Chad Ford put out his first round mock yesterday and like many, he had OKC taking Florida State big man Solomon Alabi: “The Thunder continue to lack a legitimate low-post threat. They drafted B.J. Mullens to be that guy last year, but he’s still a work in progress. Alabi will be, too, but at this point in the draft, he has too much size and upside to pass on.” He has OKC taking Devin Ebanks with the second first rounder.
Also, Chad Ford in his chat yesterday on Bosh to OKC: “I’ve been writing about this for a while. I think the media are finally picking up on this. I think he’s the perfect fit there, he’s close to home and paired with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, he’d have a great chance of winning a title. Some people tell me he won’t do it because he doesn’t want to play second fiddle to KD. But if that’s the case, he isn’t joining LeBron or Wade either.” (h/t reader Ryan, who also asked Ford the question)
Tim Kawakami with his No-Defense squad, with a lot of praise for Kevin Durant: “Did the Thunder consciously give Durant more help, and put extra pressure on Green? I don’t think so. Not from what I saw. I think Durant’s rise as a defender caused opponents to send more at Green, and the numbers show that Green could not handle it. Green has slow feet, no doubt, and I saw several games when he didn’t contest very well at the rim–though he was OK against the Lakers in the playoff series in that regard. The stunner: OKC gave up 107.7 points per 100 possessions when Green played, and only 97.7 when he didn’t. That 10-point differential is the largest I could find among main-rotation players, and it’s a number only touched upon in previous recent years by Eddy Curry and assorted Memphis players.”
J.A. Adande is missing the Thunder already. You’re telling me J.A., you’re telling me.
Everybody wants to use some team from the past as a warning to the Thunder. The Baby Bulls, the Hornets and now Frank Hughes is drawing comparisons to the 1997 Washington Bullets. I think people are doing this because they desperately want to see this team stick together: “Durant and the rest of his Thunder teammates seem to be more grounded, in part because Presti has done a fine job of piecing together disparate parts that complement each other nicely. However, it doesn’t take much to upset the delicate balance. The Thunder will likely offer Durant a lengthy and lucrative contract extension this summer. But what about Jeff Green, the fifth pick in 2007 draft, who, according to sources, isn’t optimistic about his chance to grow as a player in the shadow of Durant, a dynamic that will only continue if he remains an undersized power forward with the Thunder?”
Skeets tweeted about this game yesterday and my goodness, it’s addicting. I’m like Courtney Love at a cocaine festival with this thing.
I thought this was a solid column from Bleacher Report on where Jeff Green fits with the Thunder: “Here’s where it gets sticky: Green’s on the record as saying he’d like to try and sign a contract extension with the Thunder this summer as well. If Green’s willing to sign for something around the mid-level exception [he made $3.5 million this year, $4.5 next year, and has a qualifying offer of $5.9 million in 2011-12] for the next five seasons, he’ll be able to remain with OKC, and the Thunder will have the luxury of figuring out how to best utilize Green’s talents, maybe he’ll turn into a deadly sixth man? But if Green’s hoping for a contract along the lines of $10 million/year…he’ll likely be forced to search elsewhere, given OKC’s cap situation.”