Daily Thunder Rumblings – 07 July 2017

Happy Friday to all! Here are today’s edition of DTR.

Brad Botkin of CBS Sports looks at how quickly OKC has recovered from Kevin Durant’s departure: “Look what happened to the Cavs when LeBron James left for Miami. Kevin Garnett left Minnesota for Boston in 2007, and the Wolves, after making eight straight playoff appearances with K.G., haven’t finished higher than 10th in the West since. Yet here are the Thunder, barely more than a year after Durant’s departure, again ready to launch a two-superstar attack on the NBA with the addition of Paul George next to Russell Westbrook. Indeed, it has been a home run offseason for OKC, which also added Patrick Patterson on a three-year, $16.4 million bargain before re-signing Andre Roberson to a three-year, $30 million deal Wednesday.”

After re-signing Roberson, Oklahoma City may enter this upcoming season as the best defensive team in the league: “OKC was already in the top 10 for defensive rating last season, and that was before adding George and Patterson. The Thunder have now become one of the biggest winners this offseason, with a much-improved roster from last year. They’ve made moves to be a strong contender in the West, and have formed a defense strong enough to at least challenge the high-powered Warriors. The question now becomes whether their offense can keep up. We know about Westbrook and George’s offensive strengths, but Roberson is a liability on that side of the ball.”

Newly rich Andre Roberson apparently had a little tiff because of a tip he left.

Jenni Carlson tells OKC fans to not fret at Westbrook still not signing his available extension: “It’s understandable — what happened with Kevin Durant a year ago taught Thunder fans to be leery of such situations. But with Westbrook’s case, quiet shouldn’t equal panic. For starters, quiet is how he handled his contract extension a year ago. Westbrook didn’t make any public statement for more than two months. Nothing on social media. Nothing in traditional media. Nothing after Durant departed. Nothing when he agreed to extend his contract.”

Fred Katz looks at how the Paul George trade was out of character for Sam Presti: “Presti is measured, analytical, considering not just the current moment or even the next season or two. He’s far more forward-thinking than that. It’s part of his personality — though it’s also a luxury, the type of job security that comes in a GM’s 11th year with the same organization. That’s why Presti was breaking character when the Thunder pulled off a deal that shocked the NBA late Friday night, sending shooting guard Victor Oladipo and power forward Domantas Sabonis to the Indiana Pacers for three-time All-NBAer and without-a-doubt star Paul George.”

The Toronto Suns looks at how much the Raptors will miss Patrick Patterson: “Patterson was supposed to be merely a moderately useful piece of the Rudy Gay salary dump to Sacramento years ago and, indeed, he never averaged more than eight points a game, or over 5.3 rebounds in a full season with the Raptors. He barely averaged a combined one block and steal, yet, those numbers don’t do his contributions justice. Because he was nearly always in the right position defensively and because he made smart decisions with the ball without turning it over often, Patterson was able to post consistently gaudy plus/minus marks, despite not ever doing any one single thing at an elite level (his defensive positioning could be considered elite, perhaps).”

Fred Katz looks at Dakari Johnson’s journey to try and secure an NBA roster spot: “Stick your head into Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, and you’ll see a G-League team implementing an old-school style. Teams use the G-League, formerly known as the D-League, to experiment. Some, like the Houston Rockets, have their affiliates chuck up as many 3s as they can to learn how many is too many. Others lend new roles to developing players to see if they can handle them. The Oklahoma City Blue, however, have a throwback No. 1 offensive option, a big, burly, low-post threat amidst cycled shooters. Roster consistency is a myth in the G-League. But for the past two years, there’s been a constant in OKC: 21-year-old center Dakari Johnson. “He’s an old 21,” joked OKC’s D-League and summer league coach Mark Daigneault.”

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