Friday Bolts: 12.20.19

Friday Bolts: 12.20.19

Don’t forget to read Tanner Johnson’s feature on Chris Paul.

Also, did you listen to the first episode of the new Daily Thunder Podcast? The episode is hosted by Daily Thunder beat reporter, Brandon Rahbar, and includes featured guest Tyler Parker (The Ringer) and Daily Thunder senior writer, Olivia Panchal.

The team was a part of a scary moment in Oklahoma City yesterday, as gunfire led to the evacuation of Penn Square Mall.

Per Ohm Youngmisuk, Paul George, former Oklahoma City Thunder forward, isn’t sure what kind of reception to expect in his first game in OKC after his trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. “You know what, I’m not really sure,” George said Thursday morning about his reception in Oklahoma City on Sunday. “I’ve seen it all. I’ve had the worst … don’t think it can get any worse than Indiana, so I’m not sure. Probably be a mix of both.”

Even with two 24+ point comebacks back-to-back, Chris Paul suiting up the entire team made the biggest splash this week:

Royce Young (ESPN) features quotes and thoughts from the players on Wednesday’s suit story. “Every player on the Thunder roster arrived to Wednesday night’s 126-122 win against the Memphis Grizzlies wearing a custom tailored suit, set up and paid for by Paul. He had the idea in the preseason, then brought in a tailor to fit the team a couple of games into the season. The suits finally arrived Wednesday. ‘This summer I was at home and saw something with my family, and I remember as a young guy I didn’t necessarily have different things and whatnot, and it was just a gift,’ Paul said. ‘[Darius Bazley] said this is the first suit he ever had, so to see him is cool.'”

And, of course, no story about fashion this good could be complete without GQ on the scene. Yang-Yi Goh (GQ) details how the CP3 not only gave the team its most dapper moment, but also taught leadership in the process. “When Mays and Petit-Frère returned a few weeks later with the completed suits for a fitting, the reactions were even stronger than they expected. ‘There were a couple of tears shed, for sure,’ Mays said. The youngest Thunder, 19-year-old Bazley, was ecstatic as soon as he slipped the jacket on. ‘He started running around the entire building, modeling for the players, the staff, everybody,’ Petit-Frère laughed. ‘That was his first time in a custom suit in his life, and the fit was spot on. Seeing that reaction made me take a step back. Me and Courtney were like, Wow, this is what Chris did it for.'”

Rachel Nichols (ESPN) recapped a pretty good week for the Thunder on The Jump:

And back to our regularly scheduled trade rumors: Steven Adams has been mentioned as a potential trade target for the Boston Celtics, but Chris Grenham (NESN) writes that it’s unlikely the Celtics could work a deal for the Big Kiwi. “Now Steven Adams is set to make $25.8 million and $27.5 million over the next two seasons, respectively. From a salary-cap matching perspective, if Boston is unwilling to part ways with its core, namely Smart or Hayward, the math simply won’t work if the two sides are trying to get a deal done. Other than Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, Smart and Hayward, the Celtics have just two players (Enes Kanter at $4.8M, Daniel Theis at $5M) that make more than $4 million.”

For what it’s worth, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander received some votes as the rookie or sophomore with the most long-term potential in an ESPN NBA-expert panel. Luka Doncic ran away with the category–no surprise there.

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