Daily Thunder Rumblings – 22 August 2017

img_4133-5Hopefully everybody still has their eye-sight. Here are the Rumblings…

The Ringer looks at the Clippers’ hiring of Michael Winger: “If Winger, just 37 years old, accepts the job in L.A., he’ll report to Lawrence Frank, the former veep under Rivers who was promoted to Doc’s old position. Just like with West and Golden State, there’s much front-office strategy to be learned from Winger, who served as an assistant under Sam Presti for seven seasons, and the Thunder, an organization that has become something of an executive factory in recent years, spawning Charlotte’s Rich Cho and former Magic GM Rob Hennigan. We’ll call the following the tenets of the OKC front office that could be applied in L.A.—Clippers fans can call it more evidence for hope.”

Welcome To Loud City polled some of their readers on how the Thunder will do this season: “When polled, many of our respondents decided 50-60 wins for Westbrook/George and co. is a solid range. Though, more specifically, most agreed 50-55 wins is where OKC will finish. Last year’s Thunder won 47 contests; granted, a handful of those triumphs are attributable to Westbrook’s outlier-performance. Though at 28, and with greater leverage, couldn’t similar win-shares be expected from the six-time All-Star this season, even if his counting numbers drop? Further, it’s reasonable to state that Oklahoma City is now better equipped than four of the five western teams which finished 16-17 with a better record.”

Tony Heim looks at why trading for Paul George was actually a great risk: “Oklahoma City has leverage over every other team in the league – including the Lakers – because they can legally tamper with his recruitment as much as they please. Unlike Magic, Presti can discuss George’s future plans with no hesitation. Sam Presti didn’t trade for one year of Paul George, he traded for one year of recruiting Paul George.”

What are realistic expectations for the Thunder with the addition of George: “If the Thunder get to 50 wins, which is where ESPN’s very early forecast pegs them, you also have to wonder what that three-win improvement means in terms of the entire Western Conference. Oklahoma City was a six-seed last year behind Clippers and Jazz teams that should be worse off in 2017-18. Below the Thunder, however, are a host of young Western teams that could rise in their place. Minnesota, Denver and New Orleans could all potentially improve. The Clippers and Jazz are still playoff contenders despite offseason losses. Portland and Memphis are also in the mix.”

As mentioned earlier this offseason, Russell Westbrook has a book coming out….And now we know the release date and the price.

The pressure this season will be on Billy Donovan: “Well danged if Presti didn’t come through. On the last day of the fiscal year, the Thunder general manager traded for Paul George, and suddenly OKC was back in the saddle. Not riding astride the Warriors, but capable of keeping pace with any of the league’s other 28 teams. And the pressure has jumped, from Presti to Donovan. The Thunder again has the horses to do great things, and it’s Donovan’s job to make that happen. Donovan’s doesn’t shirk the duty.”

Andre Roberson and Jordan Clarkson played volleyball with some scantily clad women. If only they knew how much he tips. (I kid, I kid).

NBA.com looks at the defensive mavens of the league and Roberson, rightfully, makes the list: “While Roberson is a below-average offensive player — he shot 24.7 percent from the 3-point line last season — the Thunder forward more than makes up for any offensive liabilities with his defensive prowess. An athletic 6-foot-7 swingman, Roberson is able to guard almost any position, from power forward to shooting guards, and should team with newly acquired Paul George to strengthen what an Oklahoma City defense that ranked 10th last season in defensive rating.”

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