David Thorpe of ESPN Insider says Michael Carter-Williams is a fit with OKC: “He could be a huge addition to them defensively, as well, playing with Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to form a defense of long guys with great instincts and elite athleticism. Remember, the Thunder were one of the top four defensive units in the NBA this season. Carter-Williams, in time, could help that ranking inch upward. However, the key to Carter-Williams’ success in the NBA ultimately depends on his ability to improve his shooting. The angles required to execute the tough passes he has the potential to make depend, to a large degree, on having his defender close to him, trying to take away his shot. As of now, that would not happen. In watching him shoot this season, he was doing almost everything a little wrong and still made 30 percent of his 3s. Williams was either not balanced or not all the way through the shot.”
Joe Kotoch of Sheridan Hoops: “The Thunder are in a unique position as title contenders selecting in the lottery. OKC missed James Harden this season and could look to find someone to replicate his role, since Kevin Martin is a free agent. Caldwell-Pope is a talented scorer with great length. Scouts are high on him, and there is a chance he climbs higher into the lottery. One thing Caldwell-Pope does well is create, which most of the Thunder’s current bench does not. If McCollum makes it this far, the Thunder will take him. He would provide them with scoring and creativity off the bench they have lacked since Harden left.”
Seven things that matter in Game 7 tonight. I think the last guy makes the best point.
Jay-Z is officially licensed to sign NBA players now. KD should be finalizing that in the next couple days.
Darnell Mayberry on Shane Larkin: “At 5-foot-11, Shane Larkin isn’t tall in stature. But the Miami point guard sure knows how to play. All he needs is an opportunity, a team to look past his size and give him a shot. Perhaps the Thunder will be that team. Oklahoma City is in the market for a third point guard behind Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson, and Larkin has an intriguing, if not spectacular, combination of skills that could fit well with the Thunder. He’s got speed and quickness, a sweet shooting stroke, exceptional range and a vast knowledge of how to run the pick-and-roll. But … he’s 5-11.”
Fran Fraschilla on Alex Len: “We haven’t seen close to his best. He played on a Maryland team that was one of the worst passing teams in the country, and it affected his offensive output. In fact, he only attempted 10 shots in a game three times in his final 19 as a Terrapin. There were nights when he established himself inside and was very effective. That will happen in time at the NBA level.”
Chad Ford of ESPN.com on Kelly Olynyk: “Olynyk was one of the most efficient players in college basketball this season, but I wonder whether there’s a coach in the NBA who will let him play the way he played at Gonzaga. Despite his size, Olynyk loves to catch the ball in the high post or on the wing and get to the basket off the dribble or pull up for jumpers. He was quick enough to do that at the NCAA level, but I don’t think many NBA bigs (who are bigger and more athletic than anything he faced in Gonzaga) will let him get away with it. As a stretch 4, he’s above average for a big guy — but not elite. And on the defensive end, I don’t think he has the length or strength to guard 5s or the foot speed to guard 4s. Some NBA scouts and GMs really love his game, but I don’t agree.”