Tag Archives: Josh Huestis

NTTB Rank: 15-12

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Player Rankings: 16-20

We continue the NTTB Rank with the players that I think should be on the Thunder’s 15-man roster. Because of contract situations, this is not likely how the roster will shake out. But, in a vacuum, these are the 15 best players on the roster from here on out.

15. Semaj Christon

 Year Team  Min FG% 3pt FG% FT% Rebs Asts Stls Blks Pts
 16-17  Thunder 15.2 .345 .190 .548 1.4 2.0 0.4 0.1 2.9

Continue reading NTTB Rank: 15-12

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Daily Thunder Rumblings – 15 September 2017

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Fred Katz talks about Russell Westbrook being ranked 6th in SI’s Top 100: “SI just concluded its list of top-100 players, and on the final day, it named Westbrook sixth, wedged between two Houston Rockets guards, Chris Paul, who was seventh, and James Harden, who was fifth. Two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard was ranked fourth, two-time MVP Stephen Curry was third, reigning Finals MVP Kevin Durant was second and — of course — four-time MVP LeBron James was named the best in the NBA. Needless to say, Thunder fans thought Westbrook should have been ranked higher coming off an historic season, one in which he averaged a league-leading 31.6 points to go with 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists, making him the second player ever to average a triple-double. Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who accomplished the feat in 1961-62, is the only other man to do it.”

A run down of all the important trades in Thunder history.

If Westbrook doesn’t sign the extension this offseason, this is the going to be the season of “are Westbrook and George both going to LA next year”: “Perhaps the deafening Los Angeles Lakers rumors are to thank for the price of George being driven into the ground, but the Thunder gladly took advantage of it and snatched up one of the NBA’s best players. They might change their tune by next summer, though, when both George and Russell Westbrook can become free agents. Westbrook has yet to sign a five-year, $207 million contract extension the Thunder have put on the table, and with a star-studded 2018 free agency class on the way, things could get very interesting around the league.”

Apparently the dance-off between Westbrook and Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr wasn’t all it was cracked up to be: “Imaginations ran wild. A dance-off between megastars Odell Beckham Jr. and Russell Westbrook.Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Catch NYC’s sixth anniversary party in New York City got to see all Beckham’s moves last week.”

Steven Adams’ humor is in mid-season form.

If this whole basketball thing doesn’t work out for Josh Huestis or Andre Roberson, they do have other options: “Thunder teammates Andre Roberson and Josh Huestis experienced first hand what it was like to work with a talented group that celebrated its 5A State Championship just last fall. The practice session inside the school’s gym was interrupted when Roberson and Huestis sauntered onto the court generating head turns as they were cascaded with whoops and hollers.”

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report looks at every team’s death line-up.

Steven Adams enjoying the increase in popularity of basketball in New Zealand: “Thursday’s event was sponsored by Homeland. In New Zealand, Adams’ basketball camp sponsor is “a dairy sort of company,” he said. “So it’s real weird, the kids after we do the camp, they get, like, a big block of cheese, some eggs and some bread and some milk,” Adams said. “The parents are, like, stoked, because they don’t have to go buy groceries anymore. They’re like, ‘Yes!’ It’s quirky, but it’s awesome.”

Seattle has a deal in place for a “new arena”: “If the NBA ever returns to Seattle, there could be a shiny new arena waiting. The city of Seattle and Los Angeles-based Oak View Group agreed to a $600 million renovation of KeyArena and construction could begin next year.”

 

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 14 September 2017

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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.”

For those of us who thought we had two top-10 players, we were wrong according to Sports Illustrated.

Here is the beginning of the NTTB Ranking of Thunder players.  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 14 September 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 23 August 2017

img_4133-5So Kyrie Irving is a Celtic and Isaiah Thomas is a Cavalier. We are all officially living in the Upside Down. Here are the Rumblings for this Hump Day.

Another member of the Oklahoma City Thunder finally got his 2K rating. This time it is Alex Abrines.

In a bit of comedy gold, Abrines acknowledged in a tweet that his character finally looks like him. The tweet basically translates to “This year, yes!” (For reference, just look up Alex Abrines 2K17).  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 23 August 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 21 August 2017

img_4133-5Let’s start things off right this week. Wait, why has the sun disappeared??? Here are the Rumblings for Monday.

Billy Donovan gave a coaching clinic this weekend and here are the highlights from it.

One of Sam Presti’s assistant GM’s, Michael Winger, has been offered the GM job for the Los Angeles Clippers: “Winger, a lawyer and salary cap expert, has been with the Thunder for seven seasons after coming over from the Cleveland Cavaliers and is one of the most well-respected young executives around the NBA. He would work directly under new Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, who was recently hired into that position. The Clips have shaken up their front office this summer, promoting Frank and bringing in NBA legend Jerry West while sending Doc Rivers back to just a coaching role.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 21 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 – 11 July 2017

img_4133-5If you haven’t already checked it out, we have released the inaugural episode of the NTTB podcast. You can check it out here. Here are the Rumblings…

Brett Dawson says ex-NBA stars are intrigued by the Westbrook-George pairing: “Because no matter what role he’s playing — fan, analyst, future front-office official — Billups is pumped for the pairing of Westbrook with small forward Paul George, the four-time All-Star the Thunder acquired this month in a trade with the Indiana Pacers. “I love it, man,” Billups said. “Two of my favorite players in the league. Two two-way players. Two players that really want to win. I think it’s gonna be really exciting.”

Austin Sternlicht of Thunderous Intentions looks at if this version of the Thunder is its deepest ever: “General Manager Sam Presti has done an incredible job this summer making sure this team has enough manpower down the roster to compete with the elite Western Conference teams. He essentially replaced Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo with Paul George and Patrick Patterson. On Friday evening, he signed veteran point guard Raymond Felton to a one year deal. The backup point guard position was specifically a disaster for the Thunder last season. Semaj Christon and Norris Cole simply were not able to meet the demands of even a below average backup point guard.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 11 July 2017

Seven things from Summer League

Charlotte Hornets v Oklahoma City Thunder

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.

