Something I came across yesterday: A post wondering last August if trading Harden made sense. And within that is a blockquote from Zach Lowe who listed out a few trade ideas, one being almost identical to the one the Thunder got. Look at some of those trades listed. Lou Williams and picks. J.J. Redick and picks. Mike Dunleavy and a young player. Point being, Harden didn’t have nearly the same kind of trade value then that we now know he should’ve. People kill the Thunder for what they got in return, but judging on what the market looked like for Harden at the time, it might’ve truly been the best deal available.
Kelly Dwyer of BDL on Serge Ibaka: “The man doesn’t even turn 24 until September, and it’s possible that the Thunder’s much-admired rise from the bottom has left us a little impatient with a five-season run that feels like it has gone on for twice as long – this is still a very young crew that led its conference with 60 wins last year. This is the roster, though, as the payroll dictates. And Serge Ibaka looks like the guy with the most room between his current level, and that potential ceiling. It’s not his team, but his improved production is crucial to his teammates’ chances.”
Clay Bennett on the Thunder: “I didn’t know it would have this type of impact on the city to the level it has,” Bennett said. “Again, it’s a reaction to the players. It’s a reaction to the league. The experiences of the game. Basketball, particularly the NBA, it’s so personal. You are so close to the players. You see their faces, you see their emotion. We get to know them as people off the court. It’s been far greater than I could have ever imagined this quickly.”
Kurt Helin of PBT on Perk saying he’s working: “Last season, other teams largely would ignore Kendrick Perkins on the offensive end. The Thunder would try to get him going pretty much every night, throwing the ball to him in the post on the first couple trips down the court, getting him some touches before letting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook take over. How did it work? Perkins shot a career low 45.7 percent and his PER of 8.2 was the lowest in the NBA of anyone getting 25 minutes a game or more. (To be fair, the Thunder’s starting five was +10.6 per 48 minutes when on the court last season with a defensive rating of 97 points per 100 possessions. It worked. The question is did it work because of or in spite of Perkins? Take out Perkins and replace him in that same lineup with Hasheem Thabeet and the Thunder were +19.3 per 48 minutes.)”
Kelly Dwyer of BDL on Perk: “The Thunder have the depth up front, in a league that is getting smaller and smaller even with Dwight Howard staying in the same conference, to handle such a move. A trio of Nick Collison, rookie Stephen Adams and Ibaka would more than hold serve, as even deep reserve Hasheem Thabeet looked like a better option than Perkins at times last year. Perkins has become a Jason Collins-like luxury, only needed to be brought out when someone like Howard comes to town; save for the fact that Collins doesn’t turn the ball over nearly as much as Perkins, and Collins never made the sort of dough (more than $18 million over the next two seasons) that Kendrick is due.”