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On today’s podcast we discuss the following topics:
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According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Denver Nuggets will trade big man Joffrey Lauvergne to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for two future 2nd round picks. (Apparently Denver loves to receive second round picks from the Thunder in pairs.) The 24-year old Frenchman played in 59 games last season, averaging 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 17.6 minutes of game action. He shot 51.3% from the field, 24.5% from deep, and an impressive 90% from the line. Lauvergne is scheduled to make $1.71 million this season and fit into the Thunder’s available cap space.
With this trade, the Thunder’s roster sits at 16 guaranteed contracts. They will need to trim the roster down to 15 by the beginning of the season. With that in mind, there is likely another move on the horizon for the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s recent moves suggest they may be preparing for a bigger trade, possibly involving one of their rotational big men or maybe even second year point guard Cameron Payne. Lauvergne’s game is very similar to that of Enes Kanter’s, even matching their defensive struggles. Where they differ is on the boards. Kanter is a lot better at using his frame to carve out space for rebounds. The question now becomes: are a few more rebounds per game worth $15 million (the difference in salary between Kanter and Lauvergne)? Keep Reading…
Three Thunder players received votes to become first time All-Stars according to ESPN”s Summer Forecast: Steven Adams (7 votes) finished just outside the top-10, while Victor Oladipo (2 votes) and Enes Kanter (1 vote) were also featured in the vote count.
Enes Kanter offered his condolences to Dwayne Wade following the tragic death of Wade’s cousin Nykea Aldridge in Chicago: “Wade took to Twitter Friday night to announce his loss and make a plea for the violence to stop, saying “My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal” bookended by the hashtag #EnoughIsEnough. Thunder center Enes Kanter was one of the first NBA players to express his condolences to Wade.”
Duke withdraws its claim against former Thunder minority owner Aubrey McClendon’s estate: “Duke University said it has withdrawn a claim for about $10 million it made against the estate of oil man Aubrey McClendon, who died before he could make good on pledges the North Carolina college said he made to his alma mater. A spokesman for the university said paperwork asking to withdraw the claim was filed on Friday in the Oklahoma City district court where the Chesapeake Energy Corp. co-founder’s estate is being wound down. Records in that case show the claim was filed Aug. 12, but it was only made public last week and first reported by The Wall Street Journal.” Keep Reading…
Billy Donovan on KD’s meeting: “I thought the meeting that we had went very well. I think we talked about basketball. We talked about our team. We talked about direction, talked about obviously his leadership, his role – all those kind of things. And I think, leaving the meeting, it was very, very, I thought, positive. I thought it was very, very clear. I think there was direction on both sides.”
Kobe on KD’s decision: “Nah, as a competitor, I would have thought less about myself if I had looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair.’ “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there, we’re still gonna take you down.’” Keep Reading…
Happy weekend. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. September comin’.
I think the premise here is that Russell Westbrook can jump high. Is that what everyone else’s takeaway is?
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Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider ranking 2017 free agents: “Still just 24, Oladipo emerged as a two-way RPM standout last season, ranking among the league’s top 10 shooting guards. He has the chance to enhance his value with a strong performance on a bigger stage this season in Oklahoma City.”
CBSSports.com fantasy: “Russell Westbrook is the most irrepressible force in the NBA, and now he is even angrier than normal. With Kevin Durant taking off for Golden State, the Thunder are unquestionably Westbrook’s team and Fantasy owners have to be excited. The last time Westbrook played without Durant for an extended period of time, he led the league in scoring in 2014-15, while adding 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game. Last season, he was able to take his foot off the pedal a bit, trading some points for assist opportunities, and ended up averaging a career-best 10.4 per game. A nightly triple-double threat, Westbrook doesn’t have to worry about getting another high-usage star going, which means we should see the best numbers of his career in 2015-16. Efficiency might be an issue for Westbrook, who always has high turnover numbers and might struggle with his shooting given a larger scoring load, but his volume should make up for any issues. Westbrook is worth considering with the No. 1 overall pick this season, and shouldn’t fall past the fifth spot when it’s all said and done.” Keep Reading…
Serge Ibaka on if he saw KD’s decision coming: “No, not really. And it’s tough for him. It’s tough to make that kind of decision and it’s not easy, but at the end of the day he needs to do what makes him happy. What he thinks makes him happy, makes his family happy, that matters. We have to accept that and from the position of Oklahoma City, from the team, it’s tough if your star leaves like that and I understand that. But, there’s some stuff in life that we can’t control. The fans in Oklahoma City and the team can’t control that and if that makes Kevin Durant happy, then good for him.”
With Leather on ideal shoe sponsorships: “Russ is already from another planet, or at least some kind of alternate reality where humans can do things we can’t. What I’m suggesting here is that Westbrook actually straps some sort of a rocket to his shoes, and in our post-branded shoe reality, everyone will just assume it’s some kind of wacky shoe promotion when in reality he’s actually using that rocket (think Nos in The Fast and the Furious) to give him a little extra boost.” Keep Reading…