The offseason continues to be a very active one for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last week were all the moves. This week are all the introductions. What a time to be a Thunder fan. Here are the DTR’s for this hump-day.
Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton were introduced as members of the Thunder on Tuesday: “It was almost like a contest. Patrick Patterson discussed his love of fishing, mudding and simply getting to cruise the open road in his truck. Raymond Felton guessed, or perhaps bragged, that no one has ever heard of his hometown of Latta, S.C. To these two new Thunder veterans, Oklahoma City will be a booming metropolis compared to where they were raised. It also might just be the closest thing to feeling the comfort of home that they’ve had so far in their NBA careers.”
Erik Horne looks at the new Thunder players: “Patterson, 28, and Felton, 33, are each coming from teams which made the postseason in 2016-17. But with the Clippers’ backcourt deconstructing, Felton was searching for a new home. With the Raptors re-signing Serge Ibaka long-term, Patterson’s minutes would have been hard to find in Toronto. Both took less money to join the Thunder – Felton the veteran’s minimum of $2.3 million, Patterson the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.2 million per season. Both have opportunities in Oklahoma City to play. Both have more than that.”
Brett Dawson looks at the end of the bench options for the Thunder: “The 15th spot still is up in the air, and the Thunder has some options with it. OKC could retain point guard Semaj Christon. But Felton figures to take on the role Christon played as Westbrook’s primary backup, and the two years remaining on Christon’s contract aren’t guaranteed. If the Thunder wiaves Christon by Saturday, it could get his $1.3 million salary off the books for 2017-18. That could be significant for a team with a team’s payroll is above both the $99 million NBA salary cap and the $119 million taxpayer line.”
Nick Collison continues to be a topic of conversation for a roster spot with the Thunder: “The money isn’t so much the issue as the manpower in front of Collison. The Thunder wants him back and can sign Collison while above the salary cap since it has his Bird Rights — he’s never signed with another team as a free agent. Collison’s $3.75 million salary from last season isn’t much more than the veteran’s minimum ($2.3 million). Collison wants more playing time. How much more is undetermined, but he feels he still can be a contributor. “I still think I have something to offer,” Collison said April 26 at his exit interview.”
Dakari Johnson is grinding to get a roster spot for the Thunder this season: “For Johnson, that approach includes long hours in the gym working with the staff of Mark Daigneault, who is both Johnson’s head coach with the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s G-League affiliate, and the coach of OKC’s Summer League team. “The coaches really lock you in,” said Johnson of how two seasons with the OKC Blue have helped him. “The gym’s open 24/7. The coaching staff has a plan for you throughout to just develop. So I think it really helped improve my game since I left college.” Daigneault, the architect of that highly-available and hands-on approach for the Blue’s coaching staff, described how he helps players have the best shot at the biggest stage.”