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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Thunder improve depth by signing playoff-tested center

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Nov 20, 2010; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder logo on a players shorts during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. The Thunder defeated the Bucks 82-81. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder are addressing their biggest area of need.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Saturday that the Thunder are signing veteran center Bismack Biyombo. They will be giving the 31-year-old Biyombo a minimum deal, Charania adds.

For Biyombo, an ex-No. 7 overall pick in 2011, Oklahoma City is his sixth career NBA team. He has gained a strong reputation as a rebounder and an interior defender, averaging 5.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks a game this season for the Memphis Grizzlies. Biyombo has also been a part of multiple playoff runs, including with the Phoenix Suns in the last two seasons and with the Toronto Raptors in 2016.

Backup center is by far the single greatest weakness right now for the 35-16 Thunder. They have countless dynamic athletes at positions 1 through 4. But behind starting center Chet Holmgren, their depth is paper-thin, and they have been forced to go small with Jaylin Williams as the de facto backup 5. Biyombo will thus be a godsend for them and reunites in OKC with this former All-Star teammate of his that the Thunder just acquired.

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