Monday Bolts: 12.16.19

Monday Bolts: 12.16.19

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is embracing the opportunity to be a star, details Brandon Rahbar in an exclusive interview with SGA.

Despite the setback, Dorian Craft (USA Today) gives three positive takeaways from Saturday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Craft thinks a Danilo Gallinari for Myles Turner trade would be good for the Thunder. “On its face, the deal makes sense for the Thunder. Gallinari is in the final year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Thunder could trade him now, and get a young player that fits their long-term timeline or wait and risk losing him after the season and getting nothing in return.”

Chris Paul moved up to #8 on the all-time steals list:

Erik Horne (The Athletic) breaks down the Thunder’s three-guard lineups, and digs into Steven Adam’s ability to find cutters. “Count me among the skeptics who thought lineups with Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder would have serious problems. The skepticism stemmed from questions about how those lineups would hold up defensively with Paul (6-foot) and Schroder (listed at 6-1, but that’s generous) giving up size to bigger guards or wings. Instead, Schroder has had arguably his best defensive season since his early career in Atlanta, and Paul is back to his All-Defensive Team level after getting healthy in the offseason.”

With Gallinari rumored to be high on the Portland Trailblazer’s wish list, Steve Dewald (Blazers Edge) reports on Gallinari’s fit with the Blazers. “Theoretical fit aside, Gallinari is in the final year of his contract, a detail that could curb the Blazers’ interest in the 31-year-old forward. Earlier in the week, NBC Sports Northwest’s Dwight Jaynes hinted that Portland is likely prioritizing moves that target players that have more than one year left on their contracts.”

The DT commenters have been pushing a Chris Paul for Mike Conley swap, and Matt John (Basketball Insiders) seems to agree that the trade could be beneficial for both teams. “In short, the perfect team for Chris Paul at this point has to be one that has expendable contracts to get him without sacrificing much of their core that would also stand to benefit from his presence. There is one team that checks all those boxes. Believe it or not, it’s a team that hasn’t been mentioned as a potential CP3 destination as of late, the Utah Jazz.”

On the other hand, Adrian Wojnarowski said on his show, Woj & Lowe, that it’s very unlikely Paul gets traded this season. “There is no belief in Oklahoma City, or even in the CP3 camp, that there’s going to be a trade for him [this season]. After the season, after another year off that giant contract, maybe.”

Another interesting thing said by Woj: there is no rush by OKC to trade Gallinari during the season. If the right trade doesn’t materialize, the Thunder could try to work a sign and trade for Gallo in the offseason.

Marc Spears (The Undefeated) appeared on the Zach Lowe Podcast and reported that in 2013, Dwight Howard and Paul had decided to join the Dallas Mavericks, before Howard backed out. Spears said, “I really think that they, Chris and Dwight, basically wink, wink said they were going to Dallas, from what I’ve heard, and that Dwight backed out. Word on the street. But we hear a lot of stories. That’s one story I’ve heard.”

Ira Winderman (South Florida Sun Sentinel) says Steven Adams could be a good fit for the Miami Heat. “That it certainly works from a long-view perspective, with Adams with just two years left on his contract, expiring before the Heat’s summer of space in 2021. And I believe it also would work alongside Bam Adebayo in the Heat’s frontcourt, although it certainly would reduce spacing, by sacrificing Meyers Leonard’s 3-point threat. The question would be whether the Thunder would make a deal without a draft pick involved, with the Heat not in position to offer one. From a salary standpoint, amid the Heat’s tight current financial state, it would be a bit dicey, with the Heat under a hard cap and the Thunder with tax concerns. Adams earns $25.8 million this season, so the math could work around Justise Winslow’s $13 million salary and Leonard’s $11.2 million expiring contract (the Thunder likely would have no desire to instead take the two remaining years on the contracts of either Dion Waiters or James Johnson).”

Nick Crain (Forbes) put together three potential trades for Dennis Schroder. “Dennis Schroder’s trade value is very unclear. His role on any potential team could vary drastically. Schroder has the talent to be a starting point guard on some teams around the league, whereas others may view him as a backup point guard or just a bench scoring guard.”

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