Monday Bolts: 7.17.17

Lee Jenkins with a behind the scenes of Paul George’s OKC arrival: “He toured the Oklahoma City National Memorial, flinching at the recorded sound of the 1995 bombing, and examining the shoes of the children who died in the explosion. (“That alone is enough to feel a part of this and understand the reasoning for the support here.”) At the Colcord Hotel he slipped on his No. 13 Thunder jersey for the first time—“No, this is James Harden’s,” he cracked—and at Jones Assembly he answered questions on a stage from Lance Fresh as a standing-room crowd of 1,200 invited guests drank at an open bar. Every detail was choreographed, down to the David Sunflower Seeds and Fruit Gushers in the green room, which George chews religiously. By the time his motorcade headed back to the airport, past all the conveniently positioned welcome banners, George could sense that he means more than a standard 12-month rental.”

Sam Presti gave staff pictures of MacGyver to prepare for free agency: “Presti handed all his top lieutenants notecards with a picture of Richard Dean Anderson, the actor best known as MacGyver. The implication was obvious, at least to elders in the building. We’ll have to use some tools we don’t have yet or some tools we haven’t had,” says director of basketball operations Paul Rivers, “and look from a perspective we haven’t had to look from before.”

Royce Young spoke with Andre Roberson about OKC, his contract, tipping & more: “They look out for me, I look out for them — not just the organization but the fans and the community as well. I just wanted to be part of something special, and Oklahoma City is a great place and somewhere I want to continue to build my legacy.”

Jon Hamm on the hard cap, luxury taxes and stretching Kyle Singler: “Singler has three seasons remaining on his contract, though the last season is fully non-guaranteed if he’s waived before 8/15/2019 —a virtual lock at this point. That means Oklahoma City could take the remaining guaranteed $9.6 million left on his deal and stretch that out over seven years, lowering his cap his this season from $4.7 million to $1.38 million. The Thunder has until August 31 to take advantage of this.”

Erik Horne looks at OKC’s options with Kyle Singler: “The benefits of waiving Singler: Freeing up an additional roster spot and getting closer to the luxury tax line of $119.3 million. The Thunder is currently at around $125.6 million in salaries, not counting Nick Collison’s 1-year contract and unsigned rookie Terrance Ferguson. But the Thunder has until the end of the season to get under the luxury tax and avoid paying a repeater tax in 2018-19.”

Brett Dawson on the dynamic defensive duo of Paul George & Andre Roberson: “It’s that length – combined with athleticism, quickness and versatility – that makes the Thunder better-equipped to defend the NBA’s better teams. And maybe even its best one. On paper, Oklahoma City might stand the best chance of slowing the Warriors, and Roberson said he likes the Thunder’s ability to throw different looks at Golden State.”

Lesley McCaslin (FSOK) on what’s special about Oklahoma City: “There’s just something about Oklahoma City.  If you’ve been to a game at Chesapeake Energy Arena, you can feel it.  I get chills just writing about it.  Now, I may have horrible hearing by the time I’m 40, but hey, it’s worth it.  It’s loud, it’s crazy, it’s unique.”

Nick Collison signed a one-year deal/will retire in OKC at the end of the season: “A team that only receives secondary contributions from a lottery pick would normally be disappointed with its investment. But considering how long Collison made a consistent impact while also providing intangibles like leadership, OKC got plenty of bang for its buck.”

Hair Jordan Forever: