BY: Fred Katz
OKLAHOMA CITY — Thunder coach Billy Donovan spent much of last year’s final two months discussing a tedious topic: integrating new players into a roster.
He did it over and over after Oklahoma City had dealt for power forward Taj Gibson and sharpshooter Doug McDermott just before the 2017 trade deadline. Gibson had played for years in Chicago. He had to learn the Thunder’s terminologies, his new teammates’ habits, how to act, how to lead, everything. It was all new.
Donovan waited seven games before he put Gibson in the starting lineup. He still spoke about assimilating him into the team after that.
He has barely spoken about that issue, one he and others around the locker room harped on after trades for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, too, with Corey Brewer, who signed with OKC not two weeks ago.