Paul Flannery of SB Nation on Mitch McGary: “McGary could have been a first-round pick in 2013, maybe even a late lottery selection. Instead, he went back to school amid much fanfare and promptly injured his back eight games into his sophomore year. Surgery ended his season and then came word of a pending marijuana suspension. The NCAA, in its infinite nanny state wisdom, chose him for random testing even though he wasn’t playing. He did the requisite mea culpas, but McGary had no realistic options left after that except to enter the draft and get on with it. With little track record and even fewer team workouts or interviews, all he had were reminders of his past performances and a dose of intrigue, which are sometimes the best kinds of draft buzz.”
Kyle Wagner of Deadspin on Dwyane Wade: “Wade can likely exist more or less comfortably in some complementary role, at least for a little while, which would work out just fine if he were in line to be paid as such. But his (implied) salary, like his broken body, is an artifact of the player he was. Whether or not he finally has to give that up depends entirely on what happens with LeBron, but what happens with LeBron will almost surely be affected in some large part by how ready Wade is to be paid more like a sixth man than a star.”
Darnell Mayberry on Steven Adams’ post game: “At 7-feet, 250 pounds, he has ideal size and mixes that with strength, timing and footwork. He put all that and more on display throughout Wednesday’s game. Against 6-foot-10 inch Pacers forward Willie Reed, Adams went to work time and time again from the left block. He scored four of his nine points in the opening two minutes, his first bucket coming on a quick and nifty post move that ended with a layup. Even though Adams went just 3-for-6 Wednesday, you could see signs of him developing into a quality post presence. He showed great patience on his catches, solid awareness of his surroundings and good vision and passing ability when playing in a crowd.”
The Thunder play at 1 p.m. CT against the Heat today. Winner gets LeBron.
Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times says KD is courting Caron Butler: “When Caron Butler reached a buyout with the Milwaukee Bucks back in February, a number of teams coveted the veteran forward’s services for the playoff run. Butler, of course, chose the Oklahoma City Thunder. He opted for the Western Conference powerhouse for a number of reasons, one being the persuasiveness of Thunder superstar Kevin Durant. Butler is a free agent again and Durant is making his pitch to convince his friend to re-sign with the Thunder. Durant flew from Los Angeles, where he had been working out, to attend Butler’s basketball camp at Park High School in Racine.”
Tom Haberstroh of Insider on why LeBron holds so much power: “But the discount goes way deeper than that. Considering how much teams have historically paid for a win on the free-agent market (just under $2 million), it’s reasonable to suggest that James has been shortchanged by more than $250 million over his career. The math: James has made $130 million in career salary, but if he were paid for his production like his teammates ($1.6 million per win), his pay total would hit $380 million. Put another way, James has been paid at a 66 percent discount over his career. This is why so many teams spend years trying to figure out ways to position themselves for when James hits the market. James understands the lopsided pay structure gives the league’s biggest stars a raw deal. But this isn’t all on the owners. After all, the players’ union agreed to it partly because it opens up more money for the middle-class players. If James gets a smaller slice of the pie, more players get to eat.”