NTTB Thunder Rumblings – 20 July 2018

img_4063Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) on the Thunder trading Carmelo Anthony to Atlanta in exchange for Dennis Schröder: “Along with Anthony and his $27.9 million expiring contract, the Thunder will send a 2022 protected first-round pick to the Hawks for guard Dennis Schroder and forward Mike Muscala. The 2022 first-round pick is protected 1-14, and becomes two second-round picks if not conveyed in that first year, league sources said.”

Tamberlyn Richardson (Thunderous Intentions) with some takeaways from the Melo trade: “Despite adding two players to the roster (arguably upgrades) OKC will also save $73 million. Additionally, OKC shave their luxury tax hit from $150 million to $88.8 million, a $62 million savings in 2018-19.  This could be reduced even further dependent on whether OKC make additional moves. Of note, teams final luxury tax is calculated based on where the team resides with player salaries on last day of season.”

Frank Urbina (Hoops Hype) compares Russell Westbrook and Oscar Robertson: “However, due to the difference in era, particularly how the 1960’s and ’70s were known for a fast-paced style of play which led to high scoring totals, as well as for stars regularly playing over 40 minutes on a nightly basis, despite only leading the Association scoring once in his career, Robertson averaged at least 30 points per game six times in his heyday – a feat Westbrook has only managed once in his career.”

Jamie Lisantl (Sports Illustrated) looks at sport’s Fashionable 50, of which Westbrook and (former Thunder) Carmelo Anthony show up on: “After being named NBA MVP in 2017, the self-proclaimed Fashion King showed no signs of slowing down this past season, averaging a triple double for the second straight year while arriving for every one of the Thunder’s 92 preseason, regular season and playoff games in a fresh look. The 29-year-old also continued his surge in the style world, launching his own fashion label called Honor the Gift, a collection of unisex streetwear inspired by the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hawthorne that helped shape him growing up.”

Russell Westbrook’s next colorway honors his alma mater.

Erik Horne (NewsOK) looks at whether the Paul George situation helped Toronto make their decision to acquire Kawhi Leonard: “Toronto dwarfs Oklahoma City in size, but their basketball organizations have parallels. Maybe the landscape could change someday, but internally, the Thunder is honest about not being a destination for big name free agents. Like Leonard now, George’s preferred destination was Los Angeles. George and his agent have said publicly if the Thunder hadn’t risked trading for him in 2017, Oklahoma City’s chances at getting a free agency meeting with George would have been low.”

Jenni Carlson (NewsOK) introduces you to the two newest Thunder players: “Last September, Schroder was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge. Video shows him initiating contact with a victim, who suffered serious injuries. Earlier this year, the DeKalb County District Attorney recommended Schroder and three others be prosecuted for felony aggravated battery. The case is still in the hands of the district attorney’s office.”

Horne (NewsOK) looks at the financials of the trade for the Thunder: “With Carmelo Anthony traded to Atlanta on Thursday, the Thunder has saved more than $10 million in salary. Schroder and Luwawu-Cabarrot will make $15.5 million and $1.5 million, respectively, next season compared to Anthony’s $27.9 million. That difference also grants the Thunder a $10.8 million trade exception which could come in handy this season in order to absorb additional salary in a trade. The trade exception expires a year from the official trade date.”

Benjamin Hoffman (NY Times) says everyone wins in the Carmelo Anthony trade: “The Hawks’ long-term savings are still nothing compared to what Oklahoma City saves by shedding itself of Anthony. Bobby Marks, the former vice president of basketball for the Nets who is now an analyst at ESPN, estimated that the Thunder would save $73 million this year because of the various luxury-tax implications of dropping Anthony and acquiring Schroder, combined with the expected follow-up move of trading Muscala to the Philadelphia 76ers for Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.”

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