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NBA Rumors: Thunder in danger of losing Andre Roberson, Taj Gibson due to cap problems

By Nel Imperial / 2017.05.01
Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter

By just reaching the postseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder's first season without Kevin Durant can be considered 'successful.' However, despite Russell Westbrook's historic triple-double and perhaps MVP year, the Thunder had seen little progress from Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo, whom they re-signed last summer.

According to Hoops Rumors writer Luke Adams, the Thunder would need an internal improvement from their youngsters if they want to keep themselves in the playoff picture next season.

After all Sam Presti's effort to restructure Westbrook's contract and retain their young players, the Thunder find itself over the cap, with little room for upgrades. Moreover, they are in danger of losing the service of Taj Gibson, Nick Collison and Andre Roberson, who blossomed into a top-tier perimeter defender this season.

The 25-year old Roberson is expected to draw interest from teams looking to jack up their perimeter defense. In five postseason games against the Houston Rockets, Roberson showed everybody that he is a bona fide 3-and-D guy, after doing a great job defending James Harden and hitting 41 percent of his shot from beyond the line. The only downside for Roberson is his dismal free-throw shooting (42% in regular-season, 14% in the postseason).  

Meanwhile, Enes Kanter is still hopeful that he can play for the Thunder next season (per Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript), despite being the subject of trade rumors from the moment Oklahoma got eliminated in the playoffs. Many NBA analysts believe the Thunder could get a decent return by trading Kanter and his $17.8 million per year guaranteed money elsewhere.

"It's not in my hands," he said. "... I'm at home. ... I see this organization as my family," said Kanter, who just contributed 9.0 points per game in the series against the Rockets.

Cap-rich teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and possibly Atlanta Hawks (especially if Paul Millsap leaves) could be interested in the Turkish big man.

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