The Thunder are No. 3 in ESPN.com’s Future Rankings: “Yet there are plenty of question marks for the Thunder going forward. Oklahoma City needs the new generation of young talent that Sam Presti has amassed to start paying dividends. Reggie Jackson showed promise replacing Westbrook during last season’s playoffs, while Jeremy Lamb will step into a much larger role with the departure of sixth man Kevin Martin and this year’s lottery pick Steven Adams could be the heir apparent to Kendrick Perkins in the middle. How well those recent first-round picks develop will determine whether the Thunder can return to the top of the Western Conference while continuing to dodge the luxury tax, the team’s biggest concern at least until Perkins’ contract expires in 2015.”
Darnell Mayberry: “As excitement builds over Saturday’s start to training camp, Westbrook is eagerly anticipating his long-awaited return from the knee injury that cut short his 2013 postseason. Westbrook has not yet been cleared to resume full basketball activities, and neither him nor team officials are providing a timetable for when that final obstacle will be overcome.”
KD will be on SportsNation today with Drake.
David Aldridge of NBA.com: “With Rose back, the injury watch starts in Los Angeles, where Kobe Bryant will try to stare down an Achilles’ injury at 35, and continues to Oklahoma City, where Russell Westbrook is recovering from a meniscus tear. Can they get back, quickly, to their All-Star form? Can Rajon Rondo come back from his ACL tear to help the young Celtics stay the course?”