After losing Andre Roberson to a ruptured patellar tendon on Saturday, the Oklahoma City Thunder will need to find a replacement. While Roberson is honestly irreplaceable on the defensive end, there are candidates who can somewhat fill the gap on that end while offering more on offense. To show how impactful Roberson was for the Thunder, teams were held to 96.4 points per possession with him on the floor, according to Royce Young. That number would go up to 108.3 points with him off the floor.
Potential Andre Roberson Replacements for the Oklahoma City Thunder
This is actually perfect timing. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has reported that the Detroit Pistons have put Bradley on the trading block. Things have not panned out as expected for both sides this season after Bradley was acquired last summer. Almost all of his numbers across the board are down from last season. He has not had the same impact like he did with the Boston Celtics the past few seasons. Right now, Bradley has the third-worst defensive rating on the Pistons.
It could be possible Bradley just needs a new team to be productive again. The Thunder would be the perfect fit. We know he is one of the best on ball defenders in the league. Putting him alongside another strong defender in Paul George could bring out the best in him again. On the offensive end, Bradley would bring more than Roberson does. He is shooting 38.1 percent from three this season, which is fine.
It is important to note Bradley will be a free agent this summer. So if the Thunder decide to trade for him, they will not be stuck with him if he is not productive. He is likely going to be looking for a near-max contract as well. The Thunder will probably have their attention focused more on re-signing George.
Lee has been a journeyman for most of his career, which is strange at times. He has been productive with every team he has been with. It is surprising he cannot stick with one team. The Thunder could use a glue guy like Lee. And with all of this, he is having one of his best seasons with the New York Knicks. Lee is averaging 13.5 PPG while shooting 42.9 percent from three.
Lee brings a lot of toughness on both ends on the court, which fits what the Thunder do. He is capable of playing either the guard or wing, which helps switches on the defensive end. With Lee having a better season than Bradley, it could make more sense for the Thunder to target Lee. He is a productive player who deserves to be on a winning team. Just playing for a playoff team could even boost his production.
Lee is currently under contract until 2020. He is owed over $12 million for the next two seasons.
Stick With The Team
It is possible the Thunder could decide to not make any moves. If that is the case, rookie Terrance Ferguson would likely get the nod to replace Roberson in the lineup. In the eight games Roberson missed this season, Ferguson started in seven of them. While the team is better on the offensive end with Ferguson, their defense takes a huge hit with a 116.4 defensive rating, per Erik Horne.
As mentioned earlier, Roberson is irreplaceable on the defensive end. No one the Thunder replace him with is going to have the same impact. In a potential matchup against the Golden State Warriors is where Roberson’s value was going to show. The Thunder are still going to be a tough out in the playoffs. But if they do end up meeting the Warriors, not having Roberson gives them almost no chance.
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – MARCH 12: (R) Courtney Lee #5 blocked by (L) Brook Lopez #11 of New York Knicks during Brooklyn Nets vs New York Knicks NBA game in Barclays Center in Brooklyn borough of New York , U.S.A on March 12, 2017. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)