Marc Stein breaks down the Nick Collison contract: “Leave it to Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti to conceive a contract extension for glue-guy forward Nick Collison that forces me to consult every salary-cap reference book I can find. This is a fun one. Sources with knowledge of the contract specifics told ESPN.com that the value of the four-year extension that starts in the 2011-12 season is a modest $11 million and change. Highly favorable numbers for the Thunder.”
Darnell Mayberry did a nice Q&A with Collison on the extension: “Q: Did you see it coming? A: I think players would always like to get a little bit of security and kind of knowledge of the future and what’s going to happen. Sam (Presti) came to me with an opportunity to maybe get something done. We worked on it and got to a deal we thought was good for both parties. I think we’re both happy with it. I’m just real excited. The organization has taken a lot of steps in the right direction and I wanted to be a part of it for the next steps that we hopefully take in the next few years.
Chris Mannix examines OKC’s defensive issues so far: “Expectations were high for Oklahoma City coming into this season. After winning 50 games in the regular season and stretching the Lakers to six games in the opening round of the playoffs, the Thunder looked poised to make a big jump. But they opened the season 3-3 and were drilled at home by Utah by 21 and in L.A. by the Clippers by 15. The early season inconsistency seemed to mirror the play of Durant, who shot 39.4 percent in the teams first six games.”
The Thunder served an early Thanksgiving dinner yesterday: “Thunder players, coaches and staff members gathered at the mission Tuesday evening to serve an early Thanksgiving dinner to local homeless and near-homeless families. They also shot some hoops with the children. The team walked into the mission’s cafeteria to raucous applause and mingled with about 200 people, passing out drinks and plates of food and stopping to shake hands, chat and take pictures.”
Tonight’s game is part of a particularly rough four-in-five stretch for the Mavericks: “But for the Mavericks , handling somewhat less than a trophy catch at American Airlines Center is first and foremost on their agenda. Lately, minnows have been able to wiggle off their line at home. A challenging four-game, five-night stretch starts with the Detroit Pistons, who have faded badly the last couple of seasons since Chauncey Billups was traded, but still have enough punch to get the Mavericks’ attention. Especially at AAC, where the 4-3 record isn’t anywhere close to what the Mavericks had in mind.”
KD says the ankle is feeling fine: “A day after playing a game-high 40 minutes in his first game back after a two-game absence caused by a sprained ankle, Durant said Tuesday his left foot is feeling fine. Durant practiced Tuesday without experiencing any further setbacks. “I’ll just continue icing it and getting treatment,” Durant said. “I’ll be all right. I feel good, though.” After Monday’s win over Minnesota, Durant said the only issue he had in his return was his conditioning, saying he was winded early.”
Per a press release Cole Aldrich was sent to Tulsa: “OKLAHOMA CITY, November 24, 2010 – Oklahoma City Thunder has assigned center Cole Aldrich to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Aldrich has appeared in five games this season for the Thunder averaging 1.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per game. Aldrich represents the 16th assignment by a Thunder player to the Tulsa 66ers. Over the past two seasons Thunder roster players have appeared in over 100 D-League contests with the 66ers.”