Zach Lowe of Grantland on the Josh Huestis thing: “The Thunder might have taken Huestis in the second round, but they apparently could not find a trade partner in the right pick range on draft night. A lot of folks around the league are more confused about why the Thunder did this than about Huestis’s perspective. They could have dealt the pick — and they tried to trade it for Iman Shumpert ahead of last season’s trade deadline — drafted a better player, traded into the second round, bought a second-rounder, or just punted this experiment altogether. But they went this route in part because of a new rule this season that guarantees Huestis will play only for the Thunder’s D-League team. Until now, any player interested in signing with the D-League was fair game for any of the D-League’s 17 (and now a record 18) teams via the draft or free agency. Several teams, including the Thunder, complained about players they had picked in the NBA draft flying around to random D-League teams — clubs with coaches and playing philosophies the Thunder did not oversee.”
The players association actually supports Huestis’ move: “This is an example of the player flipping the script,” says Ron Klempner, the interim executive director of the union. “The player essentially drafted his team.”
Satchel Price of SB Nation: “Entering next season, much of the Thunder roster will be the same as last year. Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka will continue to be the core, Reggie Jackson will play a huge role of some kind, and the (other) young guys — Adams, Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones — will continue carving out spots in the rotation. But among all of them, Adams stands out as the one most likely to take a significant leap in production next season, both because of his youth and who he’s replacing. Adams is one of the key guys to watch in the NBA next season, not just because of the possible improvement, but because of what it means to the league. If he helps push the Thunder to another level next season, a crowded Western Conference could get that much messier.”
James Harden: “Dwight and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets. The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season.” Amazing that nobody wanted to go play with him and Howard this offseason, isn’t it?
Ben Golliver of SI.com: “The Spurs faced three troubling scenarios this summer: 1) Heat president Pat Riley finding a way to totally reload, 2) Thunder GM Sam Presti conjuring up some magic to significantly upgrade his cast of characters around Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka and 3) Spurs reserves Boris Diaw and/or Patty Mills deciding to take the money and run in free agency. None of those three things happened, leaving San Antonio sitting pretty. The combination of a wide open East and a Spurs rotation that will return intact perfectly sets the table for the possibility of the first back-to-back titles of the Gregg Popovich/Tim Duncan era. Unless a serious injury strikes or one of the second-tier contenders makes a franchise-altering trade later this summer, it’s difficult to envision anyone besides the Spurs or Thunder coming out of the West at this point.”