According to the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets have been in talks with the Clippers, Grizzlies and Thunder about Brent Barry.
Dime has five point guards to watch and Russell Westbrook is one of them: “Summer league doesn’t mean anything, right? Tell that to the Warriors, who are ready to hand their franchise over to Anthony Randolph after his summer breakout, or Marcus Williams, who earned himself another chance at an NBA paycheck with a strong summer showing in Vegas. Far from that spotlight, Westbrook lit up the lower-profile Orlando Summer League, and is ready to join the NBA’s elite class of PG’s in his second year. Overshadowed last season by fellow rookie PG Derrick Rose and OKC teammate Kevin Durant, Westbrook (15.3 ppg, 5.3 apg) put up numbers not far off R.O.Y. winner Rose. And even when Westbrook hit the wall — after averaging 20 points, six boards and just under six assists in the month of February, in April he averaged 11.9 points on 34% from the field and 18% from three — his assist and steal numbers still improved. Stronger and more prepared for Year 2, Westbrook is about to blow up.”
Ricky Rubio is staying in Europe for at least two more years. We’ll never know what that Spanish Law Firm told Sam Presti and if that even swayed his decision to take James Harden, but I know I’m happy I didn’t have to spend the last two months worrying about actually signing our top five pick. From the story: “Rubio – the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA draft – has agreed to a six-year contract with Regal FC Barcelona that doesn’t allow for an escape to the NBA until 2011. Kahn made several trips to Spain to try to get Rubio’s previous team, DKV Joventut, to lower his $8 million buyout price, but couldn’t get it done.”
Dime asks an interesting question: Who would win in a coaches 3-on-3 tournament? The Thunder’s team is point guard driven but the late addition of Mo Cheeks help. Scott Brooks is the distributor, Cheeks the scorer and Mark Bryant the big man. The Lakers are the clear favorite, but OKC has a pretty strong team.
John Hollinger and Ric Bucher take a look at the Thunder (Insider): “None of that matters, though, unless it translates into better decision-making, which then translates into taking better shots (39.8 percent shooting) and not leading the league again in turnovers (274). With Harden added to the mix, Westbrook’s scoring will be less important and his distribution and orchestration all the more vital. Added weapons can make a team better, but only if the point guard knows how to pick the right one to load and fire every time down the floor. Presti has given Westbrook the key to the armory. Time for him to show he knows what to do with it.”
Kevin Ollie was honorable mention in HoopsWorld’s best journeymen.
Interesting piece from Shoals about who would’ve been a better pick now looking at what happened with Rubio in hindsight: “Stephen Curry: He doesn’t have Ellington’s size, and pairing him with Flynn would make for an awfully small backcourt. But Curry was once projected as high as third, and showed this past season that he’s more than just a shooter. He’s also a big name already, which would also help make up for missing out on the draft’s biggest name.”
Good news: Just 57 more days until the Thunder tips off the 2009-10 season. Can you hold on that long? How about a little college football to tide you over? Is that something you might be interested in?