Friday Bolts: 7.14.17

The Thunder remains optimistic Russell Westbrook will sign his contract extension: “Russell Westbrook has a chance to be a free agent after next season, but the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to work hard to ensure he doesn’t leave town. According to Royce Young of ESPN.com, “optimism remains high” that the team will sign the reigning MVP to a new extension.”

Indiana offered Paul George to the Warriors for Klay Thompson“Before All-Star forward Paul George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder last month, the Indiana Pacers talked to the Golden State Warriors and offered him for Klay Thompson, a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to the source, Golden State said no to the offer, and the talks with Indiana ended there.”

Paul George’s full appearance on The Woj Pod: PG dishes on the trade, Russell Westbrook, playing for the Lakers, Russ & KD’s repaired relationship, and more.

Erik Horne on Paul George’s playmaking: “According to Sport VU tracking, potential assists are defined as “passes by a player to a teammate in which a teammate attempts a shot that, if made, would be an assist.” George created 6.7 potential assists per game last season, more than half his actual total of 3.3 per game. Aside from Westbrook’s massive 19.6, no one on the Thunder last season was above 4.8 potential assists per game last season.”

Fred Katz on Paul George’s decision making being the key to the Thunder’s future: “If George were to leave — and the organization traded for him with the expectation he would after his agent, Aaron Mintz, reportedly made it clear to the Indiana Pacers that he wanted to be a Los Angeles Laker next summer — the Thunder would have a chance to start over. And they’d be able to do it with the final three years and $63 million of Victor Oladipo’s money in Indiana, not OKC. They’d be going through the process with a GM who has one of the most successful histories forming a rebuild through the draft.”

Danny Leroux explains Westbrook’s potential extension: “Westbrook’s agreement only has one season left, so his Designated Veteran extension would have five new seasons and use the actual salary cap number for the 2018-19 season. At the current $102 million estimate, that would mean five years, $207,060,000 added to his $28.5 million for the current season.”

Tramel looks at the Thunder defense’s potential to be special: “One of the nuggets in Lee Jenkins’ story about Paul George for Sports Illustrated was Jenkins’ statement that the Thunder might now be the NBA team best-equipped to guard the Warriors. Of course, no team is equipped to guard Golden State, but some team has to be best-equipped, and that might now be OKC.”

Nike released Thunder-related colors for Paul George’s first signature shoe: “As the Oklahoma City Thunder get ready to start the PG era of the franchise, Nike launches new team-specific color design options for his signature shoe, the PG 1. These colors were previously unavailable.”

The Thunder dropped a hype video for next season:

Have a great weekend, friends.