Grantland’s draft preview looked at players, this one on Brandon Knight: “That’s not to say he isn’t a capable athlete (he is), but rather that his wiry frame and game rely on guile. One of Knight’s go-to moves is a quick pull-up jumper taken just inside the arc early in the shot clock (a.k.a. The Russell Westbrook a.k.a. The Scott Brooks Funeral Home a.k.a. Bumpy Knuckles).”
Darnell Mayberry evidently loves Kyle Singler for the Thunder: “But a close examination of Singler reveals a player who has traces of the Thunder’s DNA running through his blood. And when you add up all the pieces, it becomes clear why so many have penciled in Singler to be this year’s selection. Nothing about Singler is sexy. He’s 23. He’s a four-year college player. He’s an average athlete. But the guy knows how to play. And he’s a winner. And he’s a tough-as-nails competitor who will do anything to help his team. That’s the kind of player the Thunder adores. Some view Singler and see limited upside. The Thunder is more likely to see a ready-made rotation player who could carve out a 15-year career.”
A note: The Thunder have only three four-year college players on the roster (Nazr Mohammed, Eric Maynor and Royal Ivey). I am not a fan of drafting Singler. Reason: He strikes me as a player that will be able to get by in the NBA, but I can’t ever see him making a huge impact in OKC’s rotation. Since the Thunder don’t need immediate impact with this pick, why not shoot for the stars?
Gary Parrish mock drafting for CBSSports.com has OKC taking Singler: “Why not get another combo forward to play the role Jeff Green used to play? Singler is skilled, polished, a winner and ready to help in the playoffs next season. At this point for this team, he makes perfect sense.”
Top 10 worst draft outfits. No James Harden if you were wondering and good thing, because his outfit was awesome.
Bill Simmons writing on trades: “Perkins (50 cents) and Robinson (nickel) for Green (quarter), Krstic (nickel), and a future no. 1 from the Clips (quarter). Since Perkins’ post-trade extension flipped him from a 50-cent piece to a quarter, you could argue Boston won the trade … as long as you don’t include the part that it killed their season, ruined their chemistry, and caused them to lose in the second round of the playoffs to the most despised team in 20 years. Hold on, I’m going to kick my dog in the ribs.”
Kurt Helin of PBT on the TMZ thing: “Durant has done nothing but praise Oklahoma City and say how much he loves the city since the franchise moves there, and the residents there are getting pissed over this? Really? That says more about how those Oklahoma City residents feel about their city than it does Durant. As Darnell Mayberry says in the blog post, those people need to get over their inferiority complex. OKC is not Miami or New York when it comes to things to do, especially if you are young and single like Durant. Thing is, Durant is a different kind of guy and he likes it that way. He’s not seeking out the bright lights. Get off his back. This isn’t even a real controversy.”
Sam Amick of SI.com is going with Reggie Jackson to OKC: “No one in the draft has made teams do more detective work than Jackson, who underwent a minor knee procedure on May 17 under a cloud of darkness that sparked his disappearing act. He pulled out of Chicago predraft camp and a group workout immediately after in Minnesota, but was expected to start team workouts midway through this month. That hasn’t happened, and ESPN.com reported that Jackson’s camp won’t share medical records with teams. What’s more, executives have been hearing word that he has a promise somewhere late in the first round or perhaps with Miami at No. 31, but they have struggled to pin down exactly where. The Thunder are one such person’s best guess. All that said, there is some buzz that Duke forward Kyle Singler has a promise somewhere in the late first round and it could very well be coming from Oklahoma City.”
Tom Ziller’s mock has OKC going Serbian: “No, the Thunder can’t pick Mirotic! That will totally make Tibor Pleiss feel unloved! It’s Rubio-Flynn all over again. But more phlegmy.”
How much does being a winner matter? Justin Verrier of ESPN.com looks: “Winning is the ultimate team goal, but draft prospects are rated almost entirely on individual talent. Players such as Enes Kanter and Bismack Biyombo, with barely one or two meaningful games under their belts, can be pegged as lottery picks. And with the No. 1 pick in 2004, the Orlando Magic passed over former UConn star Emeka Okafor, then the NCAA player of the year, also coming off a national title season, for Dwight Howard, a high school player with heaps of upside but nary a college victory. … A move that has worked out OK, to say the least.”