Tag Archives: Alex Abrines

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 11 August 2017

img_4133-5Hello, Friday. It feels like it’s been a week since we last talked. Here are the Rumblings:

Berry Tramel looks at the Sonics/Thunder franchise records, especially the scoring record: “The Thunder, of course, once were the Seattle SuperSonics. And the Sonics had quite the history before relocating to OKC. Payton. Jack Sikma. Downtown Freddie Brown. Gus Williams. Shawn Kemp. Dale Ellis. Xavier McDaniel. Lots of great players over the years. When a franchise moves, there’s always debate about what to do with the history. Leave it in the original city? Take it with you? The answer is easy. The emotional stuff, you leave behind. The colors, the retired jerseys, the trophies, you leave behind. Oklahoma City shouldn’t and doesn’t care that Sikma’s 43 is retired. If Dakari Johnson wants to wear No. 43, let him.”

Kevin Durant talks about the combination of Russell Westbrook and Paul George: “But they got Russ and PG and Steven Adams to be their Big 3. I think if they feed off each other, it could be great. I’m a fan of the game. So I can see if something is going to work or not and I think that’s going to be a really, really great pairing. It’s going to suck for us and the rest of the league. But as a fan of the game, it’s going to be tight to see how they work that thing out.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 11 August 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 09 August 2017

img_4133-5Mike, Mike, Mike…guess what day it is???? Here are the Rumblings.

The schedule will look a little different this season than in season’s past. A lot more emphasis on rest: “In a memo given to teams this week, the league outlined how it hopes to reduce the stresses of travel and give players a chance to recover more than in the past. This is a proactive measure aimed at both player safety and to reduce the number of games in which teams rest healthy players. After a series of high-profile players didn’t play in major matchups last season, the new schedule protects key national television matchups to make sure teams aren’t playing on back-to-back nights.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 09 August 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 04 August 2017

img_4133-5Happy Russell Westbrook Day to all. Although I doubt he signs his extension today. Here are the rumblings for this Friday.

Daniel Hamilton signs a two-way contract with the Thunder: “Hamilton, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, played 49 games for the Blue last season. The 21-year-old averaged 14.9 points, eight rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, shooting 42.6 percent from the floor and 37.4 percent from 3-point range. “Daniel has shown significant strides in his development since entering our program,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a release. “We are thrilled that he will receive the first two-way contract in Thunder history as we expect him to spend time with both teams this season as he continues to evolve as a player.”

Royce Young drops an opinion many won’t like, but that is perfectly true: There is a better chance that Paul George stays if the Thunder make a deep run. Listen to the video in the article. The article itself is almost click-baitish.  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 04 August 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 31 July 2017

img_4133-5Hello new week. Let’s get this thing going. Here is Monday’s edition of DTR…

The Thunder signed UCLA guard Bryce Alford. The deal is likely a training camp invite.

Russell Westbrook was rumored to be playing in the Drew League against former teammate James Harden. Instead, he was at Disney Land with his new teammate, Noah Westbrook: “Westbrook even brought baby Noah, who despite being a few months old has been a major part of the Westbrook family’s travels this offseason. Westbrook took his newborn son to Paris back in June. Westbrook was reportedly supposed to play in the Drew League on Sunday night against a team which featured Chris Paul and James Harden. If Westbrook has enough energy to play pickup basketball after a day at a hot amusement park, he truly has a non-stop motor.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 31 July 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 13 July 2017

Had a great time at the Paul George welcoming party and introductory press conference. Hopefully next year, at this time, we’ll be celebrating his contract extension. Here are the Rumblings.

Royce Young looks at the year long recruitment the Thunder are about to undertake with Paul George: “George was supposed to arrive at 1 p.m., and word had circulated on social media. Thunder fans, as has become their tradition, deployed to meet at their usual spot. On what was of course the hottest day yet of summer in Oklahoma, George’s flight was delayed an hour and a half. Bottles of water were passed around. A dozen or so pizzas showed up. Fans chanted, played music, fanned themselves with homemade signs and exchanged conversations that mostly started and ended with some variation of “Paul George? Paul George!” But George was here now, and he walked to the fence and pressed his hand up against it, dragging it from one end of the line to the other. Fans chanted “P-G-O-K-C!” as he posed for a selfie up against the fence. He waved and jumped in a black SUV. Fans hustled their way to line the road that exited the hanger and waved at George and his family as they were chauffeured off into OKC. And thus began Day 1 of a one-year recruiting trip.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 13 July 2017

Thunder Draft Options: Standing Firm at 21

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 02 Indiana at Nebraska

Oklahoma City comes into this draft with only one pick: no. 21 in the first round. There are options to move up, move down, or trade. But another scenario would be the Thunder staying at 21 and drafting a player there. Luckily for them, this is an incredibly deep draft with talented players scattered all they way into the first third of the second round. With that said, there are also disclaimers. Picking in the 20’s is a crap shoot. For every Reggie Jackson or Serge Ibaka the Thunder have drafted in the 20’s, there’s also a Mitch McGary or Byron Mullens.

