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Chris Paul reacts to Andre Roberson’s long-awaited return to practice

Chris Paul, Andre Roberson, Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul was thrilled to see small forward Andre Roberson practicing with the team on Friday.

Roberson, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2017-18 season, could make his long-awaited return to the court for the Thunder during the “bubble” games in Orlando, Florida.

Roberson has had terrible luck in his recovery from a ruptured left patellar tendon he suffered during the 2017-18 campaign. The Thunder swingman sustained two setbacks in his left knee, further derailing his comeback last campaign.

As all OKC fans know, Roberson’s impact on the game is mostly on the defensive end of the floor. Before he got hurt in 2017-18, Roberson was one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. He actually made the 2017 All-Defensive team.

Before the start of the 2017-18 campaign, Roberson signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Thunder. In 295 games with the franchise, Roberson has career averages of 4.6 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 48.2 percent from the field, 25.7 percent from beyond the arc and 46.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Once the 2020 playoffs start, the Thunder will ultimately go as far as Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari can lead the team offensively. OKC won 40 games before the season was suspended in March. They had the same record as the Houston Rockets, who traded Paul to OKC for Russell Westbrook last summer.