Middle of the week. Let’s push through. Here are the rumblings for this Wednesday.
Brett Dawson looks at the Thunder players who can’t be traded this off-season: “The Thunder might not be finished making personnel moves this summer. But there are some restrictions on the ones it can make. A report from The Ringer’s Bill Simmons on Monday said that the Thunder and Carmelo Anthony were “circling each other,” and that sparked a fresh round of fan-made trade proposals for ways to bring Anthony to Oklahoma City. What some armchair general managers seemed not to understand, though, is that not every player on the Thunder roster is eligible to be traded. The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement puts some limitations on the movement of newly signed players.”
Berry Tramel tries to figure out what Kyrie Irving wants and questions whether Russell Westbrook wants the same: “Reminds me of an Olympic epiphany I had during the 1996 Atlanta Games. I talked to boxers who wanted a gold medal so they could buy their mom a house, and I talked to gymnasts whose parents had mortgaged their house to fund a gold-medal odyssey. Durant at least hadn’t experienced the other side of the hardwood. He’d always been the face of the Thunder. Sure, Russell Westbrook was a worthy sidekick and often endured the blame for OKC shortcomings. But there was no question; the Thunder was Durant, and Durant was the Thunder. Durant was at least trying something new with Golden State.”
Elite Sports NY says Carmelo Anthony can salvage his career by playing with the Thunder: “Pairing Anthony with the 2016-17 NBA MVP, Russell Westbrook, and recently acquired star Paul George can only mean a return of catch and shoot, Olympic-Anthony. After all, it is highly unlikely Anthony will be able to hold the ball playing with two players whose usage percentage exceeds his. Adding an excellent spot-up shooter like Anthony would have huge implications for the Thunder. The Thunder are the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA at 33 percent. This poor percentage certainly is not due to a low amount of three-point attempts, as the team still took the 18th most threes in the association. The players who shot the most threes last season, Westbrook and Oladipo, shot a combined 35 percent. Having two below average three-point shooters shoot that many threes is a recipe for disaster.”
Albert Dadson of HoopsHabit looks at how LeBron James’ future decision could affect Paul George’s: “The Oklahoma City Thunder obtained Paul George in a deal that could change their season for the upcoming year but they do not know if they will have George past this season. It is known by many that George wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 and it’s been rumored another superstar wants to go to LA too. If LeBron James decides that he is going to L.A., that will affect George’s decision even greater. LeBron won’t waive his no-trade clause at any point of the next season. That is looked at as a positive step toward him staying in Cleveland, but he does have the ability to decline his $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season, which would make him a free agent.”