Armed with a $10.8 million dollar trade exception, several player assets, two empty roster spots, and a competitive team, it appeared like the perfect storm for Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti to make a move to improve the team. But as the dust settled on the league’s transactions at the 3 p.m. trade deadline, the Thunder were no where to be found on the league’s trade approval docket. Having made a small trade several days earlier when they moved guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot to Chicago for a heavily protected 2nd round pick, the Thunder seemed poise to make a move.
Rumors were abound that the Thunder were interested in several wings around the league, such as Orlando’s Terrance Ross or Atlanta’s Taurean Prince. In the end though, the Thunder team that went into Thursday morning was the same team that took the floor against the Memphis Grizzlies, Thursday evening. Here are three reasons why the Thunder likely stood pat during this trade deadline. Continue reading Thunder Stand Pat at the Trade Deadline→
Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) recaps the Thunder’s win last night, focusing on their dominance in the paint: “All season long the Thunder’s priority defensively has been to contest well at the three-point line and force opponents to make tough shots over length on the move inside the arc. Tonight that strategy worked nearly to perfection. Cleveland may have knocked down 9 threes, but only attempted 23 for the game. Down low, the Thunder blocked 11 shots and forced the Cavaliers into 16-of-43 shooting (37.2 percent) in the paint.”
Royce Young (ESPN) with the medical update on Russell Westbrook: “Russell Westbrook is “progressing” and getting nearer to a return, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Thursday, but has not been cleared for full-contact practice yet, leaving the All-Star point guard’s status for the season opener in question.”
Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) recaps the Thunder’s epic win in Toronto: “In a game like that, it’s always good to have the NBA’s most competitive, most relentless closer. Russell Westbrook took over down the stretch for the Thunder by scoring 17 of the team’s 19 points to close out the win, including a banked in jump shot from the left wing over Serge Ibaka with 11.7 seconds to go that made it a 4-point game. Prior to that, Westbrook continually attacked and got to his left hand, finishing with three layups going that direction in the final 3:18 of play after Toronto’s Kyle Lowry fouled out.”
Chris Thompson (Deadspin) on the impact Corey Brewer has had on the Thunder: “But this is as good a time as any to note that the Thunder are a truly fucking ridiculous 6-0 since they made Corey Brewer a starter. Corey Brewer. This was cute and funny when it was four straight, and three of the wins had come over Sacramento, Atlanta, and Phoenix, but it is no longer a laughing matter. Their last two wins have come over a desperate Clippers team and the NBA’s best home team. Again I want to stress that this was done while Corey Effing Brewerwas starting in their backcourt. He’s played more than 30 minutes in each of their last five games.” Continue reading NTTB Rumblings – 19 March 2018→