Since the arrival of the Thunder in Oklahoma City back in 2008 the, team has always maintained a younger roster. The Thunder transitioned from the youngest roster in the NBA to an experienced roster with veteran leadership.
Sam Presti has always done an excellent job at putting veteran leadership with the young talent. At first, it was Kendrick Perkins. The big man came in from Boston with tons of veteran experience and an NBA Championship under his belt. After that, Presti brought in Derek Fisher. Fisher was an excellent leader who had five championships, and he contributed tremendously in the playoffs.
As the 2016-2017 season begins, the current average age for the Thunder is 26. This puts Oklahoma City as the 10th youngest team in the NBA. The veteran leadership now falls on the shoulders of Nick Collison. The man with the best hair in the NBA is 35 years old. He came into the league in 2003 as the 12th overall pick. He probably won’t see the floor much this season, but his contributions on the bench and in the huddle will be indispensable.
The roster is full of rookie and upcoming talent. Then there are guys like Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is still young in NBA years, but he has the same amount of experience as some of the veterans in this league. The strategically placed diversity of this roster will come in handy in many close games this season. The young legs will push through the many back-to-back games, and the veteran leadership will keep the team calm in high pressure situations.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @thethunderguys on Twitter.