NTTB’s Thunder Rumblings – 02 July 2018

img_4063Royce Young (ESPN) on how the gamble the Thunder took on Paul George a year ago paid off: “But at a private party on Saturday hosted by Russell Westbrook at a mansion near Lake Arcadia, music from echoing off the tall Oklahoma oak trees, George walked onstage, fresh off a private jet, and grabbed the microphone.”

Brett Dawson (NewsOK) on the Thunder’s interest for a big man this offseason: “Though Paul George and Jerami Grant are committed to Oklahoma City, the Thunder still has moves left to make. Reports indicate Oklahoma City at least is taking a look at backup centers on the free-agent market.”

Erik Horne (NewsOK) on Paul George remaining with the Thunder: “Paul George loves the Lakers. He also loves stability. So, even before the clock struck 11 p.m. on Saturday, the official start of NBA free agency, George was speaking into a microphone with conviction in front of an adoring crowd of partygoers just northeast of Oklahoma City. George was assured, waiting for the crowd to stop chanting the initials “PG” before finishing his sentence.”

Dawson (NewsOK) on the Thunder also securing the services of Jerami Grant: “That’s slightly more than a team under the luxury tax could have offered the 6-foot-8 forward via a mid-level exception, and the expectation was that Grant would have drawn considerable attention from teams with the full $8.6 million mid-level to offer. So even with a strapped salary cap, the Thunder made Grant a priority.”

John Gonzalez (The Ringer) says re-signing Paul George may have been the easy part: “He gets full marks for adopting a classic line from an all-time great group, and I admire the gambler in him. But it’s also possible that whatever the opposite of scared money is—aggressive money? Bold money?—also won’t make none for the Thunder when we look back on all this. They got their man (again), but what kind of shape does that actually leave them in?”

Nat Newell (Indianapolis Star) on some of the tamer reactions from the Twitter-verse after George stayed in OKC: “Paul George, as you may have heard, informed the Pacers after last season that he would not re-sign with the team after the 2017-18 season and his preference was to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. Indiana dealt him to Oklahoma City in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in what everyone assumed was a one-year move for the Thunder.”

Alex Kennedy (HoopsHype) on the Carmelo Anthony conundrum facing the Thunder: “That’s where Anthony fits into this. One way the Thunder can avoid this tax hit is by moving on from the 34-year-old, who is set to make $27,928,140 next season after opting into his contract. If the Thunder remove Anthony from the roster and replace him with a minimum player, they would save $91 million in taxes.”

Jon Hamm (Bleacher Report) on George’s signing bringing validation to Westbrook: “That fate seemed even more certain after the Thunder bowed out in the first round of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz. But that was outside observation, a product of people applying their own sensibilities and buying in to groupthink. George took to the city and the organization and may have decided to stay sooner than anyone realized.”

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