It’s a slow news day in Thundertown. But the good news: We’re just 14 days away from the draft. That’s two weeks. Remember when we were waiting for the lottery, about to go nuts with anticipation? Then we thought we’d get some clarity once the lottery was over? Well, all we know now is that every player in the draft appears to be an option for Sam Presti, except for the one we all really, really wanted. And even still, Presti does have that magic wand he can wave to maybe pull it off.
Season ticket renewals remain strong for the Thunder: “About five out of every six season ticket-holders are expected to renew their seats for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s second season. Senior vice president of ticket sales and service Brian Byrnes said Wednesday the team projects a renewal rate of about 83 or 84 percent.”
Mike Baldwin has evidently asked a few scouts, and they say OKC should take Thabeet. I’m curious as to if these might be scouts from the Nuggets, Blazers and Timberwolves: “He changes games,” said one Eastern Conference scout. “If he doesn’t give you anything on the offensive end he can change the game defensively. There’s not a lot of guys in this draft that can come in with their presence alone who can alter the game. “I’m not saying he’s as good as Blake Griffin but I think he can alter a game defensively more than Blake Griffin. That’s why (Thabeet) is unique, especially in this draft that has so many point guards.” Another scout had a similar comment. “It’s not like he’s a stiff offensively,” the scout said. “He has a couple of signature moves. That’s something he can develop. If he does develop a little offensively, and picks up his intensity a little bit, he could become an All-Star.”
A litte update on the major mock draft sites: Chad Ford has OKC taking Rubio, Draft Express has Memphis taking James Harden at two (which makes no gosh darn sense, unless they plan to trade him) and OKC taking Thabeet, NBADraft.net has Harden coming to OKC and Dime has the Thunder taking Harden.
On the front of ESPN’s NBA page, they have a video highlighting Blake Griffin, including footage of him watching the lottery. Really great stuff. He’s so nervous and at one point the guy next to him (agent?) says, “You know what you’re mom’s thinking, right?” and Blake says, “Oklahoma City!!” A great watch.
Man, it seems like both parties, the Knicks and Stephen Curry, are dead set on him being in New York: “Even if he is still available at No. 8, Curry said he realized the Knicks might choose somebody else. He said it did not matter to him where he was picked, as long as he landed with a good franchise that fit his style of play, and he prefers D’Antoni’s … There has been a lot of discussion about where Curry will be drafted. Although he said he was not constantly surfing the Internet or watching television for the latest updates, he has not insulated himself from the talk, thanks to his friends’ text messages. “I find it entertaining,” Curry said. “There’s so much talk going on and nothing’s happened yet.” Boy you said it Steph. We’re all crazy. Just know that. Crazy.
Curry says he’s a point guard: “I’m a point guard who has the ability to move over. If I need to run the floor and somebody else gets the ball and brings it down the court, I guess you can call that a combo,” (Stephen) Curry said. “But with my experiences last year at Davidson playing the point full time, (it) really improved my skills in that department and managing the game and the team throughout the season. That helped me improve myself as a player.” But notice the little, “but I have the ability to move over.” That’s smart if you want to get picked third.
Ian Thompson of SI with his revised mock: “OKC – James Harden – Not unlike Jeff Green, Harden fits this developing roster as an all-around player who will complement Kevin Durant. They will be glad to have him whether he develops into a starter or a sixth man.”
Dime looks at Patty Mills. For the record, I love Patty Mills: ”Here’s what I don’t get: While you can’t make it five minutes into a Ricky Rubio argument without somebody supporting his case with the concept that he “held his own” against grown men overseas and against Team USA in the Olympics, Patrick Mills gets zero credit for not just holding his own, but putting in serious work against the Redeem Team and other international juggernauts.”
Nick Collison, making me chuckle via his Twitter: “Saw sign on I-5 for Phone # to snitch on carpool lane violators is 206764HERO…hero??…maybe a hero to all the hall moderators out there.”