Thunder At A Glance – 04 September 2018

img_4063On the new NTTB Podcast, we discuss the waiving of Kyle Singler, the salary cap implications associated with that move, and preview the Central Division.

Joseph Zucker (Bleacher Report) on Kevin Durant’s initial reaction when the Thunder drafted Steven Adams: “Instead, Adams was the choice. He spent one year at Pittsburgh, averaging 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. While Adams flashed plenty of potential, many assumed he’d need a year or two of seasoning before he could contribute to the Thunder in a meaningful way.”

Kaushik Turlapaty (SportsKeeda) looks back at the top 10 scoring efforts in Russell Westbrook’s career. 

Ben Rohrbach (Yahoo Sports) looks at records that may fall this season: “Russell Westbrook‘s 104 career triple-doubles puts him three behind Jason Kidd on the all-time list. Westbrook, whose 42 triple-doubles during the 2016-17 season set a single-season record, could catch Magic Johnson with 34 more triple-doubles this season. Despite averaging a triple-double each of the last two seasons, Westbrook still needs 74 more to match Oscar Robertson’s career record of 181.”

Chris Bengel (247 Sports) on Mitch Lawrence’s assessment that Paul George didn’t want the pressure of playing in Los Angeles: “While this could certainly be a valid point, George also may have liked Oklahoma City’s chances to improve from last season and was expecting the team to be making some high-profile moves in free agency, which they did. The Thunder ended up trading Carmelo Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team deal and the trade netted the team guard Dennis Schroder, who has been the focal point of Atlanta’s offense over the past two seasons. In addition, the Thunder signed big man Nerlens Noel to provide some much-needed depth behind Steven Adams, which was something that Oklahoma City didn’t have a season ago.”

Jeff Paynting (DefPen) on how Dennis Schroder will inject life into Oklahoma City’s bench: “The Thunder’s bench play was the biggest blight on a temperamental 2017-18 season. They finished with the second fewest points per game on average, and their -0.1 net rating ranks far below the league’s heavyweights. The firepower of Westbrook, All-Star forward Paul George and low-post anchor Steven Adams managed to drag Oklahoma City to the fourth seed in the brutal Western Conference, but it did not hold up come playoff time.”

Matt Giles (Ball Durham) on a good option for Kyle Singler, post-Thunder career: “Here’s a suggestion: Singler should return to the Duke Blue Devils, where his former teammates — Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith — are now playing vital roles within the program. Scheyer is the associate head coach, and Smith is the director of basketball operations.”

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