At the beginning of the 2016-17 NBA season, the Oklahoma City Thunder tried to get Andre Roberson signed to an extension, but an agreement could not be made. The intention of the organization was to re-sign Roberson all along, but whether or not he could be afforded was always a concern.
After signing Patrick Patterson using the Mid-Level Exception, the Thunder all of a sudden had a much easier path to signing Andre Roberson, and 24 hours later, Roberson has agreed to a deal for 3 years worth $30 million.
Andre Roberson finished this last season on the 2nd All-Defensive team, and while his offensive woes, specifically his free throw shooting, were an issue, his defensive prowess is one that is hardly matched in the league. This alone made him a valuable asset, and getting him at a cheap price was not an easy road, but locking him in for a multi-year deal at that price is a flat out steal. Undoubtedly Roberson took less money so that he would be able to stay in Oklahoma City with Russell Westbrook and make a push to contend for an NBA Championship.
After playing at the small forward position for nearly the entirety of last season, he will likely maintain his starting position but slide back into the shooting guard spot, while new teammate Paul George will start at small forward. This will make the Thunder backcourt one of the most dangerous defensive groups in the league, and it will also help spread the floor on offense, making Roberson’s contribution less necessary.
The move was a steal for the Thunder financially, but it did push the Thunder over the luxury tax mark with roster spots still to fill. There is still time for Oklahoma City to get back under the mark, but it will be interesting to see what else Sam Presti has up his sleeve to make both the roster and finances work out.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.