Roberson was a second-team all-defense selection last season, but he has shown flashes of potential on offense and is an excellent rebounder. Last season, he averaged career highs of 6.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field.
Fans might get to see the playoff version of Roberson more often this season. In the five-game series against Houston last season, he averaged 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the field.
George looks forward to playing alongside Roberson, especially on the defensive side. In the past, Roberson would defend an opponent's best player. Now, they can share responsibility and take pressure off Anthony.
"I think I can take alongside the role with Roberson to leave Melo to do what Melo does, and that's to put points on the board and that's to be a mismatch, matchup problems on the offensive end," he said. "But, really, it's to take that pressure off him defensively to where he doesn't have to exhaust himself chasing the smaller guys, or have to defend the primary guys on most nights."
Patrick Patterson, a power forward the Thunder picked up in the offseason, said his role will remain the same. He averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds for Toronto last season and was a potential starter before Anthony arrived.
"Energy guy," he said. "Make sure to give energy, make the guys comfortable and opening space on the floor. I expected to come here and earn a spot. I knew I was going to have to work hard."
Thunder coach Billy Donovan understands that the remaining players must be prepared to make the most of their chances for the team to be its best.
"Certainly, Russell and Paul and Carmelo, there's a lot of excitement around them, and rightfully so," he said. "But Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, Jerami Grant, Raymond Felton — we've got to be a team, and it's got to be all of us collectively as a team, and I think that's where the focus is right now going forward."