There are a number of factors that could come into play with this draft pick. Are the Thunder looking for someone that could play immediately as a role player? Or are they looking for someone with more upside that could possibly be more than a role player once they fully develop? Players that can fit into a role immediately are usually older players that have several seasons of either college experience or international play under their belt. A good example of that from the Thunder would be Alex Abrines, who was able to step into the role of floor spacer after about the first quarter of the season. Domantas Sabonis, on the other hand, had only two years of experience at Gonzaga, and is more of a developmental project for the Thunder. The Sabonis the Thunder get in 2 years will likely be a much different player than the Sabonis they had last season.

With that said, here are 5 options the Thunder may choose from their draft spot at 21. Continue reading Thunder Draft Options: Standing Firm at 21

Do the Thunder have a chance at acquiring Paul George?

paul george russell Westbrook

At around 2:00 PM CST on Father’s Day, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski released the following tweet:

First off, the timing of the tweet makes it very purposeful. Over four days before the NBA Draft is due to take place gives the Indiana Pacers plenty of time to receive trade offers that have some meat behind them. While many will look at this as a negative move from Paul George’s part, it actually likely helps the Pacers in the long run.

No one in the NBA wants to see a lame duck season from a player or a team. That’s what the 2017-18 season would’ve been like for the Pacers had they allowed George to just go through the motions next season. With this definitive statement from the George camp, both sides can now put into motion the necessary steps to move forward from this break-up. Continue reading Do the Thunder have a chance at acquiring Paul George?

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 09 June 2017

Forbes ranks the world’s highest paid athletes: Russell Westbrook comes in as the 13th richest athlete and the 5th richest in the NBA. Who said you couldn’t get paid if you played in Oklahoma City?

Apparently, the Westbrooks finally got a night out on the town. As a veteran of several children, I know how appreciative new parents can be of their “we” time.

Steven Adams is back in New Zealand. And his beloved camo jacket is back on Steven Adams.  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 09 June 2017

The Thunder and the NBA’s Television Deal

NBA Announces New Media Partnerships

With the historical TV deal the NBA signed on Monday, the salary cap is poised to jump up by at least $30 million dollars in the next 2-3 seasons. The increase in salary cap also means an increase in players’ salaries, of which is of keen interest to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team that has meticulously constructed itself around a developing nucleus of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka will be extremely tested in the next 2-3 years. The first series of extensions the players signed eventually led to the trade of James Harden. While the team wanted to keep the burgeoning quartet together, the economics of the day forced the Thunder to trade Harden, who was looking for a max deal, of which the Thunder could not afford without destroying their salary cap flexibility.

The first extension after the rookie deal is usually easy for a team to handle. At its apex, the 5 year max is only worth about $80 million dollars (or 25% of the salary cap). Its the second extension that can difficult for teams to handle. By the time a player has reached his second extension, he’s been in the league at least  7 seasons, which qualifies his max salary to take up at least 30% of the salary cap. Salaries for max players in their 2nd extension can easily climb above $20 million per season. If you are a championship contending team in the league, you more than likely have at least 2 players worthy of a max deal. And if you are paying them accordingly, then upwards of 55% of your cap space could possibly be used up on two players.

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder

Luckily for the Thunder, those two players happen to be Durant and Westbrook (aka the reigning MVP and arguably the best point guard, respectively). Both players will be up for extensions in consecutive years, beginning in the 2016 offseason. And both players, health permitting, will be deserving of max extensions. Here’s the beauty of the CBA though: max deals are determined by percentages of the salary cap. So it does not matter whether the cap is $63 million (2014-15) or $90-100 million (projected for 2016-17), a max player will only take up a percentage of the salary cap. Even though there is more money in the pot, the percentages for max players should remain the same. And if your GM knows how to manage the money within the parameters of the luxury tax line, then it should be business as usual.

