It's crackin in Taiwan, but I'm gettin a massage and this lady put this Hot ass oil on my back sooo I'm about to fart..#GetBack
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 16, 2013
The Picker of the Tulsa World asks if the NBA is bigger than college football: “As to the games themselves, one football loss can mean the end of a championship rush. Two losses and you’re headed for a basement bowl. A dozen or 20 basketball losses mean nothing. The Thunder has become severe competition for college football. But only if it keeps winning. So winning is everything. Who is more apt to keep winning, our college football teams or the Thunder? College football is still bigger here. But just barely.”
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider on the worst offseason moves: “Oklahoma City Thunder trade James Harden to Houston Rockets. OK, this move wasn’t this summer, but has any trade had a bigger impact over the past week? Sending Harden to Houston set up the Rockets to potentially emerge as Oklahoma City’s biggest rival in the Western Conference. Martin’s departure also leaves a major hole in the Thunder rotation that will be difficult to fill externally because the team is up against the luxury tax. Oklahoma City may have to rely on Jeremy Lamb, the centerpiece of the return for Harden, stepping into a much larger role after playing just 147 minutes as a rookie.” Keep Reading…
With Summer League wrapped and free agency mostly the same, we have a pretty good idea of where the Thunder’s roster stands. We know who’s likely to be on the team, and we have a pretty good sense of what a lot of the roles will be.
Summer League was pretty successful for the Thunder — CHAMPS Y’ALL — but it’s just Summer League. Until you drop 32 on 10-14 against the Grizzlies in February, you haven’t done anything. The Thunder sent seven roster guys to Orlando (except Perry Jones didn’t play because of a recent minor surgery), so we got a pretty good look at a lot of the new depth this team will be relying on.
So how about a little post-Summer League roster ranking and maybe a little brief glimpse into how next season’s rotation might look. Keep Reading…
Michael Wallace of ESPN.com: “Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti insists the Thunder’s approach this week was no different from any other NBA team that aimed to develop young prospects at the Orlando Pro Summer League. That’s not completely the case. What separated the Thunder was their level of urgency and opportunity with superstar Kevin Durant in need of help and Russell Westbrook recovering from knee surgery. While most teams were breaking in draft picks or searching for talent to invite to training camp in a few months, Oklahoma City’s priority here was to groom a few key players for primary rotation roles on a title contender. So it should have come as no surprise that the Thunder cruised through the week with a 5-0 record that culminated with Friday’s victory over the Houston Rockets in the championship round of the 10-team league tournament.”
Darnell Mayberry: “It’s been a polarizing summer for Thunder fans. Many wonder why the team isn’t doing more. But those fans seem to have forgotten a major element that defined the Thunder’s season in the two months since OKC was knocked out of the playoffs in the second round. Russell Westbrook suffered a season-ending knee injury. Had the team’s star point guard not gone down with a fluke injury, who knows how the Thunder’s season would have played out? That’s the main reason the Thunder hasn’t made any sweeping changes or departed from its process. When Westbrook returns, the Thunder is expected again take its place at the top of the Western Conference. But money matters also have shaped the Thunder’s summer.” Keep Reading…
Happy weekend. Thank you for your support of Daily Thunder. Champs!
A $7 million trade exception isn’t all the Thunder got in the Kevin Martin sign-and-trade. They also got the draft rights to Szymon Szewczyk, a Polish forward that was taken by the Bucks in the second round in 2003. Judging by this mix, he’s very good at jump balls, jogging, flexing and layups. I’m so pumped for the Szymon Szewczyk era. Line starts behind me for the bandwagon.
Amin Elhassan of ESPN Insider on amnestying: “While the Thunder aren’t in tax territory now, any significant addition of salary (such as using the full midlevel exception) would thrust them there. We’ve already seen them lose valuable scoring sub Kevin Martin to free agency and miss out on adding Dorell Wright due to salary concerns. So even as Oklahoma City tells us that amnestying Perkins is not an option, we’ve seen two significant personnel moves backfire due to payroll concerns arising out of Perkins’ salary. To make matters worse, Perkins has been one of the least productive starting centers in the league the past few seasons, bringing even greater dissonance between his on-court value and his cap hit. Finally, there’s little chance of trading Perkins without attaching a valuable asset like a pick or a promising young talent, so you’re stuck with him.”
Jay-Z on repping players: “Yeah, but they have that thing, that belief that you can only do one thing. We don’t have that. We’re not inflicted with that disease. You know, I can walk and chew gum. It’s insane to even say that. ‘What does he know about sports?’ It’s like, uh, everything. And more than you. And as far as business, those guys, they’ve been sitting around just doing the typical thing. Sometimes they acquire an artist, however they acquire the artist, I don’t want to do that to them, however they acquire the artist, I mean, the athlete, they get them and then they knock on the same doors. They go to Nike, they do the contract and then they sit back and they don’t do anything else. So they’ve been sitting around for 20, 30 years just not doing anything. So me coming, that’s a problem for them because now they have to go to work. Now they have to wake up. Now they have to do things. So they don’t want me to be around because now they have to do something for these athletes.” Keep Reading…
In a somewhat complicated sign-and-trade agreement that has Kevin Martin inking a near $30 million deal with the Wolves, the Thunder are gaining a $7 million trade exception.
Here’s how that works: The Thunder are sending the Wolves cash to make it worth their while because they could just sign Martin outright. But in the deal, the Thunder “sign” Martin and then trade him to the Wolves, who are under the cap and to match salaries, send back what’s called a traded player exception. Essentially a pretend player that doesn’t occupy a roster spot but is worth the signing price, which in this case is $7 million.
It’s a very Presti move. It’s gaining value out of Martin’s departure instead of just allowing him to walk for nothing. The Thunder may not use the exception, but now they have it.
So, what’s a trade exception again? Keep Reading…