THE LAST PICK

Did the Thunder make a mistake this offseason?!

November 29, 2017

This summer left fans of the NBA in a constant state of confused and bewildered, Kyrie Irving left the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gordon Hayward joined the Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder somehow turned Victor
Oladipo, Enes Kanter, Domantas Sabonis and Doug McDermott into Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.
 
Early on, people thought the trade was mad, the Thunder added two All-Stars while the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers gained role players who had no place on their former team anymore…now we’re 15/16 games into the season, this may not be the case.

 

 

Victor Oladipo, part of the trade that sent Paul George from the Pacers to the Thunder is currently putting up 23/4/4 and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 44% from beyond the arc on 5 attempts per game. The big areas of his season so far are that he’s 12 th  in the league in scoring and has only been assisted on half of his threes (Klay Thompson has a 100% assist rate). He’s scored over 20 points in 11 of his 15 games this season and looks like he could make a name for himself in Indiana.

Sabonis, the other piece of the Paul George trade is also putting up greatly improved numbers at his new team. In 26 minutes per game, he’ s averaging 13/10/3 with the fourth highest field goal percentage in the league. His big
games have included a 22/10 in a win over the San Antonio Spurs and a 15/11/5 in an even bigger win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

This is only his second year in the NBA, and it looks like the Pacers could be the perfect place to develop and grow.

 

 

The other two players this article focuses on were both involved in the Carmelo Anthony trade, and are both now applying their trade in New York. Enes Kanter has stepped up big time since relocating to the big apple. He has the highest offensive rebound rating in the league and is third among centres with a Player Efficiency Rating of 25.3. Kanter is averaging 14/11 with the third highest FG% in the league (65%) while hitting 87% of his free throws, the highest amongst players in his position.

In addition to this, Kanter also as the highest defensive rating of any Knicks starter, this doesn’t mean a lot for two reasons. 1. It’s the New York Knicks, and 2. It’s Enes Kanter, a very average defender. His big games so far are a 20/16/4 against Cleveland and a 16/19 stat line against the Boston Celtics. In a theme similar to the other players on this list, Kanter may have finally found a home that suits what he can bring to the table.

 

 

The final player on this list is Doug McDermott, a player who is currently two free throws away from a 50/40/90 shooting split while carving out a new role a the Knicks Sixth man as a small forward (his most natural position).

 

With this being his fourth season in the league, it looks like he’s moving away from being a mirror or Nikola Mirotic and is finally turning into his own player. The bigger question is if these four can keep this level of consistency up throughout the season, and the overall effect that will have on their respective teams…

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