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Andre Roberson.

Three players the Thunder should target after Andre Roberson's injury

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The Oklahoma City Thunder have suffered a huge injury blow with the news that Andre Roberson will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured patella tendon that will require surgery.

The shooting guard's numbers don't scream off the page as he averaged just 5.0 points, 1.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game this year, but his impact on the Thunder is telling.

Roberson offers very little offensively but is arguably the team's best defender and make a huge difference when he's out on the floor.

Last season, he was recognised for his efforts as he was named to his first All-Defensive team.

According to Micah Adams of ESPN Stats and Info, with the 26-year-old on the floor with the other starters of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams, OKC has a defensive rating of 96.6.

With those four on the court without Roberson, this drops to 114.5. It's extraordinary how one player can make a starting lineup go from one of the worst defences to the best, but that's how crucial he is to this team.

Replacing him with a defender of the same caliber will be tricky but this could allow the Thunder to enter the trade market and look to bring in more shooting at that position instead.

Here are three players Oklahoma City should target:

Avery Bradley

Indana Pacers v Detroit Pistons

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Detroit Pistons have made Bradley available for a trade. This should certainly interest OKC as he can provide the defensive skills that they'll miss with Roberson and be a threat on the offensive end too.

He has only been with the Pistons for half a season after he was traded to the Motor City by the Boston Celtics. Bradley is regarded as one of the best defensive guards in the league but he isn't enjoying the best of years in Detroit.

The team is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak and they're looking to make some changes ahead of the trade deadline, starting with offloading the 27-year-old's expiring contract.

Contributing to a contending team like the Thunder would certainly appeal to Bradley and it could get him playing at a high level again. He's on a modest $8 million deal and could make a real difference to them.

Rodney Hood

Los Angeles Clippers v Utah Jazz - Game Four

The Utah Jazz has been actively shopping Hood and are hoping to ship him before the deadline. He's not known for his defensive prowess but he could provide a scoring spark at the two spot.

He was usurped in the Jazz starting lineup by rookie Donovan Mitchell and they're hoping to get him off their books and not have to decide on extending a qualifying offer to him, which could work in the Thunder's favour.

Utah could be willing to accept less just to avoid having to lose him for nothing. But Hood is an above average defender and is a talented wing scorer averaging 16.7 points a game on 38.6-percent shooting from downtown.

With a cheap contract of $2.4m, he could be a good fit alongside Westbrook in the backcourt.

Courtney Lee

New York Knicks v Phoenix Suns

The 32-year-old is enjoying a solid season with the New York Knicks but has been involved in trade rumours because of the team's willingness to go young and look to rebuild with a youthful roster.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, NBA executives have told him that Lee's name is one to watch in the coming weeks.

OKC should definitely make a call to the Knicks and find out if there's a possibility of landing him. He's enjoying a good year and has experience of playing alongside Carmelo already.

A veteran wing presence who's averaging 13.5 points should be enticing for them.

Topics:
Russell Westbrook
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference
NBA
Paul George
Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Andre Roberson

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