Before we even go into specifics, there are three things you need to know about this game:
It was the first preseason game for both teams.
The Thunder were without Russell Westbrook, Patrick Patterson, and Alex Abrines.
The Houston Rockets launched 55! three-pointers (Why?)
In essence, the Thunder treated this game like it was a preseason game. Work out little kinks here and there, let the starters get comfortable with each other for the first half, and find out what you have from the bench. Houston, on the other hand, almost treated this game like it was a regular season game. The eight players who will likely be prominently featured in Houston’s rotation all played over 20 minutes, with James Harden leading the way with 29 minutes. Continue reading Rockets beat the new look Thunder 104-97→
Rob Hennigan returns to the Thunder: “Hennigan worked for four seasons in the Thunder front office, ascending to assistant general manager before being hired by the Orlando Magic as general manager in 2012. Hennigan was fired in April after the Magic went 132-278 (.322) in five seasons.”
It’s that time of year again. With about 35 days until the season starts, it’s time to start ranking players. Sports Illustrated has started their Top 100 list. ESPN has followed suit. But ranking 100 players is just too much for me. Especially, since I mainly just focus on one team.
I’ve decided to do an Oklahoma City Thunder players ranking based on the 20 or so players that are currently involved with the franchise. This first installment will look at players ranked 16-20. These will likely be a combination of training camp invitees, 2-way players, and/or under-performing veterans.
20. Unsigned Training Camp Invitee
Technically, the Thunder still have one more spot available for their 20 man training camp roster. There are still plenty of unsigned free agents looking for a chance to make a roster. For every run of the mill training camp invite that ends up getting cut, you sometimes ends up with a player like Lance Thomas that works on his game and takes advantage of the training camp opportunity to earn a roster spot. Continue reading NTTB Rank: 20-16→
David Scott of Ridiculous Upside looks at Daniel Hamilton possibly being Oklahoma City’s next great sharpshooter: “Oklahoma City has longtime been lack of a dedicated deep shooter since the exit of Anthony Morrow. Therefore, a skilled outside offense-man coming out of their very own development team would be both efficient and something to brag about for the organization. They currently boast Doug McDermott and Alex Abrines who have already stood out to be improvements in OKC’s outside shooting efficiency, so hopefully fans of the Thunder can expect to see a change of momentum from outside this season. No matter the turnout, it will still he interesting to see how the Thunder’s young team turns out with the addition of Dakari Johnson, Terrance Ferguson, and now the sophomore, Daniel Hamilton.”
Happy 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.”
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.
With Thursday’s loss in the 3rd place game, the Oklahoma City Thunder finished out the 2017 Orlando Pro Summer League with a record of 2-3. After winning their first 2 games of summer league, the Thunder went on to drop their next three to finish in the fourth position of the 8-team league.
There honestly isn’t much that can be gleaned from this year’s summer league team. When you are a perennial playoff team, summer leagues are usually to see what you have in the cupboard, as the main dishes of the team usually don’t have to play summer league. Of the 13 players who were available to play for the Thunder, only about five have realistic chances of playing in the league.