After getting rebuffed by Trey Burke on Saturday, the Oklahoma City Thunder shifted course and signed Isaiah Canaan, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical. The offer is non-guaranteed. This was the issue with Burke, who decided not to sign the Thunder’s offer when they would not budge on the “non-guaranteedness” of the deal.
The 6’0″ combo guard out of Murray State played for the Chicago Bulls last season, where he averaged 4.6 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.9 assists on 36/27/91 shooting splits in 39 games. Last season was the guard’s worst season in terms of shooting. He’s a career 35% three-point shooter and the Thunder probably hope they are getting this guy:
Canaan likely heads into camp battling Semaj Christon for the 3rd point guard spot. Raymond Felton is likely the back-up point guard, having signed for the vet minimum earlier this offseason. With Russell Westbrook likely taking it easy this preseason due to a recent PRP procedure on his right knee, look for the other three point guards on the roster to get extended minutes in the preseason.
Think back to last season. The Russell Westbrook show. What an amazing ride! The 42 triple-doubles. The insane finishes. The record usage rate. Another MVP season for Oklahoma City. But with all the beauty, you also had to take the ugliness. The packed paint. The box-and-1 defenses. The clanging of long-range jump shots. A first round exit. The dependency on just one player.
Last season was great on an individual level. Westbrook had a season for the ages. But it was a season that was necessitated by the departure of Kevin Durant. If Westbrook doesn’t got supernova, the Thunder likely struggle to make the playoffs. And thankfully for the Thunder, Westbrook is not one to go quietly into the night. But last year’s team was not for just Westbrook. It was designed for both Westbrook and Durant. With one of those components gone, the Thunder were a walking identity crisis for 87 games. Continue reading NTTB Rank: Top 2→
Dom Flaim of WTLC on how the Thunder players live the Thunder way: “By now, we’ve all seen the social media comments made by our departed number 35, a player who inhabited the Thunder home locker room for 9 years and then left in 2016. Recently, #35 decided to comment via his main Twitter account (and not on the ghost account he thought he was using) that his past Thunder teammates just weren’t up to snuff.”
Cole Cashwell, the truth exposer: “Cole Cashwell, 16, tweeted at Durant’s @KDTrey5 handle Sunday evening, saying “man I respect the hell outta you but give me one legitimate reason for leaving okc other than getting a championship.” Cashwell on Thursday said he sent the message with the mindset “what’s the worst that could happen?” He said he was shocked and “didn’t understand why he would respond to me.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 22 September 2017→
We’re into the heavy hitters now. The top four players on a team usually establish the foundation for the team. Show me a team whose top four guys aren’t necessarily established, and I’ll show you a team that has a shaky foundation. Show me a team that has a strong foursome, and I’ll show you a team that has a strong foundation and is likely a top-10 team.
The craze nowadays is to accumulate a big 3. Get three superstar-level players, and the rest will work itself out. But, on all of those teams, there was a fourth player that was usually the glue between the superstars. For the Boston Big 3, Rajon Rondo served as the glue between Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. For Miami, it was Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, and Shane Battier alternating as the fourth guy during different seasons. And most recently, Klay Thompson has been that guy for the Golden State Warriors. Have a strong no. 4 guy and your team is destined for great things. Continue reading NTTB Rank: 4-3→
Several Thunder players were in attendance as the organization put together a visit to the zoo: “The caped players made their next stop at Aquaticus, which showcases more than 1,500 marine life creatures from around the world. Piper emerged from the waters to wave hello at her tall guests setting the tone for a mutual admiration society. During the rendezvous, hearts melted and cheers erupted when each player took turns hugging the affable sea lion. Piper and the players officially cemented their friendship with each wet embrace.”
Several other Thunder players went to the fair to get their cheat meal on: “After all, it was the right day of the week for his socks, a true “Taco Tuesday”. But as his teammate Andre Roberson made a bee-line for the deep fried oreos upon arrival at the State Fair, Patterson eye was drawn to a different delicacy – the donut burger. It’s not the healthiest option at the Fair, though there’s not much competition in that department. After an intense voluntary workout at the practice facility, however, Patterson and his teammates Roberson, Jerami Grant and Doug McDermott all deserved a fun cheat meal and afternoon of games out on the west side of town.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 21 September 2017→
Now we get into the meat of the rotation. From here on out, these are likely the players that will eat up the bulk of the minutes played and will likely be the ones finishing out games. Injuries to any of these players will have a big effect on the team moving forward.
Kevin Durant initially had reservations after signing with the Warriors (a little on the NSFW side language-wise): “Take this story about the days after Durant decided to sign with the Warriors, a time when he was feeling the full brunt of the Internet’s fury about his perceived betrayal of Oklahoma. He and Kleiman were in China for a weeklong tour of the country sponsored by Nike Basketball, and the flak he was taking from people in Oklahoma City who had once professed deep affection for him was overwhelming. “To have so many people just say, ‘F$%# you,’ that really does it to you,” Durant tells me, still clearly anguished. “Because I truly had invested everything I had into the people I played for…. And for those people that I know and love and trust to turn their back on me after I was fully invested in them, it was just…more than I could take. I was upset.”
Steven Adams and Kyle Singler hosted a fitness clinic at a local Oklahoma City middle school: “Delivering the message of leading an active and healthy lifestyle, the Thunder front court tandem tipped off the season’s first Thunder Fit Clinic, presented by Homeland. Feeding off the day’s excitement, Adams barked instructions intoning the cadence of a drill sergeant with a touch of playfulness as his motivated young cohort try to conquer the agility ladder at the cardio station.”