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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Report 2009-05-18


Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Report 2009-05-18


Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Report 2009-05-18
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Kevin Durant. The second-year small forward turned in a spectacular season, even if few noticed, to firmly cement himself as the franchise player. Durant finished sixth in the league in scoring at more than 25 points per game. He also grabbed 6.5 boards and dished out nearly three assists a night.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: Robert Swift. The injury-plagued center was never able to get on track, despite given every opportunity to earn a spot in the rotation. The former lottery pick played in just 26 games, averaging only 13 minutes. He heads into free agency looking for a new team.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: Malik Rose, Desmond Mason and Robert Swift are free agents. The team likely doesn't have any interest in Rose or Swift, though either may be used in a sign-and-trade scenario. Mason, an Oklahoma State product, could be a possibility if he's healthy. With so much room for improvement, the team is looking for veteran depth at all positions on the affordable side.

PLAYER NEWS:

--F Kevin Durant met with strength coach Dwight Daub before leaving Oklahoma City to put together a strength, conditioning and dietary program designed to add muscle to his wiry 6-foot-9 frame.

"It's just lifting at least four or five times a week, eating right, eating three or four meals a day," Durant said. "And just making sure that I put it in my hands to wake up early in the morning, eat, go work out, lift weights and keep doing that cycle over and over again, and eventually, I'll add muscle."

--F Jeff Green heads into his second offseason with a better idea of how to manage the down time and prepare for the next season.

"I'll take a break this year and rest up," Green said. "It was only like four or five days (last year) before I started playing pick-up. Eventually, it led to workouts and heavy weightlifting, but now it's going to be more of a break, resting my body rather than trying to hurry up and get back into the swing of things."

--F Russell Westbrook finished a distant fourth in Rookie of the Year voting behind landslide winner Derrick Rose of Chicago, Memphis' O.J. Mayo and New Jersey's Brook Lopez.

Westbrook did join those three, plus Miami's Michael Beasley, on the All-Rookie first team. Westbrook was second among rookies in assists (5.3) and steals (1.3), fourth in scoring (15.3) and minutes (32.5), and among the league leaders for guards in rebounds (4.9).

"He learned a lot playing point guard," Kevin Durant said. "He got everybody involved. The games where he got nine, 10 or 11 assists, we won pretty big. That shows how much of an impact he has on this team. He had a great year. I'm excited for him."

--G Kyle Weaver spent much of the final month of the season learning to run the offense as a point guard. Part of the process involved sending Weaver to the D-League for two games.

"I've just been learning," Weaver said. "It's an adjustment, especially at this level. Having the ball in your hands, there's definitely a lot more responsibility that comes with that. I'm just here to take on the challenge and hopefully get better."

--F Malik Rose would like to hook on with a contender next season if possible. The 34-year-old enjoyed his brief stay in Oklahoma City after being traded from New York.

"I accomplished a lot of the things that I wanted to accomplish coming here," Rose said. "Before I got here I hadn't been on the court in about three years. I picked up a lot of weight.

"So some of my goals after coming here were just to get my rhythm back and my timing back and my confidence back out on the court, and a lot of that has come. I've lost about 12 or 14 pounds since I've been here. It's just like a jumpstart to my summer."

--F Nick Collison returned from his two-game absence with a thigh contusion with eight points, five rebounds and three blocks Monday at Portland. He felt fine going into the finale at the L.A. Clippers.

"I felt pretty good," Collison said. "I felt really sore (Monday) at shoot-around. I didn't know how I was going to be, but adrenaline is a powerful drug. Once I was out there I felt pretty good."

MEDICAL WATCH:

--G Thabo Sefolosha (dislocated finger) didn't play the last several games of the season as a precautionary measure. He didn't need surgery.

--G Desmond Mason (knee surgery) is expected to make a full recovery. He'll be ready for training camp if he remains with the team.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 18, 2009

 

 
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