Remaining holes for contenders

What Oklahoma City, New York Knicks, others still need to do

Updated: July 17, 2013, 1:13 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | ESPN Insider

Jeremy LambFernando Medina/NBAE/Getty ImagesWill Jeremy Lamb be able to step up and help the Oklahoma City Thunder this season?

The daily stream of transactions has slowed to a trickle, and now that Tuesday's amnesty deadline has passed, the league will change only in small increments between now and the beginning of training camp. However, there are a number of roster spots across the league still open, and several potential playoff teams still have holes to fill.

It's unlikely that any remaining moves will grab headlines, but in a league that seems to be sorted into a handful of tight groupings, you never know which acquisition will make a difference when it comes to seeding the clubs in April. Let's look at some roster shortcomings that still need to be addressed for some potential contenders.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Need: Veteran bench help

The Thunder have been notably quiet this summer, showing up in the transaction news only when Kevin Martin was signed away by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Oklahoma City remains a title contender by virtue of the powerhouse value at the top of the roster, but the reserve unit is largely unproven. Among the players occupying reserve perimeter positions on the depth chart, only Reggie Jackson and DeAndre Liggins have even two years of experience. Oklahoma City is no doubt high on Jackson after his performance in the postseason, and he is the only second-unit player who projects better than replacement level.


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