Update: Chad Ford with a new mock draft: “The Thunder have been their typical quiet selves. GM Sam Presti has told a number of agents that he is interested in their players, but it has been difficult to ascertain the direction toward which they are leaning. We continue to hear that the Thunder have expressed interest in Rubio, Thabeet, James Harden, Jordan Hill and Stephen Curry. Rubio likely will make a visit to OKC sometime before the draft, but major questions exist about how he would fit there. The team sees Russell Westbrook as its point guard of the future and isn’t sure how he would fare without the ball in his hands. Maybe more importantly, Presti is an opportunist. If he can get a couple of good assets in return for the No. 3 pick, he won’t be afraid to pull the trigger. But if he doesn’t, and if Rubio is off the board, the team will have to make a tough decision. Thabeet would give the Thunder the shot-blocking they desperately need. Harden would give them the savvy of a veteran. Curry would give them shooting. Hill would give them rebounding and energy. Oklahoma City could use all those things, but our guess is that it will settle on Harden.”
Now this is a mock draft: “OKC – James Harden – I normally respect Sam Presti and his giant pulsating brain, but he will make the greatest mistake of his career by drafting Harden. Sure, shooting guard is a glaring need for an otherwise promising team, but I heard from a guy who knows a guy who dated a girl who read on a blog that Harden is such a bad athlete that he entered a 3 km race with a rabbit and only won because the rabbit was so confident of winning that he decided to take a nap midway through the course. Further, I hear that the slothful James Harden has not legs but a gelatinous mass of flesh not unlike a slug that leaves a trail of greasy discharge when he runs the court on a fast break.” I sense sarcarm…
Sam Young could slip simply because of his age. I hope he slips right to No. 25, because I absolutely love his game: “A two time all-Big East selection, Young possesses a polished all around game with a knack for performing best in his team’s biggest games. The small forward averaged 23.5 points per game in the NCAA Tournament, leading the team to the Elite Eight. Despite all of these accomplishments, however, Young will likely slip out of the draft lottery and into the latter part of the first round largely because of his age. At 24, Young is older than even most of his classmates which, by NBA Draft standards, is ancient. He might as well be Abe Vigoda. Few players in this draft have the combination of skills, athleticism and experience that Young has yet he still isn’t considered a top prospect in this draft.”
Ricky Rubio has officially sued to get out of his contract: “Ricky Rubio now must deal with the Spanish government if he wants to play in the NBA. The guard has been trying to get out of his contract with Spanish league team DKV Joventut but has met resistance. On Tuesday, according to the Spanish news agency EFE, Rubio sued the team after learning that it had transferred the rights to his buyout to Hacienda, the Spanish version of the Internal Revenue Service. The rights were sold to satisfy a debt Joventut had with Hacienda.”
Awesome nickname? Check. Solid skills? Check. Size? Check. Loyalty to sponsors? Ehhhh: “[Gortat] also received an uncomfortable phone call last weekend from Reebok, with whom he has a shoe contract. Representatives of the company were not happy to see a picture of him from Game 1 in a Polish newspaper that prominently displayed his Michael Jordan/Nike logo tattoo on his lower right leg. Reebok asked him either to wear higher socks tonight to cover up the tattoo, or to apply makeup so it will not be noticed through the rest of the NBA Finals. “They called and said I had to do something about it, but that ain’t going to happen,” Gortat said after Tuesday morning’s workout. “I’ve been wearing it 4-5 years now, and it helped me get to the NBA,” said Gortat. “They didn’t say anything about it when I signed the contract, so it’s not going anywhere. I don’t think they are paying me enough to take it off.”
This guy says don’t think, just draft James Harden: “Harden should be the second pick in this years draft. He has proven he can play and carry a team, and if that isn’t enough he is almost the spitting image of a current NBA all-star Brandon Roy. And if you don’t think Brandon Roy can play in the league you haven’t seen him carry his Blazers team. James Harden will become an all-star in the NBA and is just waiting for an NBA team to Draft him, hopefully it’s the team you root for.”
Does the guy sitting next to you smell like a pile of trash in the summer time? Does the lady behind you spit curse words for 48 straight minutes? Is the family to your left just really, really awkward? Welll, good news! The Thunder will be hosting a seat relocation event today at the Coca Cola Events Center at 3 p.m. I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen or how it works, but evidently you’ll have the chance to move around a bit with you seats. And if you’re stuck by the trash-smelling, foul-mouthed awkward guy, this is a big day for you.
Jim Traber Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld has OKC taking Jordan Hill: “Jordan Hill is the real deal. He loves the game, wants to get better, and sees the NBA as a way for him to provide for his young son and his family. He has a very professional approach the draft process, and lacks the sense of entitlement displayed by Hasheem Thabeet, who many have predicted the Thunder would take at #3.”
Man, it seems like there’s a new rumor without a lot of foundation every day. So, here’s another – reportedly, OKC is favoring Harden. Surprised? Me either: “You probably can scratch Jordan Hill off the list of possible players that Thunder general manager Sam Presti might select with the No. 3 overall selection. Latest draft rumors have Hill slipping in the draft, possibly to as low as No. 8, 9 or 10 if Golden State doesn’t select the Arizona forward at No. 7. Presti isn’t giving indications which way he’s leaning but early speculation is the Thunder might bypass Hasheem Thabeet and Ricky Rubio and go with James Harden, possibly DeMar DeRozan. Harden, a stocky, 6-foot-5, left-handed shooting guard, is said to have a high basketball IQ with a knack to get open and get to the free throw line.” It took Mike Baldwin three weeks to get privy to the Harden speculation.
The Thunder’s got a couple players coming in for workouts today: Omri Cassipi from Israel, Damion James from Texas, DaJuan Summers from Georgetown and Demarre Carroll from Missouri. DeMar DeRozan worked out for OKC Monday.