Monthly Archives: June 2017

Paul George traded to the Thunder

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Sarah Phipps – The Oklahoman

Just as I was about to release a primer for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s foray into this summer’s free agency, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN dropped this bomb:

It was just 12 days ago that George put out the feelers that he wanted out of Indiana and was not going to re-sign with the Pacers when his contract expired after the 2017-18 season. I wrote about the Thunder’s chances of obtaining George when the statement came out. He included in his statement that he had an eye towards signing in his native Los Angeles when he became a free agent. That statement was released a full three days before the draft. The timing of the statement was no accident.  Continue reading Paul George traded to the Thunder

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Daily Thunder Rumblings – 30 June 2017


Happy Friday to all. Here is the DTR on eve of the madness we all know as free agency. At 11:01 PM CST tonight, the Thunder should have somehow acquired Blake Griffin, Paul George, and Kristaps Porzingis, right? That’s how NBA free agency works, right?

Semaj Christon and Taj Gibson made the list of buzzer-beaters for the 2016-17 season.

Well if Blake Griffin and his injured toe don’t work in OKC, maybe Rudy Gay and his surgically repaired Achilles tendon will: “The Thunder tried to acquire Gay last October in a deal which would have send Cameron Payne and other pieces to Sacramento. That was before Gay tore his Achilles after playing only 30 games. Gay declined a player option worth $14.2 million for 2017-18. With career averages of 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 34.2 percent from 3-point range, Gay figures to command a higher salary when free agency open Saturday.”

Andrew Schlecht of Daily Thunder looks at Gay’s fit with the Thunder: “Will Gay accept a role? If he is a starter at either forward position, will he be satisfied spotting up? He could allow Westbrook to be off-ball some, but it would be more of a  “your turn, my turn” than the motion offense that Billy Donovan wants. The truth is, if the Thunder can’t make a major splash, Rudy Gay is not a terrible option. The ideal situation would be Gay signing for a small dollar amount within one of the exceptions, and agreeing to come off the bench. This would allow the Thunder to move on from Enes Kanter without giving up any bench scoring. Gay could also close games at the power forward position. If he gets his touches earlier in the game, he would probably be fine spotting up in closeout situations.”

As July 1st approaches, a sobering reality comes into view if Westbrook declines to sign the Designated Player Veteran Exception: “Russell Westbrook called his teammates to the stage Monday night in New York. So up trotted Nick Collison, Victor Oladipo, Andre Roberson, Taj Gibson and Enes Kanter to stand in solidarity as Westbrook delivered his MVP speech. Irony oozed in Basketball City. The brotherhood was evident. So was the likelihood that the band is about to break up. Of Westbrook’s five teammates on stage, one (Kanter) is on the trading block and three others (Collison, Roberson, Gibson) are free agents, with none better than 50-50 of staying in Oklahoma City.”

Tim Bontemps looks at three small-market stars who could be on the move come the start of free agency: “But when Westbrook was asked a few minutes later about the potential of signing an extension with the Thunder, he did everything he could to avoid an answer. “Man, tonight is so important for me, and obviously with the contract and stuff coming up, it’s not really on my mind at the moment, honestly,” Westbrook said. “I’m just overwhelmed with a tremendous amount of blessings I’ve been able to get to be able to get this award. “Man, I’m just thinking about tonight, and then after that, I’ll move on.” Not the most reassuring of answers for a Thunder fan.”

When you have a good GM, openings will lead to rumors: “This does bring up an interesting scenario though. The past ten years (yes Presti was there for one Seattle season) SuperSonics/Thunder fans (yes there are a few of us out there) have been blessed with a young, intelligent General Manager. Unlike players, GM’s don’t switch teams unless they are 1) fired from one job or 2) one of the best GM’s in the game. It just so happens Presti falls in Category #2. So now the Big Fish of the NBA want in on Oklahoma City’s biggest off-the-court advantage.”

Mountain Dew unveils the triple-double breasted suit to honor the MVP.

An art teacher in the OKC school district celebrated Westbrook’s MVP win in a way only an art teacher would appreciate.

The HBO show Vice looks at the Enes Kanter situation against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

According to Yahoo Sports, the Thunder have been interested in Blake Griffin for months: “It’s a shame for the Thunder they backed off their plan to sign Griffin last summer, signing Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo to contract extensions, only to resume it a few months later. Letting Adams and Oladipo hit unrestricted free agency would have given Oklahoma City an additional $22,514,699 in cap flexibility while maintaining Adams’ and Oladipo’s Bird Rights. That alone wouldn’t have been enough to offer Griffin a max salary, but dumping Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler and either Doug McDermott or Domantas Sabonis would’ve projected to get the Thunder there. In that scenario, Oklahoma City could have also exceeded the cap to re-sign Adams and Oladipo after inking Griffin.”

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 29 June 2017

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So Houston actually got Chris Paul. I wonder what this means for the Thunder and Blake Griffin? Let us explore on this edition of DTR.

It’s no secret the Thunder like Blake Griffin. But to make it work, Griffin needs to like OKC: “It’s uncertain what the move means for the Thunder, but it’s another power play for a Western Conference team in a relatively quiet summer (so far) for OKC. What could be revealed soon, however, is the fate of Blake Griffin – the Oklahoma City native and former University of Oklahoma All-American who the Thunder has reportedly had interest in for more than a year.”  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 29 June 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 28 June 2017

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Are you still buzzing off the Westbrook MVP win? I know I am. Here are the Thunder happenings for this Hump Day on DTR.

