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Oklahoma City Thunder: Andre Roberson is likely to be next star to be traded

ANALYST
Feature
24 Aug 2019, 23:39 IST

Andre Roberson looks to have played his last game for the Thunder
Andre Roberson looks to have played his last game for the Thunder

Back in December of 2017, Andre Roberson was among the Oklahoma City Thunder's most important players. While the All-Star trio of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George dominated the headlines, Roberson's presence on the court put the Thunder among the best defensive teams in the NBA, and OKC were quickly emerging as a huge threat to the then-dominant Golden State Warriors.

However, Roberson was lost for the season in January of 2018 after rupturing his left patellar tendon against the Detroit Pistons, and the Thunder's defence promptly started to unravel. Head coach Billy Donovan expressed his belief that Roberson's impact couldn't be replaced, and his side proved to be no match for the Utah Jazz in the postseason.

Roberson was expected to return for the 18-19 season, although updates on his condition were scarce throughout the year, and the defensive stopper failed to return as the Thunder once again crashed out in the first round.

Sam Presti has since hinted that Roberson will be back on the court for opening night, although the shooting guard's future in Oklahoma City seems doomed following the departures of George and Westbrook. Roberson's unique skill set proved to be an excellent fit when the Thunder were competing, although, with the team now in rebuild mode, they no longer require the luxury of having one of the NBA's best lockdown defenders.

Roberson will also hit free agency next summer and is owed a team-friendly $10 million for the forthcoming season. This makes the 27-year-old an attractive option, and contending teams will be intrigued by his ability to defend the perimeter. While Steven Adams and Chris Paul are also likely to exit the Thunder before the trade deadline, Roberson appears to be the next star to follow PG13 and Westbrook out of Oklahoma City.

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