Royce Young (ESPN) appeared on the Dunc’d On podcast to talk Thunder:Listen to “Outlooks: OKC w/ Royce Young; POR w/ Mike Richman; ATL w/ Brad Rowland” on Spreaker.
Young says Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is highly unlikely to be traded and someone the Thunder view as a “future building block”. He also suggests a lot of the Thunder’s trade activity on their movable contracts could be determined by the potential awkwardness of dealing away good players should the team perform better than expected as the season unfolds. Other topics include Terrance Ferguson’s need to play with more athletic force, Chris Paul playing nice with a poor shooter like Andre Roberson, and whether the recently-closed Thunder era was a failure.
Oh hey. Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) says Doc Rivers’ rundown of the Paul George trade and Kawhi Leonard signing is dubious. On his latest podcast, Woj says the tampering fest was much deeper, earlier, and perhaps precipitated the Thunder “wanting to blow up their team”, as Rivers put it (transcript via RealGM): “The idea that Kawhi Leonard first introduced the idea of trading for Paul George in his meeting with the Clippers, from a list, we know that days before free agency started, well days before, Kawhi and Paul George were talking. Paul George’s agent went to Oklahoma City prior to the start of free agency and said Paul would like to be traded to the Clippers. He wants to play with Kawhi. But, at that point, Kawhi wasn’t allowed to be talking with the Clippers. They couldn’t officially have contact with him until after June 30, 6 p.m.”
ESPN is releasing its own Top-100 out now, and they put Danilo Gallinari (91), Steven Adams (75), and SGA (64) in the bottom half of the list. These lists are by nature zany, but the Thunder player placement so far is better than SI’s version.
Shams Charania (The Athletic) gives a little oxygen to the flickering CP3-to-Miami Heat rumor flames that have been with us since he was first dealt to OKC. I’m inclined to believe Barry Jackson (Miami Herald), who says the (lukewarm) level of interest from Miami hasn’t changed since July. Thus, no deal, and no reason to think one is more likely today than earlier this summer.
Shaun Powell (NBA.com) hits the Thunder in his “30 Teams in 30 Days” project, speculating that the Thunder will be more eager to move Paul (at a cost) than I would anticipate: “There is no perfect resolution for OKC and Presti just needs to take the one that hurts less. Presti might even find a taker for Gallinari, an efficient scorer coming off a career-best run, who has far less of a financial commitment than Paul.”
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