The Oklahoma City Thunder are still dealing with inconsistencies at this point of the season, as they carry an underwhelming 4-3 record so far in January. Many projected the Thunder to be among the elite in the NBA this year. However, after three and a half months of regular-season play, OKC still can’t find the right balance of production from its Big Three (Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook).

Another factor that’s holding down OKC is the absence of a consistent fifth scorer. Defensively, there’s nothing much to ask from the current crew.

The Thunder have the 3rd best defense in the NBA based on points allowed per game (101 points) and 8th best in terms of opponents field goal percentage (45.1FG%). The Thunder’s incredible length and versatility on defense is really punishing opposing teams. On the other hand, the team’s 104 points per game is just good for 19th in the league.

Upgrade from Andre Roberson

According to insider Royce Young in a recent 5-on-5 debate that featured several NBA experts on ESPN, acquiring a 3-and-D player would really help the Thunder moving forward. While Andre Roberson is considered an elite perimeter defender in the league, Young thinks his shaky clip from the free-throw line (33.0 FT%) renders him irrelevant in big moments.

Andre Snelling of ESPN Fantasy agreed with Young about the Thunder’s current 3-and-D need and proposed a trade that would send Roberson to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Kent Bazemore.

Kent Bazemore trade

Bazemore is a bit overprized at $17M but he still has the potential to become a game-changer for any team searching for a high-impact two-way player.

The 28-year-old wing is averaging 12.5 points on 41.5 FG% and 39.1 3PT% in 28 minutes per game. He’s also chipping in around two steals per game and guarding the best wing player from opposing teams every single night.

Bazemore has no shortage of suitors. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN mentioned the Atlanta Hawks guard as one of several players the Detroit Pistons are closely monitoring.

The New Orleans Pelicans also expressed their desire to upgrade their wing, and Bazemore’s name has popped up as a potential target.

There are no reports indicating negotiations between the Thunder and the Hawks so far, but insiders are expecting increased activities in Sam Presti office in the coming weeks. The Thunder could dangle a package of Roberson ($9M), Kyle Singler ($4.6M) and possibly a pick to sweeten the pot, although second-year shooting guard Alex Abrines and rookie Terrance Ferguson might be in play as well.