Hello, Friday. And hello, Dakari Johnson. Here are the Rumblings on Friday’s edition of DTR….
The Thunder signed 2015 2nd rounder Dakari Johnson to a 2-year contract on Thursday: “The Vertical did not report terms of the deal, but Johnson is likely to sign for the minimum. A 2015 second-round pick, Johnson has not played an NBA game, making him available at a minimum salary of $815,615 in his first season. That makes Johnson a cost-effective option for Oklahoma City, which will be above the NBA’s cap threshold of $119 million by the time it rounds out its roster. And Johnson has support in the organization. He’s made significant strides since he entered the draft in 2015 after his sophomore season at Kentucky. He’s improved his conditioning and his skills, growing in particular as a passer.”
Troy Weaver is content with is current position on the Thunder: “At 49, he’s still intrigued by lining up a team in just the right way, though Weaver now gets that fix through team-building. As general manager Sam Presti’s right-hand man, his input is all over the Thunder’s roster. And though, 13 years into his NBA career, Weaver hasn’t quarterbacked his own franchise as a general manager, he’s content for now on a team of decision makers, continuing a partnership with Presti that dates back to the Thunder’s days as the Seattle SuperSonics.”
Brayden Baine of Sir Charles in Charge looks at the misconception of Russell Westbrook: “Since Russell Westbrook has entered the NBA, he has been labeled as an “angry” or a “mean” guy. Most of that is based on his intense style of play and some of that comes from his attitude during press conferences and interviews. But is that really who he is? After Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder in July of 2016, all that was heard was that it was Russell’s fault. That Durant didn’t want to play with him anymore and that they never were really true friends. All throughout this past season, reports have been coming out about why Durant really left.”
Otto Porter had to talk about Paul George at his press conference: “Many saw those quotes how Wall intended them and Porter can be included in that mix. “We’re talking about Paul George here. If we could get him on our squad? We could definitely contend for a championship,” Porter said after the press conference to announce his new four-year contract worth $106.5 million on Wednesday. George has since been traded to the Thunder and is not in the Wizards’ picture, while Porter is here to stay. He will remain a key cog in the Wizards’ operation alongside Wall, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris and others.”
Matthew Hallet of Thunderous Intentions looks at how not including Andre Roberson in a trade last deadline may have helped the team: “Including Roberson in the Chicago trade would surely have brought in an additional piece. But a current Thunder team – with Paul George and without Andre Roberson – wouldn’t nearly be as frightening. Most pundits could not believe Sam Presti was able to acquire Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott without including Roberson. I hope you all remember how Roberson reacted to the news: he hugged everyone in the organization the day the news of the trade broke.”
Fred Katz looks at how the signing of Johnson could affect Semaj Christon: “The status of point guard Semaj Christon, whose $1.3 million 2017-18 salary is non-guaranteed through training camp, now comes further into question. And the Johnson signing means the Thunder could conceivably move forward with a 15-man roster that includes only two point guards, Russell Westbrook and Raymond Felton, unconventional but not as risky as it may have been in past years. With the implementation of the two-way contract — allowing players to go up and down from the G-league at the NBA team’s leisure without counting against the 15-man roster, cap or luxury tax — organizations can get more creative with their roster building. If the Thunder waive Christon before his contract guarantees, they would be allowed to sign him to a two-way deal.”