Welcome to the Rumblings. Let’s get over the hump (day)!
Kenneth Teape of Thunderous Intentions says the anxiety is growing with every passing day in regards to Russell Westbrook’s extension: “Last offseason, a motivating factor for Westbrook to sign that extension with an out clause was to hit the 10-year plateau of playing in the NBA. When a player hits 10 years of service, his max contract earnings increase. A 10-year veteran could sign a contract worth 35 percent of a team’s cap. That timeline meant that Westbrook could opt out of his contract in 2018 and reevaluate his future. It gave the Thunder a chance to put a competitive team around Westbrook, which they did. The Thunder were able to acquire Paul George via trade with the Indiana Pacers, arguably the biggest surprise of the offseason.”
Albert Dadson of Thunderous Intentions looks at Doug McDermott looking to improve his role this upcoming season: “In his senior season in 2013-14, he won the AP Player of the Year award, the Naismith Player of the Year award, and the John R. Wooden award. He also became the first player in 30 years to make the All-American team three straight years. Some players that have done that are Wayman Tisdale, Patrick Ewing and Bill Walton. All the players that have accomplished this feat have made the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.”
Mark Bruty of Welcome To Loud City looks at Steven Adams’ ranking on 2K (spoiler alert: he’s not in the top-10 of centers): “When Adams has space to operate (especially on the pick and roll being the “roll” man) he is highly effective. He has worked hard to improve his little “push floater” and baby hooks around the basket, and he has a soft touch when cutting the lane and getting to the rim – finishing with soft lay ups of thunderous dunks. It makes him and the Oklahoma City Thunder far more dangerous and diverse. With the new additions, as well as internal development from Alex Abrines, Doug McDermott and others, are going to ensure there are enough gaps for Westbrook to create and enough space for Adams to prosper.”
In addition to rallying the troops, Kanter also donated a significant amount of his own: “A thousand miles away, Enes Kanter can’t sit still. Like numerous athletes across sports, he saw the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and felt compelled to contribute. So, from Chicago on Tuesday, Kanter told The Oklahoman he’d pledge $25,000 to Embrace Relief, a non-profit organization which focuses on humanitarian aid and disaster relief. Kanter’s contribution comes in partnership with the Raindrop Turkish Cultural Center in Houston.”
Touché, Durant. Touché: “Kevin Durant’s not ready to let that whole “cupcake” thing go just yet. The Warriors star dropped his new Nike shoe on Tuesday, and the imagery is not subtle. One promotional image shows the sneakers — called KDX Red Velvet, no less — amid a box of red velvet cupcakes.”
Steven Adams on the Paul George acquisition: “It should be good, man,” he told the assembled media at his Auckland coaching camp. “The front office does a good job of not bringing in … (a less than complimentary term beginning with D is proffered) … I’m not going to use that word. But along the lines of that. “They bring in really good people who fit well into the locker-room because all that matters, because you could bring in a really good player, but if they screw up the locker-room you’ll still lose games. And the whole point is winning games.”