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After two-year absence, Andre Roberson back on court with Thunder

Andre Roberson

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- OCTOBER: Andre Roberson #21 of the Oklahoma City Thunder smiles during a game against the Dallas Mavericks on October 8, 2019 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The last time Andre Roberson stepped on an NBA court it was Jan. 17, 2018, in Detroit. It was a game that showed what he brought to that Oklahoma City team: Roberson had 5 points shooting 2-of-2, but he was +32 in his 25 minutes because of his elite defense and fit with the core group. He made that team better.

After two years of injuries and rehab, Roberson is back on the practice court with the Thunder in Orlando for the NBA restart. Here is what teammates were saying on the zoom conference calls from practice (via Royce Young of ESPN).

“Man, it’s the best thing ever,” Chris Paul said. “I used to have to fry Dre back in the day when I was on another team and he was the stopper for the Thunder.”

“He looked really, really good in terms of the way he was moving,” coach Billy Donovan said. “It was great to see him out there. I was really happy for him. But like we’ve talked about in the past, we’ll see how he can continue to build up and develop here over the next week, but he was out there today and he participated in everything.”

Andre Roberson suffered a ruptured patellar tendon back in January of 2018, then had multiple setbacks and challenges in his recovery. His initial timeline had him back before Christmas in the 2018-19 season, instead he is just now getting on the court, something that was both mentally challenging as well as physically.

It wouldn’t be fair to expect big minutes, or the All-Defensive Team level player, we saw from Roberson in the past. How Roberson will fit in with this Thunder team remains to be seen.

But just having him on the court should be a boost for the Thunder.