Happy Draft Lottery Day!!!!!
Fred Katz (Norman Transcript) evaluates the season that was for Russell Westbrook: “The superstition started back in another era, when Tumbleson would honor a couple of greats with double-circles: Westbrook and Kevin Durant. During the 2016-17 season, only Westbrook received the double-circle. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony entered double-circle territory at the beginning of this past season, but Tumbleson went back to doing just Westbrook after the team’s 8-12 start. He figured becoming too indiscriminate with the double-circle was bad luck.”
Katz also evaluated the season that was for Alex Abrines: “Oklahoma City switched everything on defense with those lineups, and the Jazz hunted Abrines during said moments. Specifically, they found ways for the 25-year-old to defend Mitchell, who sliced OKC all series. But Abrines actually held his own.”
Speaking of Fred….Boston’s getting a good one
Tamberlyn Richardson (Thunderous Intentions) with some important upcoming dates involving the Thunder:Important note: She is incorrect on the Jerami Grant information. The Thunder had the opportunity to extend Grant’s contract last offseason, but declined and instead opted into the final guaranteed year of his contract. This made Grant an unrestricted free agent coming into this offseason. The Thunder have his Bird rights, but he is not restricted.
Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on what is ahead for Alex Abrines: “The wedding matters more than anything. But it’s an important offseason on and off the court for Abrines, a 6-foot-6 guard coming off his second season in the NBA. Abrines’ contract runs through next season, and though he’s shown flashes of potential with the Thunder, his health and inconsistency have kept him from thriving stateside. He’ll be 25 when next season starts, and there remains a sense that he can do more in the NBA.”
Ross Dwyer (Sneaker News) with an in-depth look at Westbrook’s new shoes that were inspired by his son: “Although Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder have been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs after a hard-fought battle with the Utah Jazz, new colorways of Russ’s signature Why Not Zer0.1 are continuing to roll out, and the latest iteration of the sneaker pays homage to the point guard’s son Noah’s birthstone with its emerald accents.”
Dwyer on some new Melo’s coming down the pipeline: “Carmelo Anthony’s “Hoodie Melo” alter ego was the inspiration for a blacked-out Melo 1.5 that released last week, and the superstar’s hooded doppelganger has returned as inspiration for another take on the fan-favorite silhouette, this time decked out in a bright OKC Thunder-esque orange.”
Berry Tramel (NewsOK) with a report card on Paul George: “George played 79 games and averaged 36.6 minutes per game, fourth in the NBA. A team with occasional depth issues needed such dependability. And George often played extensively with the bench unit, giving the Thunder scoring punch when Westbrook rested. Did the heavy load wear down PG? Maybe. March was the only month in which he shot less than 40 percent (38.3) and less than 30 percent from 3-point range (29.3), and the only month in which he scored less than 20 points a game (18.2). But George was excellent in five April games.”