- Dion Waiters!
- Dion’s regular season vs. playoffs
- OKC’s cap situation
- Waiters contract
- What is an acceptable deal?
- Possible replacements for Dion if he leaves
- And more!
Thanks for listening and subscribe on iTunes!
Thanks for listening and subscribe on iTunes!
I’ve had a really solid record with my annual 35 statements made with extreme confidence (Serge Ibaka voice). Unofficially, over the past four years, I’ve gotten 138 out of 140 correct. (Don’t look that up to confirm.)
But this season, it went a little off. Not too much, but not quite up to my immaculate standards. Part of that was due to the crazy nature of this first season under Billy Donovan, a rollercoaster of experimentation that produced pretty big ups and downs and whatever other cliche to describe the unpredictable nature of it.
So, as we do, let’s go back over them and see what went right, and mostly wrong. Keep Reading…
Berry Tramel grading Russell Westbrook’s season: “The Thunder reached the 2012 NBA Finals with a point guard who averaged 5.5 assists a game. That same point guard almost doubled that total this season. Westbrook averaged a career high 10.4 assists per game, second in the NBA. His decision-making and passing were excellent. In the playoffs, even better — 11.0 assists per game. In the series against the Warriors, Westbrook had more assists than Golden State facilitators Draymond Green and Steph Curry combined.”
Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report: “All we and Durant know about OKC’s roster is that it did beat one of the best teams ever in the playoffs and probably should have beaten a second. Golden State’s ongoing dominance against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals only magnifies Oklahoma City’s incomprehensibly high level of play in the conference finals. Considering the full scope of what this season taught us about the Thunder, and factoring in the massive risks and financial realities of chasing outside talent, OKC should bank on Durant believing in the group he’s already playing with.” Keep Reading…
Anthony Slater: “If the Boston Celtics get Kevin Durant in a room, they can highlight their treasure trove of assets and promote life outside the wicked West. If the Warriors or Spurs secure a Durant visit, they can hypothesize how to best fit him around a ready-made roster. Pat Riley may just toss his championship rings on a table. He’s done it before. Imagination can be alluring. Change can be appealing. But when the KD free agency sweepstakes hit in early July, the Thunder is banking on familiarity over temptation. The known over the unknown.”
Tom Haberstroh and Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com on injuries: “The league says it is dedicating itself to science more than ever before. That much is clear. But what isn’t clear is how the powers that be will react if — or when — the science comes back and says the best players in the world are playing too many games, a shared belief of sports scientists not on the NBA payroll. There’s no question that everyone wants to see Stephen Curry represent his country. There’s no question that no one wants to see another Finals matchup in which the best players are in street clothes or one in which stars are carried off the floor, like LeBron James was when his body shut down in Game 1 of the 2014 Finals. The question is whether the powers that be will adjust accordingly, even if it hurts the bottom line.” Keep Reading…
Lucas of The Lost Ogle: “We all forgot about the frustrating regular-season collapses, until they lost three straight and blew their shot at a title. It’s incredible that OKC was able to force seven games against what will be looked at as one of the all-time greatest NBA teams. But it should never have gotten that far. They had opportunities to close it out down the stretch, and reverted back to old habits of isolation offense and hero ball. If they continued to play the trusting, moving basketball that had gotten the team that far, maybe we would be seeing the Thunder in Game One of the Finals today.”
Anthony Slater: “As Nick Collison said in his exit interview, there’s no selling Kevin Durant on the Thunder. No recruiting pitch needed. He knows everything about the city, the organization, the team’s infrastructure and the young roster. Perhaps he’ll take visits elsewhere, allowing him to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of staying or going. But Presti’s case has already been laid. All he needs to do is hand Durant a blank piece of paper and tell him to write his contract. There are no assurances Durant will stay. His decision is monumental for this organization, carrying extreme ripple affects in the immediate and long term. But at this point, OKC’s front office can only sit back and wait.” Keep Reading…
Sam Presti talked for almost 45 minutes on Monday, answering questions about Kevin Durant’s free agency, Steven Adams and Dion Waiters’ future, Anthony Morrow, Mitch McGary, Billy Donovan and more.
Here are the highlights:
Bill Simmons: “And that’s how Oklahoma City missed the Finals — because a historically great team dug deep and turned a close-out game into a game of H-O-R-S-E. Game 6 has already earned a permanent spot on the short list of historic WTF Playoff Games, right there with Game 5 of ’87 Celts-Pistons, Game 7 of ’00 Blazers-Lakers, Game 5 of ’07 Pistons-Cavs, Game 1 of ’95 Magic-Rockets, Game 6 of ’13 Heat-Spurs, and a few others that live forever on NBA TV. I thought OKC would have beaten Cleveland. We’ll never know.”
Sean Deveney of Sporting News: “The one-year contract does make the most sense for Durant, both in terms of figuring out where the Thunder are heading and getting the most bang out of his next big deal. In the end, he might well decide that it is in his best interests. But it’s important to remember that there is risk attached to that approach, and it doesn’t quite mesh with Durant’s low-key personality.” Keep Reading…