Donovan Says Roberson was not Cleared to Play.

Erik Gee

During Billy Donovan's pregame press conference before Wednesday night's game with the Pacers, I asked if Andre Roberson was ever cleared to play by the Thunder's medical staff. Donovan says, "I don't want just to sit there and say he was cleared to play and elected not to."  "The assessment after days of training camp after workouts things that he was complaining about and dealing with just didn't allow him to play."  Donovan also says that after the medical staff heard what he was dealing with that, all parties agreed that Roberson wasn't prepared to play. 

Without reading too much into what Donovan or anyone else from the Thunder has to say about Roberson's condition, it's obvious he felt like he was wasn't able to play.  The move to Los Angels to continue his rehab was his decision's not the teams. If Roberson ever gets to a point where he feels like he can contribute, the Thunder is set at both the two and the three. It's hard to see where he would fit in.  It's easy to say he would have gotten the minutes left that Hamidou Diallo was leaving behind with his hyperextended elbow. But, that would have kept a younger cheaper Abdel Nader on the bench, and all he's done in two of his last three games is go for 23 vs. Portland and 19 against New Orleans.  While Donovan would rather have Roberson's experience over Deonte Burton's youth, Roberson's offensive output is only slightly better.

It's hard to see where Roberson has much of a future with the Thunder, and if Sam Presti wants to move forward, this gives him that chance. 

The Last time the Thunder and Pacers met Domantas Sabonis raked in a double-double. Dovan chalks up Saboins's improvement from his time in Oklahoma City to being able to play his more natural position of center with Indiana. "Our personnel had him at the power forward position. Where I think he can be really effective, and efficient  is at the center spot." Donavan says Sabonis is unselfish, he's a good passer, he can post up smaller people. and drive past bigger people. Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel have their work cut out for them on Wednesday and before we rip the Thunder for Sabonis getting better once he left, I can certainly see why they wanted the more versatile player on the perimeter. 

Thunder and Pacers Wednesday at 7 on Fox Sports Oklahoma. 

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