NBA.com has its offseason report card for the Thunder: “Thunder went from being a team with potential to a contender in the span of a year. They pushed the defending champion Lakers to six games in the first round despite being the eighth seed. They’re aiming higher this season. Durant gets the majority of the headlines, and deservedly so after being the youngest player ever to win a scoring title. He relishes the role as a leader, always putting the team above his individual success. But Durant is hardly alone in the elite department. Westbrook, a teammate at the FIBA World Championships, is a budding All-Star. The Thunder went into the offseason armed with cap space and Draft picks, but general manager Sam Presti stuck with the organization’s deliberate plan of sustained growth. Instead of foolishly fishing for those big catches in free agency, OKC locked up its own with Durant staying halfway through the next decade. Smart.”
KD told Chris Tomasson of FanHouse he’s not the tourney MVP or even deserving of the All-Worlds team: “As for players Durant believes could unseat him for the all-tournament team, he mentioned New Zealand’s Kirk Penney, averaging 24.7 points, China’s Yi Jianlian, at 20.2, and Iran’s Hamed Haddadi, at 20.0. Those three weren’t even on teams that made the final eight. But Durant eventually did concede that “you got to put somebody on that team from America” if Team USA wins gold. But in typical Durant fashion he mentioned several Americans he believed would be just as worthy as him.”
Fran Blinebury of NBA.com with players that might be dealt before the deadline: “Why in the world would the up-and-coming Thunder even think about breaking up their young threesome that includes Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook? It’s the usual one-word answer: money. Oklahoma City just signed Durant to a new deal that will cost — and be worth — every cent of $85 million and they’ve got Westbrook standing in line waiting for his payday. It’s just not as simple as having the ATM spit out a fortune to everyone who is next in line. The Thunder invested the No. 3 pick in the 2009 draft on James Harden and expect him to steadily take on a bigger role and minutes. Up front they now have Cole Aldrich moving into the lineup. Green would naturally be a small forward on most teams, but that’s the domain of the out-of-this-world Durant. There are going to be times in the development of the Thunder as a small-market contender when some of the decisions will have to be made with an eye on the bottom line and this is one.”
Could the Cavs be a trade partner for Green? WFNY looks into it: “The one thing most would agree on is that the Thunder are going to be a better team than the Cavaliers for the next few years at least, so perhaps the Cavaliers could package some of their draft picks with the trade exception to give Oklahoma City the chance to draft young, cheaper talent while using their cap space to focus on keeping Durant and Westbrook together. It’s not likely, but a trade like that is precisely the type of thing the Cavaliers should be looking at and at least trying to get done.”
Look at how high Guy Dupuy can jump. It’s ridiculous.