Scott Brooks likes Gordon Hayward’s game: “One morning last month at the Orlando Summer League, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks was leaning against a wall chatting while keeping an eye on the Jazz team running up and down the floor in a game. “Can that kid fit into the NBA?” Brooks said, repeating the question. “What does he do? He shoots. What does Jerry Sloan’s offense get you all of the time? Open shots. He’ll be fine. Look at what he’s done just to get here.”
Pete Thamel of the NYT says Russell Westbrook made his case over the weekend to make Team USA: “The final cut will be a fascinating conundrum for the United States. If they keep Westbrook, the burly forward Kevin Love would be a likely candidate. The problem is that the Americans are already thin in the post and sending Love home would be inviting a pounding against teams like Brazil, Spain and Argentina.”
Former Tulsa 66er and for a brief time, Oklahoma City Thunder-er, Mustafa Shakur signed with the Hornets yesterday.
Matt Moore writing for Fanhouse on the signing: “Mustafa Shakur was a revelation for the Tulsa 66ers last season in the NBA D-League. He averaged 19.3 points and 6.9 assists along with 4.5 rebounds for the 66ers, and had a PER of 22. That’s pretty nifty stuff. He also showed considerable leadership, helping his team make the playoffs as a 25-year-old. He was called up last season but not given any time on a Thunder squad deep in backcourt depth.”
Cole Aldrich tweeted at LeBron yesterday with this pretty outstanding picture:
Two voters of ESPN’s 93 picked the Thunder to win the West. I was not one of them.
This gambling website gives the Thunder 6 to 1 odds to win the West and predicts a 59-23 record from OKC.
Looking closely at James Harden’s role: “This year will test Harden more than the last. He has proven he can be a valuable contributor to the Thunder and is the only one of many Thunder guards entering training camp with a realistic shot at unseating starting guard Thabo Sefolosha, but more than likely he will reprise his role of sixth man.”