NBA.com previews the Oklahoma City Thunder: “Whoever had Oklahoma City in the George trade pool should go immediately to Las Vegas and bet heavy. Almost out of nowhere, the Thunder emerged as winners in the George sweepstakes and one year after losing Durant have added a star to side next to Westbrook. Not only did OKC pull it off, nudging aside other suitors such as the Cavs and Celtics and Lakers, but the price was surprisingly low. The Thunder surrendered Oladipo, a good but not spectacular guard that they foolishly paid like a superstar two summers ago, and Sabonis, their 2016 No. 1 pick who was inconsistent. The trade surprised many observers given what it cost OKC, and even if George turns out to be a one-year rental, it’s no big deal.”
Andre Roberson and Patrick Patterson make ESPN’s top 100.
If you’re into fantasy basketball, here’s your guide to the Thunder: “Thanks to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s offseason moves, Westbrook may have trouble replicating his league-winning impact from last season. Rather than playing alongside a marginalized Victor Oladipo in the backcourt, he’ll now have an All-Star teammate in the form of Paul George and a grizzled veteran in Patrick Patterson accompanying Steven Adams in the frontcourt. While OKC likely boosted its chances of a deep playoff run with its roster makeover, Westbrook should have less on his plate offensively this season.”
Billy Donovan’s son is joining the Spurs organization.
Fred Katz looks at how the Thunder’s offense may change with its new personnel: “Now, Patterson’s probable positioning displaces the spot of last year’s secondary creator. It means the new secondary creator, also known as Paul George, will actually be on the wing. OKC isn’t putting George in the corner. It’s not happening. If it somehow does consistently, it would be a disaster of a move. He will be all over the floor. And he will be active.”
Russell Westbrook: International brand promoter.
Brett Dawson looks at the work Paul George has put in this offseason: ““(He had a) lot of NBA level athleticism,” said Mike Penberthy, George’s shooting coach. “He just needed to tidy up his skill set. Shooting, his form, his understanding of where he needs to get on the floor to get his shots. His ballhandling. He’s worked extremely hard on all those things and he’s become a pretty complete player.” The work isn’t done. All summer, George has been logging time with Capretta – five or six times a week for a couple of hours a day – in addition to the basketball skill work and pickup games he takes part in away from Proactive.”
Sports Illustrated is in the process of releasing their Top 100 players list. Here are selections 50-100. Patrick Patterson makes the list at 98.