The long-standing national nightmare is finally over. On of all days to sign his extension, Russell Westbrook chose to sign his 5-year Designated Veteran Player Extension (DPE) on Kevin Durant’s birthday. Some may call that petty. I call it military grade psy-ops genius. Including this season’s salary, Westbrook essentially signed a 6-year, $233 million deal. This deal goes through the 2022-23 season.
Westbrook was eligible to sign the deal on July 1st, but instead chose to wait because of scheduling conflicts. Westbrook has been on a bit of a world tour this summer, going from MVP recipient to fashion icon. During media day, Westbrook was asked why he hadn’t signed the deal up to that point. “Man, it’s been a long, long summer. Had a baby, so I’ve been working on a little fatherhood. But like I said before, man. This is the place I want to be.”
As the summer progressed, there were questions whether Westbrook was going to sign the extension. Even with the acquisition of Paul George, many thought George’s cloudy future could have been giving Westbrook pause in signing such a long extension. But the mood during media day felt like this union, to include Carmelo Anthony, could be something that goes on longer than a year. With Westbrook’s extension in hand, that reality is that much closer to coming to fruition.
Media days can sometimes be an exercise in repetition. The same 2-3 questions can be rinsed, washed, and repeated for every player. What do you expect your role to be this season? What do you think about “latest talking point in the country”? What are the team expectations?
You can probably fill an entire article just with the answers from those 3 questions alone. The difficult part is trying to cut through all that player-speak and listen in to what the real themes are for the team. For the Oklahoma City Thunder, the one theme that consistently permeated throughout the entire day was winning.
But every team heads into the season talking about winning. Even those teams looking at an entire season of ineptitude find ways to think of sunshine and rainbows before the season starts. The Thunder’s talk of winning felt different though. It was talked about with brazen confidence. And for good reason, too. The brand new Big 3 of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony gives the Thunder a collection of players they’ve never had since they moved to the Great Plains. Continue reading Recapping Thunder Media Day→
After getting rebuffed by Trey Burke on Saturday, the Oklahoma City Thunder shifted course and signed Isaiah Canaan, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical. The offer is non-guaranteed. This was the issue with Burke, who decided not to sign the Thunder’s offer when they would not budge on the “non-guaranteedness” of the deal.
The 6’0″ combo guard out of Murray State played for the Chicago Bulls last season, where he averaged 4.6 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.9 assists on 36/27/91 shooting splits in 39 games. Last season was the guard’s worst season in terms of shooting. He’s a career 35% three-point shooter and the Thunder probably hope they are getting this guy:
Canaan likely heads into camp battling Semaj Christon for the 3rd point guard spot. Raymond Felton is likely the back-up point guard, having signed for the vet minimum earlier this offseason. With Russell Westbrook likely taking it easy this preseason due to a recent PRP procedure on his right knee, look for the other three point guards on the roster to get extended minutes in the preseason.
On Friday night, Nike, in conjunction with the NBA, unveiled their Statement jerseys. Each team had a representative to show off their team’s new alternate jersey. Paul George held the honor for the Thunder. The video focused on the Thunder from 5:55 to 6:55. Enjoy!
The speculation on the tweet ran the gamut from people thinking Russell Westbrook was going to sign his extension to Patterson, a noted horror movie buff, being excited about the new movie Annabelle:Creation coming out.
Well, we now know why today was a BIG day. Per a media release from the team, Patterson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Fred Katz of the Norman Transcript tweeted that Patterson had been feeling discomfort in the knee since last season. Instead of letting the problem linger throughout the season, the Thunder decided to have the proactive procedure performed on Patterson now, instead of waiting for it to possibly worsen during the season. Continue reading Patrick Patterson undergoes successful knee surgery→
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced, on Thursday, they signed Daniel Hamilton to the franchise’s first 2-way contract. The Thunder selected the 6’6″ guard out of UConn with the 56th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. In his final season at UConn, Hamilton was named 2nd Team All-ACC.
Last season, Hamilton played on the Thunder’s G-League affiliate, the Blue, where he averaged 14.9 points, 8 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in 31.2 minutes per game. His rebounding average led all qualifying rookie guards last season in the G-League.
He’s also played for the Thunder in summer league the last two years. This past summer league, Hamilton led all players in assists per game for the Orlando Summer League at 6.8.
As a 2-way player, Hamilton has the ability to join the Thunder for 45 days. The rest of the time, he’ll be with the Blue. Hamilton’s contract will be between $75,000-$275,000, depending on how many days Hamilton spends with the Thunder. In addition, Hamilton’s deal will not count against the team’s salary cap or 15-man roster.
Hamilton has a good basketball pedigree. His older brother, Jordan, played 5 seasons in the league with Denver, Houston, New Orleans, and the Clippers. His younger brother, Isaac, currently plays for UCLA.
As reported by Shams Charania of the Vertical, the Oklahoma City Thunder have signed Terrance Ferguson to a standard 4 year contract. As the 21st pick, Ferguson’s baseline salary is $1,487,500 for the first year. He can earn upwards of $1,785,000 (120% of his baseline salary) or as low as $1,190,000 (80% of his baseline salary).
Ferguson last played for the Adelaide 36ers in Australia. He played in 30 games (17 starts) and averaged 4.6 points and 1.1 rebounds while shooting 38% from the field and 31% from deep.
Apparently, Ferguson received clearance from FIBA on July 14th, but the Thunder and Ferguson likely kept it quiet until they were ready to sign Ferguson. With this signing, the Thunder now have 15 guaranteed contracts.
The long-standing national nightmare is over with. It was once thought that a protracted stand-off would lead to sanctions and eventually war. But cooler heads prevailed and Terrance Ferguson was finally granted clearance from FIBA. That clearance will allow Ferguson to sign his rookie contract. Every other first rounder from the 2017 Draft has already signed their contracts.
The SnapChat account for the Oklahoma City Thunder gave a preview of what the new Nike jerseys will look like. The two jerseys pictured were what used to be known as the home whites and the road blues. The home whites will now be known as the Association Edition jerseys, while the road blues will now be known as the Icon Edition jerseys.
This upcoming season, the home team will choose what jersey they will be wearing and the road team will then have to wear a contrasting jersey. The home and away aspect of the jerseys will be going away.
As far as the jerseys go, if you have seen the screen capture of the upcoming NBA 2K18 game with Paul George, then you have already seen what the Association uniform will look like. Here’s the Thunder’s SnapChat via UpTheThunder.
Each team will have four jerseys to choose from. The Player’s Mindset jersey and the Community jersey will be unveiled at a later date. Nike will officially take over as the NBA’s outfitter on October 1st, 2017.
First off, what the hell does circling each other mean? I remember when I was in 5th grade, I got into a little tiff with another guy on the playground during recess and we connected at the shoulders and kept circling around talking trash to each other until our friends intervened. You know the whole, “Do something!”, “No, you do something!” type elementary brawl. So is that what the Thunder and Anthony are doing? I doubt it.