Smart Thoughts of the Week: Aug. 7-14

Oh, so that’s why. (J.G.): Apparently Basketball Fiend didn’t see that expected plummet of the salary cap in 2010-11. The Thunder do have a payroll under $50 million right now, but they also have 5 draft picks, two expected to go in the top 14 (we’ll say that should amount to about $5 million + another $2.4 if they sign all of their draft picks, so $7.4 just to be safe).SMTOTW

Now add a $8 million onto that for David Lee (3 year, $24 million) and that will put the Thunder, before July 1st, 2010 at approximately $63.4 million dollars in salary (before those other contracts come off the books). Now guess where that $63.4 million dollar salary figure will put them at: OVER THE CAP. There’s a reason last month’s email from the NBA regarding the expected sharp drop in the salary cap for 2010-11 sent shockwaves throughout NBA front offices.

Appreciating James. (Jax Raging Bile Duct): It seems that no one outside of NBA purists appreciate what Harden brings to the table. Scouts, coaches, teammates, GM’s… they all love a guy who doesn’t hurt you in any area, and doesn’t have any weakness to his game. Maybe Harden isn’t flashy, or have athleticism oozing out of his ears, but he’s solid everywhere. Solid IQ. Solid shooter. Solid ball handler. Solid defender. Exceptional passer. Exceptional decision maker. He’s still a rookie with a lot to learn, but he’s the furthest thing from a project. Maybe he won’t round out ESPN’s top 10, or cameo in an EA cut-a-way video, but if that’s a weakness, it’s his only one.

But in the end, aren’t we all? (Vince): I think 30 games is on the low end, barring a major injury to one of the big three. Bear in mind that we played the last 50 games at a 31-win clip. I’m admittedly a homer but I’d put the over/under at 38 games. I also think the 8 seed is going to come down to us, Phoenix, Houston, and Golden State. If Phoenix and Houston regress as expected, I still say we can be talking up an outside shot at the 8 seed into March. But again, I’m a giant homer.

As Traber tends to do, he pissed me off. (King Gondo): As Traber tends to do, he turned it into a black/white, with us/against us story, with Collison as the “traitor.” I guess he’s only allowed to like OKC now, and shouldn’t bother tweeting when he’s in Seattle (unless it’s something negative).

You keep bringing the solid movie references and I’ll keep putting you in. (astrorob): I have high hopes for RW. He reminds me of the character off Mighty Ducks 2. The kid from Texas that was faster than anybody else on the ice and could score, he just couldn’t stop or slow down. Maybe if Brooks puts him through a pop can montage, we can beat those dirty Icelanders, I mean a good run in the playoffs. I agree that Nenad needs a shave. I think its those few stragglers on top that keep him at Swift speed running back to the hoop. Make him a little more aerodynamic and he may even beat Russ back.

Me too. Me. Too. (Steve H): I understand that Etan Thomas had an MCL tear last year, and heart surgery in 2007. I would be real interested in seeing what his stats were in seasons that he was actually healthy. Anybody know where to find something like that? It’s hard to reconcile his beastly description at HoopsHype and 7mill salary with the stat-line at NBA.com unless he put up some quality numbers at some point in his career, and I’m hoping his numbers have just been badly skewed by his recent injuries.

I’m sure it will be better than Transformers 2, right? (Joe): I doubt I’ll watch it. If I lived in Seattle I might feel differently, but I have turned the page and the Thunder are my team. It’s too bad that so many Sonic fans can’t do the same, but I completely understand why they feel hurt and betrayed and feel a sense of loss. I thought I would probably never say this, but if you can take all of emails and comments and half truths out of the equation before the team moved, and just judge him since the move, Clay Bennett has been a very good and committed owner. Light years better than cheapskate Howard Schultz.

I have nothing to add here because that’s darn well said. (Elegy444): I am very interested in the film. As a Thunder season ticket holder, I can say that I was ecstatic when the team came to town. Do I feel that it could have been handled better? Sure. Anytime a city like Seattle has enough emotion and ammunition to create an 80 minute documentary, there were definitely some problems there. I’m glad ‘sonicsgate’ came by to back up his film. The ‘city’ bashing just shows ignorance. Besides collegiate titles, the Thunder are the best thing that has happened sportswise to this area as long as I’ve lived here. Why wouldn’t we embrace the opportunity that is the NBA in OKC?

And we’ll end on this because, well, just because he’s right on. (MartzMimic): As for Traber, he’s a washed-up Kenny Powers wannabe. Some idiot called in saying KD and others would sign autographs and mingle with fans after the pregame shootaround, but Nick wouldn’t. I never saw any of the guys signing autographs before a game, but even if it’s true, I wanna hear Traber go off on pitchers who won’t talk to the media if it’s their day to pitch.

WWLS sucks in their role as the “voice of the Thunder.” Not only do they not have anyone who knows or even follows basketball, but not a single players show, weekly conversation with Scott Brooks – nothing. I guess ESPN 103.3 in Dallas ruined me. Before he became the Mav’s head coach, Avery Johnson had a weekly show, Don Nelson (and later, Avery), called in to talk for 15-20 minutes every Friday. Simple stuff. We’re a major-league city, with minor league sports radio.

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