The Thunder's 2016-17 season was all about Russell Westbrook's chase for the MVP and the triple-double record. Westbrook accomplished both of those feats, but the team came up short against the Rockets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. General manager Sam Presti pulled off the trade of the summer in stealing Paul George from the Pacers, which gives this team a chance to compete at the top of the West again this season.

Point Guard

The most amazing aspect of Russell Westbrook's triple-double season (31.6 PPG 10.7 RPG 10.4 APG) was that he played less than 35 minutes per game, which barely cracked the top 20 in the NBA.

The Thunder found that Westbrook wasn't very effective if he was fatigued, so they let him go balls-to-the-wall for 34 minutes a night. This minutes restriction allowed him to play 81 out of 82 games and could bode well for his long-term longevity.

Oklahoma City had possibly the worst backup point guard situation in the league last season, but they signed Raymond Felton in free agency who should be a major upgrade behind Westbrook.

Shooting Guard

With the addition of Paul George and the exit of Victor Oladipo, Andre Roberson should find himself as the starting two-guard in this lineup.

Roberson ranked first among all shooting guards in defensive real plus-minus last season, but he's a liability on offense.

With Westbrook and George taking most of the shots, Roberson should focus on cutting and crashing the offensive boards, and continue to play stellar defense.

Alex Abrines provides some spacing at shooting guard as he shot 38.1% from 3 last season. Now that he's had a year to adjust to the NBA, he could be ready for a major leap in 2017-18.

Small Forward

The arrival of Paul George brings back memories of the Westbrook-Durant days in OKC. George provides more spacing for this offense (39.3% 3PT), and another shot creator to take some of the load off of Westbrook. PG-13 is an incredibly versatile offensive player who can score in all types of ways, and he is also a fantastic defender when he wants to be.

The Thunder have some options behind George at the 3. Doug McDermott provides three-point shooting (37%), but he was the league's worst small forward defender according to RPM. Jerami Grant is a more inconsistent shooter, but he has incredible defensive upside with some insane athleticism.

Power Forward

Sam Presti made another great move this offseason by bringing in Patrick Patterson on a three-year $16.5 million contract. Patterson does have some concerning knee troubles, but he's a very solid 3-and-D power forward.

Enes Kanter is one of the NBA's most efficient offensive players off the bench (23.7 PER), but he's still a horrible defender (DRPM: 60/63 C). He can provide an offensive spark off the bench but may be unplayable in certain matchups.


Steven Adams wasn't the incredible player that OKC fans saw in the 2016 playoffs last season, but he remained to be a very effective player on both sides of the ball. With more spacing in the lineup, Adams is in a better situation to thrive this season.

Bringing in Paul George for that price was highway robbery, and he's a perfect fit next to Russell Westbrook. This team has the potential to be a top-3 defense and a top-5 offense next season.