Earlier this week on July 29th, Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder signed forward Ryan Gomes to a one-year deal. The deal is rumored to be one similar to the deal Derek Fisher signed last week. It also is said to be unclear whether this contract is guaranteed or just an invitation to the Thunder’s training camp to compete for a final roster slot.
Gomes could be a great contributor off the bench for the Thunder. The Boston Celtics drafted Gomes out of Providence in 2005 with the 50th overall selection. He is best described as a versatile forward who could be slotted at either the small forward or power forward position. The 30-year old’s best attribute that he can bring to Oklahoma City is his ability to shoot the basketball and spread the floor.
He has played major minutes with the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Los Angeles Clippers. In four consecutive seasons (2006-2009), Gomes averaged better than 10 points a game while playing an average close to 30 minutes a game. His last stint in the NBA was in the 2011 season with Los Angeles Clippers when he posted a career low of 2.3 points per game while receiving only 13 minutes per outing and only playing in 32 games. The Clips then decided to use the amnesty clause on Gomes following that year. For his 2012 campaign, Gomes decided to head to Germany to play a season overseas after failing to find a home in the NBA.
As far as Oklahoma City faithful and “Loud City”, this move means almost nothing. However, this move does improve the Thunder bench. Any team can use versatility and shooting ability. He has also played seven season in the NBA and the Thunder could definitely use experience coming off their bench or in the locker room. The bench for the Thunder is very young right now with Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb being projected as the first two to have their numbers called off the bench. At best, Scott Brooks could bring Gomes off the bench in relief for Kevin Durant at the small forward position with the second team. For his career, Gomes shoots 35% from behind the arc so he could definitely contribute on the offensive end for Brooks.
He will be best for the Thunder at small forward. At power forward, he could be hard to guard because of his perimeter abilities but also a target on the defensive end as opposing power forwards will use brute strength and size to put Gomes at a disadvantage. The Thunder have not had the best offseason as far finding ways to make their bench stronger. They have missed on a few good players that were on the market and only ended up with Gomes and Derek Fisher, again. Hopefully, the young pieces they have within the organization can continue to grow and eventually make an impact on the team.