Five of the best players who played for the Thunder that you forgot about
Since shifting the franchise to Oklahoma Metropolis in 2008, the Thunder has seen a revolving door of expertise through the years.
Whereas MVPs Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden are not with the workforce, the trio will perpetually be remembered by followers and pundits for bringing OKC to relevance. Even Paul George who spent only a few seasons earlier than being traded additionally counts.
Nonetheless, not all big-name stars who performed for the Thunder managed to go away lasting impressions.
These gamers didn’t precisely match with the workforce’s system on the time, whereas others’ performances had been too forgettable that they merely grew to become an afterthought.
Let’s take a look at 5 gamers you in all probability forgot frolicked with the Thunder.
Butler was a two-way nightmare in his prime and spent his All-Star years with the Washington Wizards within the late 2000s. Age and accidents caught up with him finally and he grew to become fairly the journeyman earlier than his retirement in 2016.
He began the 2013-14 season with the Milwaukee Bucks however discovered himself with no workforce by February after being purchased out from his contract. Needing one other veteran to shore up their bench on the time, the Thunder plucked the 6-foot-7 winger from the free company pool.
Tuff Juice appeared in 22 video games in an OKC uniform and had first rate averages of 9.7 factors on 40.9 p.c taking pictures from the sphere and 44.1 p.c from distance, to go together with 3.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.1 steals.
The Thunder anticipated Butler’s playoff expertise to turn out to be useful, however his effectivity dropped within the postseason that 12 months. OKC was eradicated by the Spurs within the WCF. The Thunder refused to re-sign him within the offseason and he agreed on a cope with the Detroit Pistons.
Inexperienced has worn so many jerseys all through his NBA profession that individuals usually overlook that the primary ones he donned had been OKC colours. In actual fact, Inexperienced even performed for the Seattle Supersonics banner for a 12 months alongside Durant within the 2011-12 season.
The 6-foot-Eight ahead showcased so much potential in his rookie 12 months and followers thought his pairing with Durant will deliver the workforce to new heights. Whereas KD was certainly nearly as good as marketed, Inexperienced didn’t dwell as much as expectations. He was nonetheless serviceable all through his 4-year tenure with the workforce however grew to become extra of a job participant as soon as Westbrook and Harden got here alongside.
OKC traded him away in 2011 to the Boston Celtics in change for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson.
Westbrook wasn’t the one high-flying pint guard that the Thunder had. As a part of the Inexperienced commerce in 2011, OKC took in Robinson to function a back-up for Russ.
Whereas the 3-time Slamdunk champion was thought-about on the spot offense off the bench for his earlier groups, Robinson simply didn’t get that chance with OKC. He barely performed for the Thunder, showing in simply 4 video games and spending simply 7.5 minutes on the ground. He recorded profession lows of three.Three factors on 26.7 p.c taking pictures from the sphere and 25 p.c from three throughout his temporary stint.
The Thunder waived Robinson previous to the start of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season and he was picked up by the Golden State Warriors.
It might be arduous to consider proper now, however Oladipo was as soon as labeled a bust in his early years within the league. The Orlando Magic gave up on their 2013 second general decide manner too early after delivery him to the Thunder in a bundle for Serge Ibaka in 2016.
Oladipo performed terrific in his new surroundings, notching 15.9 factors, 4.Three rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 67 video games for OKC within the 2016-17 season. Nonetheless, VO performed eerily much like Westbrook and a few pundits questioned if the 2 can co-exist in the long term.
OKC had an opportunity to nab one other famous person in Paul George in 2017, they usually traded away Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis (one other Thunder afterthought) to the Indiana Pacers.
To this present day, the Thunder are actually nonetheless knocking themselves for this one, as George finally demanded a commerce final 12 months to the Los Angeles Clippers. Oladipo and Sabonis, in the meantime, went on to develop into All-Stars as soon as they left the workforce.
Livingston was an vital cog to the Warriors’ dynasty, as he totally embraced his back-up position for the star-studded workforce. However earlier than he received three titles with the Dubs, Livingston made a pit cease in OKC to revitalize his professional profession.
The 6-foot-7 playmaker needed to claw his manner again to the league after struggling probably the most ugly accidents in NBA historical past again in 2007. After paying his dues with the Thunder’s G-League affiliate Tulsa 66ers, Livingston acquired referred to as up again to the large leagues.
He recorded 7.Eight factors, 3.Three rebounds, and a pair of.zero assists in Eight video games for the Thunder in 2008-09. Livingston appeared in 10 extra video games for OKC the next season earlier than being waived on December 22, 2009.
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