Mailbag: Adams Threes Rhymes with Bazley Threesvia Thunder

Mailbag: Adams Threes Rhymes with Bazley Threes

Brandon Rahbar covers the Thunder beat for DT, and wants to answer your questions about the team. Send yours to dailythunder@gmail.com (subject: “Mailbag”) or @DailyThunder.

Say Adams starts shooting threes at a league average percentage at a 2.5 per game clip, do you think that is enough to mitigate the potential losses from him not being able to attack the offensive boards because he’s farther out? (Thank you very much and congrats on the birth of your child!!)

@thunderbugg0

If Adams shot the league average from 3 point range of 35.5% at 2.5 per game, teams would be forced into respecting the Big Kiwi’s shot. Which means, of course, that he would draw a center away from the paint. Which would have been really helpful, OH MAYBE THE LAST FIVE YEARS WITH RUSSELL WESTBROOK. Sigh. 

To answer the question, offensive rebounding is maybe Adams’ biggest strength, so you hate to mess with that too much. However, it would be nice to have the option and flexibility so you can throw different looks at teams and change strategy depending on match up or game situation. All that said, OKC’s very first preseason play was an Adams 3, and they never went back to it again. Was it an anomaly, or did Donovan wanna flex a little and then tuck it away in his back pocket? 

Based on being able to see the practice shooting in person, how many of Bazley, Diallo, and Burton do you think will ever have an above-league-average three-point shooting season on decent attempts?  And which ones?

@Stephen Dolan

Would you hate me if I said none of them? You would? Fine, then I’ll say one of them. Bazley. 

Of course, everyone looks better in an open gym with no defense. It’s amazing how even the worst NBA shooters look better than most of the best guys at your local pick up games or Michael Cage’s church league. And each of Bazley, Diallo and Burton have looked sharp at times in shootarounds.

But combining the eye test along with statistical evidence leads me to believe that neither Burton nor Diallo will get there. Burton shot well in college and in Korea from 3, but he only shot 31.1% on 4.3 attempts in the G League and 29.6% on .8 attempts in his rookie NBA season. He’s also 25 years old, so I don’t know how much we can expect him to improve at this point. Diallo fared far worse in college and his one season in the pros, clocking in at a 16.7% rate that would make Andre Roberson do a double take. 

Bazley, though, spent all of last year living with and learning from sharpshooting former Thunder killer Mike Miller. The 19-year-old first round pick was the Darius-san protege learning from his shooting sensei Mr. Millyagi. OKC gets a better shooter, Mike gets his cars waxed. Win win. 

Ok hypothetically, who would you rather have if thunder could trade for these guys; Buddy Hield, Jaylen Brown, or Bogdan Bogdanovic ? All three are up for extensions, and haven’t come to terms.

@Logan Meyer

Welp, Hield and Brown received big extensions after this was asked, but I’m gonna play along anyway. First off, Bogdan isn’t in the discussion as he doesn’t move the needle presently nor in the future. Sorry, Bogdan, buddy, but it’s all about Buddy and Brown. 

As much as I love Buddy, you gotta go with Brown. The Thunder should only be trading for first rounders and young players. Hield turns 27 this year, and Brown turns 23 tomorrow (happy early birthday, Jaylen!). That’s basically a whole contract’s worth of age difference. The Thunder’s timeline to contend again is a few years down the road, when Brown will be in his prime and Hield will be in his 30’s. Trust the PrOKCess.

Could you address Chris Paul and Billy ball, the health of Dre and the play of Shai, how Adams is looking and what’s up with Bazley’s cooking?

@johnemoore3

Paul likes to eat plants, Billy wants the ball to move and dance, Dre is in a funk but I believe will be back, Shai always finishes when he looks to attack, Adams is a beast and now shoots from three, Darius thinks he’s a regular Chef Bazleyardee.

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