Eric Maynor is supposed to play tonight: “There’s no question it’s going to take him some time to pick things up,” Brooks said. “We have to learn things about him and vice versa. From what I’m hearing, he’s a very cerebral point guard who understands the game. He’ll be able to pick things up. How soon? We don’t know.”
Maynor’s reaction: “just got traded to Oklahoma city………………..i wus always told everything happens for a reason………” And I think Maynor summed up the deal nicely: “me and matt harpring for some dude.” Some dude indeed.
John Hollinger’s take: “That they took it off the table this early, prior to most of the serious horse-trading beginning, says something about the quality of the deal dangled before them. Boozer’s opt-in proved costly for Utah, depriving the Jazz of Maynor’s services while further strengthening a potent division rival. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City’s inexorable rise continues apace — today the Thunder nabbed a good young point guard, and because of the insurance provisions, they got him for peanuts.”
Marc Stein: “This deal was typical OKC opportunism. Thunder general manager Sam Presti took advantage of his low payroll to snag yet another good young asset in Maynor by absorbing a contract that is not only expiring (at $6.5 million) but also heavily insured because of the knee and ankle injuries that have forced Harpring into television with NBA TV this season.”
Dime: “If you ask me, this trade is a win-win for both teams. The Jazz get some much needed cap relief in packaging Harpring’s deal with Maynor, and the Thunder get a legit backup point guard for Russell Westbrook. While I totally understand why they let him go, I’m still holding out hope for Livingston. Hopefully he can land on a new squad this season – or at least put in some work in the D-League.”
Chris Tomasson of FanHouse: “The Thunder could use Harpring’s contract in another deal before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. Due to it being an expiring contract and the insurance situation on it, it could be a very attractive piece. “It doesn’t matter to me,” Harpring said about being on Oklahoma City’s roster but not needing to report due to his physical being waived. “It just means my checks will come from the Thunder.”
SLC Dunk: “Losing Maynor though kind of hurts because he’s a solid player and could be a good PG in the league. He would have been one of the last players I thought would be traded.”
Chris Webber on the Thunder being contenders for a playoff spot: “They are not contenders. Let’s make them earn it, let them lose a heartbreaker and then come back the next year. I just don’t want to crown them. The NBA is really tough and whether you go into the playoffs under 500 or above 500 it is tough. Not many teams are making the playoffs consistently anyway so I would just say that they are just a contender to be a really good team in the future.”
James Harden sits fifth in Thorpe’s Rookie Rankings: “Harden is still struggling from the field for the most part, but he’s showing signs of life on that end. His game against Detroit, however, could serve as a blueprint for him for the rest of the season. He finished with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting (2-of-3 from deep), eight assists, one block and one steal. With the talent around him in OKC, that’s the kind of game his team needs from him. More than just a willing ball-mover, Harden has the ability to lead guys to buckets with his passing — a talent found mostly in point guards.” And hey, Eric Maynor is 20th!
Ball Don’t Lie, behind the box score: “Kobe Bryant: He’s just so good. Just oozes greatness, this cat. Oklahoma City gave the Lakers a scare, to be sure. The Thunder raced out to a good lead in the first half and hung around for the entire contest before falling short offensively in the second half, and during that time Kobe started with all the troddin’ and treadin’ and stompin’ on the other end.”
J.A. Adande: “The Oklahoma City Thunder had earned this moment, the right to have their say on the outcome of the game. Russell Westbrook wanted this moment, and wasn’t going to let anyone or anything deter him from taking the 3-pointer that would send the game into overtime or send the Thunder to their 14th defeat of the season. You had to like the determination in the second-year guard’s face, the confidence he had in himself even though one of the best defenders in the league, Ron Artest, had stepped out to guard him. “You live for moments like that,” Westbrook said.
Last night was the first time KD ever fouled out. He was a little emotional about it: “And yes it was my first game ever fouling out…and yea My eyes teared up lol … I’m emotional bout this dog..it’s my life…can u blame me?”
Robert Swift appears to be done with basketball: “Without knowing the specifics of Swift’s Bakersfield abandonment — remember how weird the fan situation is there, with essentially a country club setting of a 550-seat arena with cigar rooms and fine dining — you could surmise Swift is sick of playing the games (basketball and the politics behind it) and wants to start over. He’s made more than $11 million at this point. Assuming he saved some of it, he could very well stay on his feet well outside the spotlight. I, for one, am rooting for him, even if I wish he’d give basketball another spirited shot.”
Story on Scott Brooks from the OC Register: “Coaching in the NBA can be tricky. “You can’t wear the same suit for two straight games,” Scott Brooks said Tuesday. “If you do, you’re going to hear about it.” Especially this year, when people actually stop flipping when they run across the Oklahoma City Thunder.