Dave D’Alessandro of the New Jersey Star-Ledger looked closely at incentives in players’ contracts and there was an interesting one: ”Some incentives are bizarre. Consider Nick Collison of the Thunder — nice player, probably worthy of anybody’s power rotation. He gets $100,000 if he wins — wait for it — MVP. MVP? If he wins MVP, someone ought to anoint him king.”
And evidently, Nick had no idea: “If I would have known this I would have been MVP a long time ago.”
A cool article about Bill Branch, the architect behind Oklahoma City’s summer roster: ”But the Thunder has been watching each of the six roster invitees for years. Guard Keith McLeod, for example, is a veteran player looking to extend his career. Branch knew McLeod is a high-character guy who was willing to come in and play backup minutes at the point. The Thunder liked what it saw in 6-8 forward Doug Thomas last summer when he played for the Chicago Bulls Summer League team. Oklahoma City had him in during its European mini-camp in May, which provided an avenue to invite the physical, hard-working Thomas to Summer League. The Thunder also was familiar with forward Moses Ehambe, an Oral Roberts product who spent last season with the Tulsa 66ers and also speaks the same language as Ibaka.”
Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub looking at the market for Rajon Rondo: “The Thunder are a bit over $30 million in guaranteed deals for 2010-11, assuming Nenad Krstic elects to take his $5.8 million player option (duh). In theory, this leaves room for a run at Rondo, but: a) the Thunder appear committed to Russell Westbrook at point guard; and b) Kevin Durant and Jeff Green will be restricted free agents after the 2011 season, so it’s not like the Thunder are going to be tossing around money after the 2010 season unless they want to go well over the luxury tax later.”
OKC and Desmond Mason are talking about what to do with him: “General manager Sam Presti has had ongoing discussions with Desmond Mason’s agent regarding the possibility of re-signing the unrestricted free-agent forward and fan favorite. A deal, however, is not imminent and a potential agreement could take until the end of the summer to crystallize.”
Not basketball related, but I took part in this major survery Penn State did about blogs and bloggers. Kind of interesting: ”A majority of bloggers who comment daily about college and professional sports online do not see themselves as professional reporters, but they do believe their work fills a void left by mainstream media. According to a survey of more than 210 bloggers conducted by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State, 75 percent said they do not see themselves as rivals of professional journalists.”
NBA owners met this week to discuss the CBA: ”NBA owners gathered Tuesday at the Palms Hotel & Casino for a critical Board of Governors meeting to prepare for collective bargaining negotiations that will begin next month. There were no crucial votes on the agenda, no pressing matters requiring immediate attention. But given raging uncertainty about how their basketball and other businesses will bounce back for the rest of 2009 and 2010, plus the potentially sweeping changes in the league’s salary structure and revenue sharing model that owners will seek in the new CBA, this was no play-cation at the Palms. This was serious.”
Darnell Mayberry on Kyle Weaver: But it hasn’t been all defense. Weaver is shooting well this summer. Thunder coaches talked all last season about how good of a shooter Weaver is. But what has stood out, even in limited chances, is how Weaver is beginning to shed his slow, elaborate shooting form. He’s now looking more comfortable shooting from the perimeter after working on developing a quicker release. Through the Thunder’s first two games, Weaver is shooting 53.7 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3-point range.”
A great list of the current remaining free agents and where all the ones that have signed have gone.
A cool story about the Goodman league at Barry Farms: ”The league also features some of the NBA’S finest. Gilbert Arenas and most of his teammates play here. So do many of the other local basketball players like Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. “I think it’s great one of the best summer leagues in the country– you got a mixture of dudes who didn’t make it to the NBA,” says player Derrick Payne.”
Willie Warren really stood out at LBJ’s skill academy: “There were other pro prospects on the floor: Wake Forest’s Al-Farouq Aminu, Kansas’ Cole Aldrich, Califorinia’s Patrick Christopher. As terrific as those players were – and can be – there were times it seemed Warren was a level above everybody else. He is fast and powerful and dynamic with the basketball. He’s obviously not big for a shooting guard, but the value placed upon such players as like Ben Gordon and Stephen Curry indicates there’s a welcome place for Warren in the NBA.”
Forget Jordan Crawford dunking on LeBron James, this kid claims he took Kevin Durant off the dribble and “busted on him” at KD’s basketball camp. I must say, for some reason I just don’t quite believe him. Looks like he had a memorable time though. Good for him.
Kevin Durant attended the ESPY’s last night and was looking sharp: