Daily Thunder Rumblings – 12 Oct 2017

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The Thunder waived three players yesterday, as they get their roster number to 15…and then turned around and signed two more players.

This Russell Westbrook/Nikola Jokic thing still has legs: “You mean the Flagrant 2?” said Malone following the game when asked about the incident. “Oh that’s right, they called it a Flagrant 1, I apologize.” “That goes back to last game here, that was sending a message and what I’m proud of with Nikola is that he took it, and it didn’t affect him… I think there was a message trying to be sent, and good for them.”

Erik Horne (NewsOK) says Paul George can be the missing link between the starters and reserves: “In this abbreviated preseason, George has thrived in his role as the Thunder’s second-unit leader, a role the Thunder was missing dearly in a year of Westbrook-centric offense. “He’s a leader, I have to give it to him,” Thunder forward Josh Huestis said of George, who closed out the Nuggets with 12 points in the final 9:11. “We had four young guys out there and we have Paul out there leading us.”

Lawrence George (Thunderous Intentions) says the Thunder could be looking at a $300 million dollar bill if they retain the services of the Big 3 for next season: “PG13’s contract ultimately determines the size of Oklahoma City’s luxury tax next season. Whether he is actually interested in signing with the Thunder remains unknown. According to multiple media outlets, George is leaving for the Los Angeles Lakers regardless of what happens this season. The problem with that is Paul George has repeatedly stated he values winning over anything else and sadly, that isn’t happening in LA anytime soon, even if LeBron James ends up there.”

Reggie Miller is okay with Paul George asking out of Indiana: “But on Wednesday, he was saying something else entirely. The NBA on TNT analyst was saying loyalty has to be a two-way street, and so often in the NBA these days, it isn’t. “I see Paul George leaves my beloved Pacers and wants out to go to OKC … well, this is a business, people,” Miller said during a media teleconference. “As much as we would love for the stability of players to play for one organization, especially the superstars, and uplift (their team) and make make them winners, (at) the end of the day, it’s a business.”

Sports Illustrated previews the teams in the Northwest Division.

Jeremy Lambert (Thunderous Intentions) recaps the Thunder’s preseason: “The final preseason game against Denver was very telling. Donovan left George on the floor with Ferguson, Huestis, Grant, and Daniel Hamilton as Denver mounted a comeback. The Nuggets got the lead, which was 69-57 when that group got on the floor together, down to one. However, Denver never led, and OKC went up 94-82 before George sat. Donovan is going to try a million different lineups throughout the season, but his best move is to go with George as the second-unit leader.”

Paul Flannery (SB Nation) on Sam Presti winning the offseason: “You can argue over whether Presti was fortunate that the Pacers shortchanged themselves in the George trade, or whether he was lucky that those Houston talks hit a snag. He was on both counts. Yet, in both instances, Presti got his man and reinforced to Westbrook that Oklahoma City was going to remain a serious contender. The cherry on top came late Friday with word from Adrian Wojnarowski that Westbrook had agreed to a 5-year, $205 million extension. With that bit of news, the Thunder general manager can claim victory over an offseason that was fraught with peril.”

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