It’s draft day/night. The Thunder don’t have a pick.
Things are starting to get a bit interesting, as Marc Spears of The Undefeated reports the Thunder are shopping Serge Ibaka. What for? Why?
There are a whole lot of angles with this one.
Justin Page of ESPN.com: “If Durant opts to sign a maximum contract in terms of years and dollars this summer, he’ll have two simple options: re-sign with the Thunder for five years and a projected $153 million or sign with another team for four years and a projected $114 million. A five-year max contract with the Thunder would entail annual projected salaries of $26.6 million, $28.6 million, $30.6 million, $32.6 million and $34.6 million. A four-year max contract with some other team would entail annual projected salaries of $26.6 million, $27.8 million, $29.0 million and $30.2 million.”
Dwain Price of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram with an lol: “Swallow the ego and the pride and go get the job done. Sure, James is from nearby Akron, and that played a role in him wanting to go back to Cleveland and tidy up a few things. But with so much loot on the line, common sense always prevails. Some of this applies to Durant. If Durant considers the Mavs as having a serious chance at winning a championship in the near future with his help, that venom he directed at Cuban shouldn’t even matter. After all, the NBA is business. Big-time business.” Keep Reading…
Berry Tramel: “The Thunder slipped to No. 3 in the final NBA rankings, which of course don’t exist. The Thunder took Golden State to seven games and can think that it should have beaten the Warriors. But instead of Golden State moving on to its second straight championship, it was dealt an upset loss to Cleveland in seven games. So the Cavs move to the top, followed by the Warriors and then the Thunder. But OKC can take heart in knowing it helped the Cavs win the championship. The Thunder took the first salvo of a 1-2 punch that put Draymond Green on the bench for Game 5 and paved the way for a Cleveland victory.”
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “When it comes to Durant, though, all of this could be moot if he decides he wants to stay with the Thunder. They pushed the Warriors to the brink of elimination in the Western Conference finals and he could very well be thinking, “Why join them if you can [almost] beat them?” Perhaps Golden State’s crushing defeat has emboldened the organization to chase Durant against the players’ wishes, but it’s hard to imagine that it helped its chances of landing him.” Keep Reading…
Congratulations to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for finally winning their elusive title. After an epic season and playoffs, it is now time to look for to next season.
And that starts with the draft on June 23rd. I know, I know. The Oklahoma City Thunder don’t have any draft picks in this year’s draft. But they’ll likely be like a man with a paddle and just enough money to get a bargain at an auction. Sam Presti and the Thunder front office always look at the draft as an opportunity to stock their coffers and find bargain-based talent that they can phase into their rotation. They’ve had more hits than misses in the past eight drafts, and do a good job of finding talent where other teams would just pass it by. Keep Reading…
Frank Isola of the NY Daily News: “The one player who can change the balance of power in the NBA is expected to meet with prospective teams in Los Angeles when the free-agent recruiting period beings in July, according to a source. Durant had considered holding meetings in New York, but apparently has decided to hear proposals in Los Angeles, where he owns an off-season home. The same source maintains that if Durant doesn’t re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder he would prefer to join the Warriors, a team that has reached two straight NBA Finals and could rule the Western Conference for the next five years if Durant goes to the Bay Area.”
Kurt Helin of PBT: “If this is a “basketball decision” then where is he going to go that puts him closer to a title than OKC? That team was on the cusp of making the Finals and would have had a deep series against the Cavs. And don’t say “he’s better off in the East” because: 1) You will just turn around and slam him for “taking the easy road”; 2) If he goes to Miami or Washington or Atlanta or whatever Eastern team he gets a team to the conference finals and then he runs into a deeper Cleveland team, and even if he gets by them this team would be nowhere near ready for the top of the West. He’d be on a worse team. But it’s his call, and we’ll find out in a few weeks.” Keep Reading…
Berry Tramel: “And patriotism is no answer. Sorry, but the idea that the U.S. basketball team somehow lifts the spirits of a nation, somehow proves American superiority, is downright silly. We’ve got the majority of the world’s best basketball players, and we don’t need an Olympic tournament to prove it. We’ve got a great country, no matter what the office-seekers say, and medals of gold, silver and bronze don’t change that. The Olympics are great fun to watch and follow. They must be incredible to experience as an athlete. But for NBA stars, are they worth the hassle, much less the risk? Russell Westbrook is skipping Rio, and I can’t blame him. As a consumer of Oklahoma City basketball, I have to admit, I wish Kevin Durant would join Westbrook in sitting out these Olympics.”
Sam Presti: “I have no insight into what Kevin’s decision ultimately will be, and I can’t speak to what the actual process might be — that’s for him and his representation to determine,” Presti said. “Obviously we’ll be taking part in it and taking our cues there. But as I said earlier, I think for us it’s an opportunity to be pretty excited about, quite frankly, to really get excited about and lean into because we have the opportunity to sit down with not only a player but a person that has really defined the Thunder, and I would say Oklahoma City for that matter as well, for the better part of a decade. And at the same time, it’s also someone that we know and that knows us and that we communicate with over a long period of time.” Keep Reading…
Happy weekend. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Whoops, late.
Here’s all 102 dunks from Steven Adams in the regular season. He looks realllllllly good when he’s just dunking all the time. But some of these moves — the spins, the lobs — Adams is just scratching the surface of his offensive potential.