Paul George talks about his return to Indianapolis: “After repeated first-round playoff exits, George, 27, faced a contract year with idle 42-40 Indiana, and clarified his desire to chase victories elsewhere. And though much hearsay exists concerning where the four-time All Star may land next season, for now, George and reigning-MVP teammate Russell Westbrook look to ascend the Western Conference rankings.”
Russell Westbrook and Paul George finally got to work out together: “Russell Westbrook and Paul George are beginning the process of building chemistry on the court as the new duo had their first workout as Oklahoma City Thunder teammates on Monday in Los Angeles, sources told ESPN.com. At a gym on campus at UCLA, George and Westbrook went through drills and conditioning together, along with a few Thunder players, including Jerami Grant, Kyle Singler, Semaj Christon and Doug McDermott.”
Hello, 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.”
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.”
I feel like I’m writing these types of articles at least once a week. Not that I’m complaining. There was once a time when the Oklahoma City Thunder weren’t even mentioned in the same breath when discussing names like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. But the Golden State Warriors have gone all Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on the NBA and flipped things upside down. In order to combat that, the big names of the game are figuring out, in order to compete against the Dubs, they will likely have to join forces together.
Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated is the premier basketball writer of his time. If there is a big story to tell, Jenkins is probably the one telling it. His stories are bits and pieces of not only the player, but also the people around said player. His articles are about as insider as they come; like a literal reality show. Don’t get him confused with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Jenkins isn’t in the business to break news, he’s in it to the tell the story behind the breaking news.
When Jenkins speaks, it’s certainly not off the cuff. There is a lot of contexture behind his statements, especially when he says something that may be considered “breaking news”. He gets an insider’s view into a lot of the players’ lives, and with that, probably a lot of one on one time when the cameras aren’t on. Players tend to relax a little bit when the cameras aren’t focused on them. To say that Jenkins may “know” a player is probably understating it. Continue reading How the Warriors may force LeBron James to Oklahoma City.→
Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti has had himself quite the off-season. From acquiring Paul George to signing Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton to cap-friendly contracts, Presti has gone from the man that let Kevin Durant walk for nothing to the man most likely to win Executive of the Year at next years’s NBA Awards.
But if we rewind back to July 4th, 2016, the state of the organization was on much more treacherous footing. One of the pillars of the franchise, Durant, chose to defect to the team’s biggest rival instead of re-signing with the team. Another pillar, Serge Ibaka, was traded two weeks prior to garner younger assets. And the team’s lone remaining superstar, Russell Westbrook, was coming up on the final year of his contract. From the outside looking in, this felt like the end of a memorable, yet disappointing run from a group of young superstars who were drafted together and rose up to prominence, likely a little too fast for their own good.
That was the feeling during the press conference Presti had the evening following Durant’s departure. The questions ranged from, “when did you know Durant was signing with the Warriors?” to “are you now going to trade Russell Westbrook?”. It was the first time I’d ever seen Presti a little rattled during a press conference. (And by rattled, I mean Presti stumbled over like five words over a 45 minutes presser.) Continue reading Sam Presti: Putting back the Jenga pieces→
A little late, but here are the Rumblings as we begin the new week on DTR!
A great one on one interview from Royce Young and Andre Roberson: “Were you talking to other teams or did you basically just work with the Thunder directly on this before shopping around? Roberson: Oklahoma City is where I wanted to be, to be honest. So I tried to work a deal with them first before we went to anyone else, and that was that.”
Erik Horne looks at the options for the Thunder in regards to Kyle Singler: “Singler remaining salary will still be on the Thunder’s team salary when he’s waived, but the Thunder would be able to “stretch” the contract over twice the number of remaining years on Singler’s deal, plus an additional year. The Thunder has until Aug. 31 to stretch Singler’s contract. Singler has two guaranteed years remaining on his contract, and a third year which is a team option. That means the remaining $9.66 million guaranteed over two years (2017-18, 2018-19) could be stretched over seven seasons in even amounts. Singler’s cap hit this season would be lowered from $4.66 million to $1.38 million, saving the Thunder $3.28 million this season.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 17 July 2017→