The Westbrook extensions looms large on the mind of Oklahomans: “Some 1,500 miles away, the reporter’s question still lingered in Oklahoma City: “Saturday you have a chance to sign a long-term extension and be with the city for a long time. Is that something you’ve thought about or are you ready to commit to stay with the Thunder for the long-term?” Monday night marked the second time since the end of the season that the All-Star point guard has evaded questions about whether or not he will sign the so-called super-max extension this summer, which would pay him an additional $201 million and keep him in Oklahoma City through 2022-23.”

Fred Katz looks at the difficulty in bringing in another superstar: “There may be a deeper meaning when general manager Sam Presti boasts about the talent already on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Reach back to almost two months ago, when Presti spent much of his end-of-season exit interview discussing continuity, the value in keeping together a youthful group that was actually the NBA’s youngest playoff team this past season. He was signaling more than just faith in the present talent when he explained the Thunder’s offseason prospects.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 28 June 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 27 June 2017

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In case you didn’t know, Russell Westbrook won some sort of award last night. Here’s some Thunder news related to that and other things on DTR.

Royce Young’s write up on Westbrook MVP coronation: “It was a goal to win, and while Westbrook’s focus of course remained on the Thunder winning games, as he closed in on the MVP, he wanted it. In year one without Kevin Durant, Westbrook produced something memorable, something that will stand the test of sport history. It was a season that transcended the game. It was a total eclipse, something probably seen only once in a lifetime. Westbrook didn’t erase the pain and heartbreak of Durant’s leaving, but he did somehow make it seem less important. Which was maybe his greatest achievement of them all. But with all of that done and the book finally closed on his 2016-17 season, hardware in hand, it’s the same two words Westbrook asked following the departure of his All-Star teammate: What’s next?” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 27 June 2017

Russell Westbrook wins the 2016-17 NBA MVP

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The NBA held their inaugural NBA Awards Show and the Oklahoma City Thunder racked up their fair share of accolades. First up, Russell Westbrook won the Best Style award voted on by the fans. I mean, was there even a debate with this award. This was the first of three fan awards the Thunder would win.

Next up, Victor Oladipo won Dunk of the Year for his viscous two-handed double pump on Dwight Howard in Atlanta. The dunk was so savage that Hawks’ management moved Howard to Charlotte under the assumed identity of Hight Doward.

The third fan award won by the Thunder went to Russell Westbrook who won Gamewinner of the Year for his 35 foot bomb in Denver that knocked the Nuggets out of playoff contention and capped off Westbrook’s record setting 42nd triple double.  Continue reading Russell Westbrook wins the 2016-17 NBA MVP

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 26 June 2017

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Hello, Monday. Don’t be mean. Let’s Thunder Up with some DTR.

ESPN’s Royce Young looks at the Thunder selection of Terrance Ferguson: “If he had gone to college, maybe Ferguson would have caught more attention and shot up draft boards. He certainly wasn’t that impressive in the NBL, averaging just 4.6 points on 38 percent shooting while playing only 15.2 minutes per game. But Ferguson’s size, length, athleticism and speed made him an attractive prospect, especially to Oklahoma City. The Thunder prioritize certain qualities in players, such as size at their position, and Ferguson checked a lot of boxes.”

Oklahoma City signed OKC native Rashawn Thomas to a partially-guaranteed contract.

Malcolm Hill, formerly of the Fighting Illini, will play for the Thunder during summer league.  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 26 June 2017

The Terrance Ferguson press conference

Terrance Ferguson had his introductory press conference today at the CHK Boathouse. While you could notice his youthful nervousness, Ferguson had an air of confidence about him that will likely fit in well with this team. Here are a couple highlights from the presser.

On what Ferguson can bring to the Thunder

​​​​On what Oklahoma means to him and what the journey to get to where he is now means to him

On what it was like when he heard his name on draft night Continue reading The Terrance Ferguson press conference

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 23 June 2017

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Honestly, I went into draft thinking the Thunder would draft like 8 guys, but they only came away with one. Here’s the Terrance Ferguson edition of DTR.

Tim Kiernan of Sports Illustrated grades the Thunder’s selection of Terrance Ferguson: “Ferguson shut down his workouts late in the predraft process and was believed to have a promise somewhere in the first round. The Thunder may have been that promise. OKC takes a nice upside swing here in a draft where three-point shooting is at a premium.”

Basketball Insiders looks at the Thunder’s selection: “Known for his athleticism and perimeter defense, Ferguson presents qualities that ideally fit today’s league as a “3-And-D” player. Oklahoma City will likely elect to use him at the shooting guard or small forward position, as he has a 6-foot-7, 190-pound frame. Ferguson has length that will allow him to disrupt passing lanes and contest shots, which will definitely help the Thunder get out in transition.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 23 June 2017

The Thunder select Terrance Ferguson at 21

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With all the build-up to this draft, the Oklahoma City decided to stay at 21 and selected hometown kid Terrance Ferguson. The 6’7″ wing last played for the Adelaide 36ers of the National Basketball League in Australia. He played in 30 games averaging 15 minutes per game. He scored 4.6 points on 39.1% shooting from the field and 31.3% shooting from deep.

Ferguson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but grew up in Dallas, Texas. After high school, he had many scholarship offers from different universities, most notably Alabama and Arizona, but instead chose to go overseas to pursue professional opportunities. He signed with Adelaide and played in 30 of their 31 games. The one game he did miss was due to suspension after striking Mark Worthington of the Cairns Taipans a player from another team. He helped lead the 36ers to the league semifinals, where they eventually lost to the Brisbane Bullets in the 3rd game of a 3 game series.  Continue reading The Thunder select Terrance Ferguson at 21