The trickier part of the equation will be Ibaka. The Thunder signed Ibaka to 4 year/$49 million dollar contract two seasons ago. It has turned into one of the better bargains in the NBA. If Ibaka continues on his developmental trajectory, will he be satisfied with a slightly below level max deal again? The Thunder saw how valuable Ibaka is when he missed the first two games of the Western Conference Finals. With no rim protector in the middle, the Spurs had their way with the Thunder, blowing them out in both games. In addition, Ibaka’s value to the offense as an offensive rebounder and perimeter release valve became even more apparent through the year last season. If Ibaka were a free agent right now, he’d likely fetch a slightly below market max deal. While Ibaka does appear to be extremely loyal, loyalty has to run both ways to be effective.

reggie jackson thunder

Then there’s the Reggie Jackson situation. As discussed in a previous post, Jackson wants to start and wants to get paid. The Thunder may be able to accommodate the monetary issue, but probably won’t be able to appease Jackson on the starting issue. The Thunder like to start a big defensive-minded SG. Unfortunately, Jackson is similar in stature to Westbrook. Jackson is in the unenviable position of being up for an extension about a year or two before the big money starts to flow in. Which means, even if he signs a big contract now, it may pale in comparison to similar contracts 2 years down the line. In the end, much like Harden, Jackson may be the odd man out,, when it comes to getting paid by the Thunder. Or Jackson may choose to sign a shorter deal with an eye towards the big money in 2-3 seasons.

A team is not just composed of 2-4 players, though. This is where the arduous planning of Thunder GM Sam Presti starts to take effect. If you’re going to have 3-4 players making max or close to max money, then you have to fill your roster with a mixture of specialists, veterans, and young players that are all relatively inexpensive. This is where Presti’s “kiddy-gloves” handling of the Thunder’s finances (keeping them under the luxury tax line) and asset usage begins to pay dividends.

adams jones roberson thunder

 

Presti has mostly done a great job of turning assets into usable parts and more assets. The Harden trade netted the Thunder Jeremy Lamb and 3 draft picks, which turned into Steven Adams, Mitch McGary, and Eurostash Alex Abrines. But it’s the Thunder’s penchant for stockpiling young talent that will make re-signing their core as a possibility. In addition to the 4 young players obtained in the Harden trade, the Thunder have stockpiled another Eurostash in Tibor Pleiss and a domestic draft and stash in Josh Huestis. Also, 2014 2nd round pick Semaj Christon appears to be in the Thunder’s future plans as he begins his career with the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, the Blue.

Why is this important? Because the Thunder’s current young players are all up for their first extension in the next 2-3 seasons. Of the current group of Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones, Andre Roberson, and Steven Adams, it is possible the majority of them will not be with the Thunder within the next 2-3 seasons. All these players have value, and the Thunder like to maximize the value of a player if they don’t necessarily see a future with them. With a cupboard full of young (unused) talent, the Thunder will be able to replace their current group of young players with cheaper alternatives within the next 2-3 seasons.

As the Thunder (and the NBA as a whole) ventures into this great unknown of luxury, it is good to know the Thunder are in prime position to continue doing what they are currently doing. They own the Bird Rights to their core players and can offer them more money than any other team. They are one of the few teams in the league that has a present and a foreseeable future when it comes to championship contention. If the CBA remains the same, the Thunder should be operating in the same manner 2-3 seasons from now.

OKC Thunder: Orlando Summer League Roster and Schedule Released

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s roster and schedule were released via NBA.com.

The roster will contain all of the Thunder players that are currently on rookie contracts, sans Reggie Jackson, and some unsigned free agents.

Roster

Number Name Position Height Weight College
12 Steven Adams* C 7’0 255 Pittsburgh / New Zealand
22 Semaj Christon G 6’3 190 Xavier
30 Fuquan Edwin G/F 6’6 215 Seton Hall
14 Josh Huestis* F 6’7 230 Stanford
7 Grant Jerrett F 6’10 232 Arizona
3 Perry Jones* F 6’11 235 Baylor
11 Jeremy Lamb* G 6’5 180 UConn
31 Marcus Lewis F 6’8 245 Oral Roberts
23 Mario Little G 6’6 218 Kansas
33 Mitch McGary* F 6’10 255 Michigan
21 Andre Roberson* F 6’7 210 Colorado
2 Nolan Smith G 6’2 190 Duke
6 Michael Stockton G 6’1 178 Westminster
44 Maurice Sutton C 6’11 220 Villanova

* – currently on the Thunder’s active roster

A couple things about the roster:

  • Michael Stockton is the son of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton.
  • No Tibor Pleiss or Alex Abrines (the Thunder’s Euro-stashes).

Schedule

Day Date Time (CST) Opponent
Saturday July 5th, 2014 4:00 PM Memphis Grizzlies
Sunday July 6th, 2014 4:00 PM Philadelphia 76ers
Monday July 7th, 2014 6:00 PM Brooklyn Nets
Wednesday July 9th, 2014 2:00 PM Indiana Pacers
Friday* July 11th, 2014 TBD TBD

* – The last game is championship day, and teams will be matched up on how they did in their first 4 games.