In case you haven’t heard, Joe Smith was waived this weekend: “Good teams seem to want Joe Smith. The veteran forward and the Oklahoma City Thunder reached agreement on a buyout of his contract on Sunday, and The Clevaland Plain Dealer reported that the Cavaliers will try to sign him immediately after he clears waivers.”
And in case you haven’t heard again, KD will be out 7-14 days with an ankle sprain: “Durant is expected to miss seven to 14 days after rolling his right ankle in Friday’s game at Dallas when he stepped on the foot of Mavs forward Josh Howard while driving to the basket with 7:13 left in the first quarter. He remained in the game for about three minutes before walking off the court with a limp. Team officials said X-rays taken on Durant’s foot were negative, but Durant wore a protective boot on his right foot and walked with the aid of crutches following the Thunder’s 110-108 overtime loss.”
It’s looking likely that Ricky Rubio will enter the draft: “Rubio’s position in the top three is significant for one big reason: “He has a huge buyout from his team in Spain. To afford the buyout, he really needs to be a top-three pick. Publicly, the mood has been pessimistic that Rubio would be in this draft, with a series of international stories claiming Rubio is staying overseas and other draft sites pulling him from their 2009 mock drafts. Privately, his agent, Dan Fegan, has been working on this for months, and we’ve been getting the same signals all along: Rubio is entering this year’s draft. Rubio still needs to work on his jumper and get stronger, but his floor leadership and energy are just remarkable. He’s a special playmaker.”
The Cavs are happy to (likely) have Joe Smith: “This is absolutely fantastic from a Cavalier standpoint. Joe would immediately step in as the Cavs’ most versatile big, stretching the floor on offense, being athletic enough to dive, catch, and finish inside, and quick enough with his feet and smart enough with his positioning to flash out on offense. I’ve said this before, but he brings a ton of stuff to the table without taking anything off, which is so rare in a big man.”
Tim Cowlishaw says the Thunder’s not rolling… yet: “I liked the Oklahoma City Thunder before I walked across the street to watch Kevin Durant play Friday night. I liked them even better after he limped to the locker room … Without him, Russell Westbrook had 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jeff Green contributed 28 points and 12 rebounds. Give me that threesome, plus all the draft picks the Thunder has stockpiled over Dallas’ future any day.”
Matt Stroup of NBC Sports on OKC’s upcoming days: “Just don’t make the mistake of grouping this team in with other struggling franchises like the Kings or the Clippers, who don’t compete these days so much as they make a nightly mockery out of lopsided box scores. Oklahoma City still loses more often than not, but there’s a distinct ripple of electricity in the air in Thunder country. One day sooner than we all might think, that energy is going to translate into wins.”
I’ll probably go see this. Well that or Madea Goes to Jail.
Basketbawful’s Worst of the Weekend: “The Memphis Grizzlies: They lost at home to the Thunder…who were without Kevin Durant. How does THAT happen? Letting Thabo Sefolosha burn you for 15 points (a season-high) and 11 rebounds (also a season-high), that’s how. Committing 17 turnovers that the Thunder transformed into 25 bonus points didn’t help, either. The Grizzlies have officially entered “They aren’t who we thought they were…they’re worse” territory. But they do have the lowest payroll in the league, so they’re not losers, they’re salary cap winners! Hopefully that eases the pain of that seven-game skidmark…”