Will Andre Roberson keep starting job over Dion Waiters for Thunder?


Three out of the five starting spots on the Oklahoma City Thunder are no brainers — Russell Westbrook at the point, Kevin Durant at the three, and Serge Ibaka at the four. At center, the question for new coach Billy Donovan is pretty clear cut: Does he want the offense of Enes Kanter or the defense of Steven Adams?

Then there is the two-guard spot.

Many fans and some pundits thought Dion Waiters would be the Thunder’s starting two guard, with Anthony Morrow behind him and Andre Roberson getting the call when stops were needed. But Roberson started 65 games last season (being handed the role after Thabo Sefolosha was traded) and that may not change. New coach Billy Donovan didn’t say anything directly, but check out his comments and the reaction over at Daily Thunder.

Billy Donovan was asked what he’s looking for in a starting 2-guard and he might’ve, possibly, maybe showed his hand a bit. “The one thing for us, the defensive identity, trying to create some of that. There’s going to be some things that are new and different, trying to create a defensive identity. I think the versatility and flexibility of the roster helps, when you have a lot of different people that could slide over to a 2-guard spot.”

So… I guess that means something? Andre Roberson by category is the “defensive” guy, so it would seem that things are trending his way. And there’s also the fact that yesterday Russell Westbrook was asked about Roberson guarding him, and he said he didn’t really know about that because Roberson is always on his team. HMMMMM.

Yes, HMMMM indeed.

Roberson doesn’t bring much offense to the table. He was basically a spot up three-point shooter when Westbrook controlled the offense. The problem was, Roberson wasn’t any good at it — he shot 24.7 percent from three overall and 31.9 percent from the corners. That lack of offense is why he played fewer than 20 minutes a night despite starting, but it’s something he reportedly worked on this summer.

He does bring defense — because of his length (6’11” wingspan) he can guard the two or the three and does both well. That’s the kind of versatility Donovan is talking about.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Donovan does what Brooks did last season — start Roberson but give Waiters and Morrow more minutes off the bench (depending on needs and matchups that game).