By Sam Agnitsch
It’s official. The Spanish Fly, The Barcelona Bomber, The Mayor of Majorca will be in Thunder blue next season. Forgive the excitement but after a couple weeks of Revelations-level gloom, Thunder Nation finally has something to cheer about. OKC addressed their outside shooting needs in a major way today signing the 6’6”sharp-shooting Spaniard Alex Abrines to a three-year, 18 million dollar deal. So how exactly does adding a 22-year-old with no NBA experience help us?
The truth is…. it’s complicated. In the short-term, probably not much as questions remain about how his athleticism (and 200 pound frame) will adapt to the physical rigors of the NBA and its 82 game season. The opening day roster will also certainly dictate Abrines place in the rotation but with the Dion Waiters situation not yet resolved, the immediate impact is still murky. One thing is for certain, Coach Donovan’s system needs floor-spacers and Abrines is just that. Shooting it at 42% for Euro giants F.C. Barcelona, Alex showcased a fluid shooting stroke and crafty offensive game that was, dare I say, Ginobiliesque? Abrines especially got hot late in the season, in particular staging a 25 point playoff performance against Lokomotiv Krasnodar, a game which he shot a blistering 6-10 from three-point range. He then capped off his breakout season by winning the coveted Euroleague Rising Star award, beating out 76ers lottery pick Dario Saric.
Abrines is officially the last piece from the James Harden trade to join the team and after months of worried speculation in regards to his future, it is now settled. Chin up Thunderers, that dark tunnel just got a little brighter. Maybe they’ll let him wear #35?