 20-29 feet, and he hit on 36.5% of those shots. While the Thunder already have two elite perimeter defenders, Patterson also has the ability to guard all five positions. Patterson may not have been an all-star, but the Thunder are a better team with him on it.
2016-2017 stats: 6.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 43% field goal
Lately, the backup point guard position has been the Thunder’s Achilles heel. Expectations are so low for Raymond Felton, so him just being competent may be good enough. His numbers last year weren’t good, but Felton is a well-traveled veteran who can appreciate the opportunity to play on a contender. During his very first press conference as a member of the Thunder, he let it be known how important it was for him to be on a team with legit title hopes.
“The best feeling ever is having a parade,” said Felton, a 12-year veteran. “I’ve never experienced that. I experienced (a title) at the college level but never here in the NBA. I definitely want to do that before I retire from this game.”
If anything, Felton appears to be ready to lead when Russel Westbrook goes to the bench. Hopefully, he can put an end to OKC’s history of underwhelming backup guard play.
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