Friday Bolts: 9.1.17

Happy September, folks. Just 46 more days to go.

The Lakers were fined $500,000 for the Paul George tampering fiasco: “The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $500,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-tampering rules, the league announced Thursday. The conduct at issue involved Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka communicating with Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George’s agent, expressing prohibited interest in George while he remains under contract, the NBA announced. The penalty followed a warning given to the Lakers because of comments president of basketball operations Magic Johnson made about George on national television April 20. The NBA added that the investigation did not reveal an agreement or understanding that the Lakers would acquire George.”

Michael McCann (SI) on the Lakers getting caught: “The Lakers could thus have suffered a much more severe penalty. If, for instance, Silver had prohibited the Lakers from signing George for the next two years, the team’s strategy for future transactions would have been altered—perhaps dramatically so. A $500K fine, in contrast, likely has no tangible impact on the team’s expected recruitment of George.”

B/R says OKC’s signing of Patrick Patterson was the second most underrated move of the NBA offseason: “The 28-year-old might be a specialist—65.9 percent of his shots were threes in 2016-17—but his specialty addresses a glaring need (shot 37.2 percent from beyond the arc). If he can stay healthy, he’ll provide a boost to one of the Western Conference’s most intriguing teams.”

Nick Gallo on Jerami Grant being the Thunder’s Swiss Army Knife: “Heading into his second season with the Thunder, Grant will get a chance to get his feet under him a little more thanks to a full training camp with Head Coach Billy Donovan. A chance to integrate on the group during a month straight of practice was a privilege Grant wasn’t afforded last season when he was acquired in a trade just a week into the season. His fellow wing Andre Roberson called the trade a turning point early in the year for the Thunder. Part of the reason why is Grant’s flexibility as a player, which helped the Thunder immensely when it came to choosing lineups, rotations and matchups.”

Yahoo Sports lists Steven Adams as the 24th best NBA player under 25: “How high the Thunder can rise will depend largely on the talents of Russell Westbrook and Paul George. But how often and how effectively they get to play their game will depend on Adams taking care of the dirty work.”

Brad Botkin (CBS Sports) picks OKC landing Paul George as the second best move of the summer: “Yes, he could be a one-year rental, which is why it was smart for a team like Boston to save its assets. But OKC? It has nothing to lose. Getting rid of Oladipo’s contract is a blessing, even though he’s a good player, and the Thunder certainly are not worried about letting go of Sabonis for a player like George. Even if he leaves after this season, the Thunder got one year to make a legit run at a top-2 seed with an outside shot of pushing the Warriors as much as any team, and they showed Westbrook they will make moves to surround him with talent as they continue to try to sign him to an extension. Considering what they gave up, this was a no-brainer.”

Russ is hosting his 2nd Annual “Why Not?” Comedy Show on October 13 in OKC: “The Thunder star is teaming up with comedian Demetrius “Juice” Deason for the “Why Not?” Comedy Show, scheduled for Oct. 13 at the Tower Theatre (435 NW 23rd St.) at 7 p.m. The collaboration is between Westbrook and Deason’s Layups2Standup organization. Proceeds will go to the YWCA of Oklahoma City.” (Tickets start at $40)

The Steven Adams Invitational is underway in New Zealand: