Sam Amick of SI.com: “Fisher was a good fit for Oklahoma City last season when he played the role of the sage point guard so well behind Russell Westbrook. The timing was right, with the Thunder needing someone besides Kendrick Perkins to tell a few championship tales while being the consummate pro and a capable backup. One source close to the situation says the chances he’ll be back with the Thunder are “remote,” though, as they have a full roster and three point guards on board with Eric Maynor returning from a torn ACL and Reggie Jackson — the 24th overall pick out of Boston College last year — entering his second season. The same goes for Miami, which has had talks with Fisher but doesn’t appear motivated to bring him on board.”
Kurt Helin of PBT: “As I keep saying, the Thunder have known the price tag for Harden since before they inked Serge Ibaka’s new deal. They can pay it now or they can wait and pay it next summer if they want to keep him (which they do). We’re going to get a lot of spin and people talking back and forth about it, but the mechanics are pretty straightforward. It’s just a matter of what decision the Thunder make and when.”
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop: “Around draft time, I asked some people with direct knowledge of the talks about other teams making strong plays for Harden, and was told that wouldn’t happen … unless things dragged on with the Thunder until the end of the summer. Summer, the season, officially ends in about a week. Tic toc.”
Steve Aschburner of NBA.com on Seattle’s play for the NBA: “Remember, Seattle was a terrific NBA town, a place whose hoops heritage deserved better. This was an especially tough, emotional summer for Sonics fans, too, watching the team that was once theirs go to the Finals. For a minute, it looked as if the Thunder might even beat the Miami Heat for the NBA title. As one local told Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer in June, it felt “like being in your ex-girlfriend’s wedding, and she looks better than she ever looked for you.”
So this guy wants to propose to his girlfriend by pulling the ring out of James Harden’s beard. Not bad.
Sekou Smith of NBA.com on superteams: “Small-market fans who cry foul over this and claim that the superteam movement doesn’t allow them to compete with their big-market brethren must remember that this is equal parts rub-your-lucky-rabbit’s-foot luck and well-crafted planning by the franchise’s front-office brass. Oklahoma City has a superteam of their own brewing in the lab at Thunder headquarters. They struck gold with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka in the Draft. Yet no one (outside of Seattle) ever accuses the Thunder of being evil for amassing such an explosive and versatile wealth of talent.”
Smith on KD and LeBron working out: “You couldn’t have competed any harder than James and Durant did against one another in The Finals, with James and his Heat team prevailing in June. They joined forces in London and proved to be a dynamic and devastating duo against some of the best the rest of the world had to offer. And we have no doubts that they’ll crank right back up this season battling for NBA supremacy from the start of training camp until the final buzzer of the 2012-13 season. But not everyone is as accepting of this sort of pairing. Some folks, even a stray voice or two here at the hideout, are not as comfortable with this training set up, even if is just one week.”
OKC is playing the Kings in SB Nation’s 3-on-3 tournament: “Despite some consternation with the selection of Collison and some real respect for the talent of this Kings’ threesome, the Thunder are still four-to-one favorites to win any single game in this series. Overall, they have close to a 90 percent chance of advancing. Collison will have his hands full with Cousins, and the fact that Evans doesn’t have a clear position in the NBA won’t matter here, but no one is stopping Durant, so this should be OKC’s series.”