Here are seven things from summer league: Continue reading Seven things from Summer League

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 06 July 2017

Happy the Thunder re-signed Andre Roberson. I was beginning to get worried that would be a long, drawn out situation. Instead, Roberson wanted to come back to OKC and OKC always longed to bring Roberson back. I guess $10 million was the middle ground. Here are the Rumblings for this Thursday.

Royce Young and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN team up to talk about the Roberson extension: “Roberson’s market was a tough one to gauge in the NBA because of his specialist role as a defensive stopper. After turning down an extension in October, Roberson didn’t garner the kind of interest he expected this offseason. His offensive issues are well-known, highlighted by his struggles at the free throw line during this past postseason, when he hit only 3-of-21 free throws and was a target of intentional fouling.”

Erik Horne looks at the trade market for Enes Kanter: “The NBA is trending small at the expense of the traditional big man. It’s not that Kanter isn’t effective. He was one of the most efficient offensive threats in the NBA last season, averaging 24.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per 36 minutes.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 06 July 2017

The Thunder (finally!) sign Josh Huestis

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A long-standing national nightmare is finally over. The hostage situation in Oklahoma City that engulfed most of the basketball world for the past year has thankfully reached its conclusion. The Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday (finally) signed last season’s first round pick, Josh Huestis, to a four-year rookie scale contract. What’s that? You don’t know who Josh Huestis is? You never realized there was a hostage situation brewing for the past year in Oklahoma City? Ooooh, you thought the only recent hostage situation involving an NBA player was in Houston in early July, when the Los Angeles Clippers (yes, the entire team) sequestered DeAndre Jordan in his home and forced him to sign a near-max contract to return back to LA. Well, I guess you aren’t a true NBA fanatic, then.

Rewind back to last year’s draft. The Thunder owned the 21st and 29th picks in the draft. At 21, they selected Mitch McGary. While that pick was viewed as a bit of a stretch due to McGary’s injury history and previous suspension in college due to marijuana usage, the talent was definitely there to help explain the pick. With the 29th pick, the Thunder selected Josh Huestis from the University of Stanford. Collectively, much of the NBA wondered, “Who?”. Draft Express didn’t even have a “strength/weaknesses” pre-draft video on Huestis. Here was a guy that was slotted to go in the middle to bottom half of the 2nd round or to go undrafted, and instead, he was selected by the Thunder in the next to last pick of the first round.

When the news came out about a month after the draft that the Thunder had made a handshake agreement with Huestis and his agents to have the rookie “red-shirt” his first season without signing his guaranteed rookie-scale contract that every first rounder gets, many members of the media chalked it up to the Thunder being cheap again. But in addition to being cheap, some members of the media were worried that Huestis was going to be taken of advantage of. Tom Ziller of SB Nation wrote a scathing article on the deal, in which he stated, “this (the deal) almost assuredly breaks the spirit of the NBA’s draft rules, if not the letter.” Zach Lowe of Grantland wrote a more balanced article in which he stated, “It (the deal) seems ridiculous, almost exploitative. The gains for the Thunder are obvious at first glance.” But then he goes on to write, “Huestis in this telling appears the dupe of a dictatorial regime. But that holds only if you assume that $1.5 million would have been available to Huestis in any other scenario…”

Huestis went on to play with the Thunder’s D-League affiliate for the entire season and ended up earning about $25,000 for his one season with the Blue. He averaged 10.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game on 31.6% shooting from 3-point territory. That last stat is an important because the Thunder need role players that are able to play on both ends of the floor. The one skill Huestis was known for was his defense. It’s his development on the other end of the floor as a 3-point shooter that the Thunder want to enhance. While Huestis’ time on the Blue wasn’t memorable, he did develop into a role similar to what he will play on the Thunder.

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The fear from many writers was that the Thunder made this deal from a position of power and would exploit, not only Huestis, but also NBA salary cap and draft rules from that position. In the worst case scenario, the Thunder never offer Huestis the contract that he deserves as a first rounder, which in turn, would help the Thunder stay under the luxury tax or pay less money if they were over the tax. In essence, the Thunder would circumvent having to pay a first rounder, while paying less (or no) money towards the punitive luxury tax. From a cutthroat business perspective, it would’ve been a win/win for the Thunder. The team stays away from paying money to a player while also preventing or lessening the amount they have to pay to the NBA.

But the NBA, while being cutthroat as a business, is also very good at remembering a front office’s transgression, especially players and their agents. As a small market team, it would behoove the Thunder to not burn too many bridges throughout the NBA. Which is why the supposed “nuclear option” was never at play for the Thunder. Renege on this hand-shake agreement, and agents would be very leery to even suggest Oklahoma City as a destination to their player clients. Huestis and the Thunder were always in lockstep in this deal, and the writing was clearly on the wall when the Thunder traded Perry Jones to the Boston Celtics in early July.

The Huestis deal is a basic 4-year rookie contract where the first two seasons are guaranteed and the last two are team options. Since Huestis signed the contract this season, he gets locked into this season’s rookie salary scale, which will pay him $950,200, instead of the $918,000 he would’ve earned last season. Huestis will likely see a lot of his playing time this season at the Cox Convention Center, playing for the Blue. With a deep and talented, there will likely be no minutes for Huestis on the Thunder this upcoming season. Huestis comes into this season rehabbing a torn pectoral muscle he suffered earlier in the summer, and will likely start the season on the injured list. With this signing, the Thunder sit at 15 guaranteed contracts.