Here's a thing. Keep reading »
Here's a thing. Keep reading »
Saturday. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. He lyin’.
(Credit for the original idea for this is from Jason Gallagher who did it for the Kings.)
Here’s the nuts and bolts of what happened Friday at Thunder practice:
Stephen A. Smith said on First Take on Tuesday, “Regardless of how senseless it may (sound), in one breath I’m hearing that if Kevin Durant doesn’t stay in Oklahoma City, L.A. is his primary objective and landing spot as opposed to South Beach or even his home of Washington, D.C.”
Durant, asked about it, responded this way: “I don’t talk to Stephen A. Smith at all. Nobody in my family, my friends, they don’t talk to Stephen A Smith. So he’s lying.” Keep Reading…
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Jon Hamm for NewsOK.com: “Early projections put the 2017 salary cap at $108 million.
Compare that to the $70 million salary cap in effect for the upcoming 2015-16 season. The majority of the league will have ample amounts of salary cap room and flaming holes in their pocketbooks. Many teams will be flush with cash to spend and the pickings will be much better than in 2016. The possibility of a superteam forming in 2017 is real. Teams such as Miami, Houston, Golden State, and San Antonio could have All-Stars locked into pre-2016 maximum salary deals. Add in a significant jump in the salary cap and those teams could attempt to persuade two or three stars from that 2017 free agent class to climb aboard. That opportunity won’t be there in 2016.”
Dan Devine of BDL on the Lakers’ noise: “We’re going to see and hear a lot more of this over the course of the next nine months. Oklahoma City’s ownership and Thunder general manager Sam Presti know they have one more shot at putting together the brand of championship run that eliminates any potentially lingering doubts about whether or not he should stay in Sooner Country before he hits free agency in July. Every step along the way — every success and every failure; every tweet, Instagram post and suspected side-eye — will be scrutinized like it could be worth nine figures and change the power structure of the NBA … because, y’know, theoretically, they could. That’s why commentators will keep speculating, and reporters will keep digging, and players will keep recruiting, and fans will keep slaving over what promises to be this NBA season’s hottest stove. It’s October. It’s about to get cold out; get ready for lots of hot air.” Keep Reading…
Three things to know from the Thunder’s fifth practice under Billy Donovan:
1 — Billy Donovan was asked about Russell Westbrook and what he’s seen from him developing from a role player in college to a league superstar. He gave the usual platitudes about his work ethic and such, but this was an interesting point: “It’s amazing, you’re out there on the court with him, and he’s been in the league a while, but the stuff that I’m throwing out to him on offense — he knows his position and he knows the four other positions. I think that speaks volumes to just how cerebral a guy he is out there on the court and how much he sees. As a coach, that’s great because I can get a lot of feedback from him.”
That’s one thing you don’t often see attached to Westbrook, because of all the yelling and screaming and snarling and such. But he is a very smart guy. Keep Reading…
Nate Duncan for SI.com: “Durant looked as good as ever during his healthy cameos last season. While the potential for a recurrence exists, there’s little reason to think the Jones fracture should hinder him on a day-to-day basis. Nevertheless, the missed development time could have subtle effects on his game. Ironically, Durant’s return to form could be a major determinant in whether he stays in Oklahoma City after 2016. The better he plays, the further the Thunder go, and how the team finishes could be a huge factor in his decision as a free agent.”
Mike Gallagher of Rotoworld (h/t Blake): “Those transition possessions were just 26.6 percent of his plays last year, so where else was he a factor and can he improve? His biggest play by far was pick-and-roll, and he was actually very good at it as a scorer. He ran PNR for 33.8 percent of his possessions and came in at 61.7 percentile. That’s not spectacular or anything and there could even be some improvement this year with Enes Kanter, Serge Ibaka becoming a better offensive guy, or maybe Donovan used KD more as a roll man, which would be amazing. In fact, KD came in at 100 percentile as a roll-man scorer on PNR, but he was only used about once per game — 4.1 percent of his possessions. Interestingly, Serge Ibaka was not a great roll man at just 34.8 percentile and maybe the coaching change helps him — I’d venture a guess that the coaching change helps him more than anyone. By the way, Enes Kanter was very good as a roll man with OKC at 75.6 percentile, which is up from 19.9 with Utah. Suck on that, Westy-is-not-a-point-guard haters.” Keep Reading…
Nike put out a video and a short Q&A with Kevin Durant. The most relevant part:
“I want to be a Hall of Famer, have multiple championships and, most of all, I just want to leave my mark on the city. I want to inspire the youth and be remembered as one of those guys who impacted lives, on and off the court.”
Anthony Slater: “Los Angeles has become a basketball haven in the summer, luring players of
all ages to the getaway hub. There are outdoor courts peppered throughout the vast city. But gym time is hard to find. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka spend a large portion of their offseasons there, as do many NBA players. They were all in the area this past July. So, with so much change swirling around the Thunder, the trio decided to organize a group workout. They even had an inside track on some gym time. Westbrook played at UCLA. He was able to reserve one of the school’s practice courts. But it came with a catch. They could only use it until 9:15 a.m. After that, a loud group of pre-teens — kids there for summer camp — would invade the hardwood and kick Durant, Westbrook and the Thunder out.”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider on a possible Waiters extension: “Dion Waiters Island has become a lonely place after Waiters followed up his poor start to 2014-15 season in Cleveland by struggling after a trade to the Thunder. Ultimately, however, only one resident really matters: Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti. Only once since the team’s move has Presti gone to restricted free agency with a core player, and that was with Enes Kanter, acquired long after the extension window had passed. So if the Thunder still value Waiters as worth the first-round pick surrendered to the Cavaliers to acquire him, an extension in the $10 million range annually might be a possibility.” Keep Reading…