In the first 24 hours of free agency, the Oklahoma City Thunder have made more signings than expected. Sam Presti and the front office persuaded three players to commit to signing with the Thunder. They are small acquisitions, but they seem to address the most important issues the team has. The details of the contracts have not yet been released, but they are expected to be around the league minimum. Here is some more details on the three players coming to OKC:
Nerlens Noel: C
Perhaps the best news for Oklahoma City fans thus far. The Thunder signing a backup center was something that needed to be done. Nerlens Noel will fill that role once again. Noel had a breakout season for the Thunder this past year. He averaged 4.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks all on 13.7 minutes per game.
Noel was a very important piece for the Thunder in the 2018-19 season. His ability to switch on pick and rolls and match up with smaller guards was a huge bonus for the Thunders defense. Having him come off the bench again will be a gigantic boost for the second unit. Knowing that other teams had interest in himself, Nerlens Noel still decided to return to the Thunder squad. Sam Presti got the job done once again on signing the team a great backup center.
Alec Burks: G
The 27 year old guard will add very important depth at the wing position for the Thunder. At 6-foot-6, Burks is a career 35% 3-PT shooter and can get hot fast. Last season Burks averaged 8.8 points and 3.7 rebounds. He appeared in only 64 games. He played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and was traded at the deadline to the Sacramento Kings.
Burks has been injury prone his whole career. The Utah Jazz decided to get rid of him as he couldn’t stay healthy early on in his career. The Thunder are taking a risk on him staying healthy as the season goes on. However, assuming he signs a very small contract, Alec Burks will be a great addition to the Thunder. Having a player like Burks come off the bench will help the Thunder take the next step as a team.
Mike Muscala: PF,C
Mike Muscala was a surprise for many when Woj announced him signing with the Thunder. The 6-foot-11 stretch big, spends time playing power forward and center. With Noel returning, some could assume he will be playing the four position the most for the Thunder.
Muscala averages 5.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in his 6 year career. He shoots 36.5% from three and will be part of the answer to the shooting problems the Thunder have. Once again predicting he will sign a minimum contract, he is a great pickup that has a chance to really help the Thunder.