Tag Archives: Kyle Singler

20 Thunder-centric predictions for the season

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Am I a homer? Heck yeah. I’m a fan of the team I write about. It’s not a difficult concept. I like to write about things I’m familiar with. I know basketball, but more specifically, I know Thunder basketball. So I write about it.

Predictions are always a difficult thing when it comes to sports. They are usually made with the caveat that a ton of variables remain static. Things such as injuries, front office moves, suspensions, chemistry can’t be taken into account.

When you look at these 20 predictions, know two things: 1) They are likely going to favor the Oklahoma City Thunder in some form or fashion. And 2) Because I know a little about basketball, I’ll never make a prediction so outlandish that it won’t have a chance of coming true. Without further ado, here are the predictions:

20. Josh Huestis will play over 750 minutes this season for the Thunder.

In his first two seasons, Huestis played a grand total of 86 minutes for the Thunder. But the third year forward looks determined to get some minutes this year, and his play in the preseason may warrant some looks. While 750 minutes may seem like a lot, that’s just 9.2 minutes per game over 82 games. I think Huestis will be a full-time NBA player this year and will get enough playing time to reach that minutes mark. Continue reading 20 Thunder-centric predictions for the season

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Daily Thunder Rumblings – 19 September 2017

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Fansided released their Mt. Rushmores for every franchise. Here is the Mt. Rushmore for the Thunder (in combination with the Sonics).

Steven Adams and Kyle Singler hosted a fitness clinic at a local Oklahoma City middle school: “Delivering the message of leading an active and healthy lifestyle, the Thunder front court tandem tipped off the season’s first Thunder Fit Clinic, presented by Homeland. Feeding off the day’s excitement, Adams barked instructions intoning the cadence of a drill sergeant with a touch of playfulness as his motivated young cohort try to conquer the agility ladder at the cardio station.”

Russell Westbrook hung out with Canelo Alvarez after his controversial draw Saturday night.  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 19 September 2017

NTTB Rank: 20-16

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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

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 31 August 2017

img_4133-5End of the month. Man, August felt long. On to September and training camp. Here are the Rumblings.

Vegas has projected the Thunder to win 51.5 games. Here’s a rundown from NewsOK of the odds for the entire league.

The deadline to waive a player and use the stretch provision expires today. Brett Dawson says, “Don’t expect the Thunder to use it this season.”

GQ chronicled Westbrook and his dad sneakers: “Why not? Those might be Russell Westbrook’s favorite words, appended to most of the all-world guard’s Instagram posts. They explain his explosive on-court style (Why not slalom through five defenders?), and his off-court style, too. Why not wear an ab-bearing t-shirt? Why not wear overalls? Why not wear a pair of Nike Air Monarch IVs, the Swoosh’s famously ugly dad sneakers?” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 31 August 2017

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 01 August 2017

img_4133-5It’s the first of the month, wake up, wake up, wake up…..Here are the Rumblings for Tuesday.

Is Oklahoma City on the cusp of being the next superteam: “James will once again be a free agent in 2018, and we’ve learned our lesson: Be prepared for anything. It’s time to start sketching the free agency possibilities now and try to map out where the next superteams will be. So, who is most likely to assemble the next powerhouse to challenge the reigning-champ Golden State Warriors? Joining up with ESPN’s Bobby Marks with an eye toward 2018 free agency, we look at the three primary models to building a superteam. This list looks beyond current contenders Cleveland, Houston and Oklahoma City — each of whom already has at least two superstars — to the next generation of potential superteams.”

An article looking at Dakari Johnson being a worthwhile investment: “For starters, Johnson has been developing nicely in the Thunder’s pipeline. He has played three seasons in the Summer League with Oklahoma City and in two G-League seasons. Each year he has shown growth and development, especially offensively. Playing for some loaded Kentucky teams, Johnson never had much of a chance to showcase his talents and flourish. But once he joined the Thunder’s organization, that changed. Johnson increased his scoring output from 12.3 points per game in his first season with the Oklahoma City Blue of the G League to 18.5 per game this past season.” Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 01 August 2017

NTTB Podcast (Episode 3) – The Thunder Award Show

IMG_4109On Episode 3 of the NTTB podcast, we discuss the following topics:

  • The Dakari Johnson and Yannis Morin signings
  • The Ins and Outs of the new Nike uniforms
  • Thunder Award Show
  • How Steven Adams will play with the Thunder’s new personnel
  • How much would you offer for Kyle Singler
  • And some Kyrie Irving talk

Thank you for listening. We will be doing a podcast once a week. If you have any Thunder or NBA related questions, make sure you hit us up on Twitter (@alexroig_NTTB or @Montero_A13).

We are on Itunes under the NTTB Podcast. Make sure you leave us a 5-star review if you can. As always, Thunder Up!

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 17 July 2017

img_4133-5A 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

Daily Thunder Rumblings – 12 July 2017

img_4133-5The offseason continues to be a very active one for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last week were all the moves. This week are all the introductions. What a time to be a Thunder fan. Here are the DTR’s for this hump-day.

Nick Gallo of the official Thunder page chronicles the arrival of Paul George. And if you look within the words, you’ll see I provided an assist.

Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton were introduced as members of the Thunder on Tuesday: “It was almost like a contest. Patrick Patterson discussed his love of fishing, mudding and simply getting to cruise the open road in his truck. Raymond Felton guessed, or perhaps bragged, that no one has ever heard of his hometown of Latta, S.C. To these two new Thunder veterans, Oklahoma City will be a booming metropolis compared to where they were raised. It also might just be the closest thing to feeling the comfort of home that they’ve had so far in their NBA careers.”  Continue reading Daily Thunder Rumblings – 12 July 2017

The Oklahoma City Thunder debut their new orange alternates

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For years, Oklahoma City Thunder fans have been clamoring for an alternate uniform that featured more than a blue palette. Maybe something with a bright color to it, or an artistic rendition to the Thunder shield, or a play on the Oklahoma City moniker (OKC). Instead, they have been treated to alternates that have been bland and a bit too safe. The purpose of an alternate jersey is to feature something that is different than the original.

The Thunder’s home uniforms have always been there best. The classic blue lettering with the orange trim lends itself very nicely to most color schemes (jeans, khakis, etc) and looks very good on HD TV screens. The away blue jersey have a classic coloring to them, but the 12 white letters on the front of the jersey (OKLAHOMA CITY) are a bit much in terms of style.

Three years ago the Thunder debuted their first alternate jersey. The navy blue jersey looked retro in nature with the team name written down right side. The jersey had mixed reactions, with many liking the simplicity of the jersey, while also criticizing that simplicity for being too safe for the franchise’s first alternate jersey.

Last season, the Thunder introduced their shirt-jersey (“shirsey”). Used exclusively at home, the shirt-jersey finally made use of the OKC moniker, placing it in front of the Thunder shield. The shirt-jersey borrows from the classic-ness of the home whites, but suffers from the fact that it’s a shirt-jersey.

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Throughout the summer, there have been rumors of an orange alternate in the brewing for the Thunder. Uniform hawks began doing their sleuthing and discovered possible rendering of the orange alternates. Finally, three days before training camp began for the Thunder, the team and players started dropping clues through social media. Kyle Singler shared a photo through his Instagram account in Friday morning showing a piece of orange jersey fabric. The Thunder shared an Instagram photo showing an orange jersey with the number 0 on it. Finally, the team shared a photo through all of their medias showing Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, and Nick Collison sporting the new orange alternates.

Brian Byrnes, Thunder senior vice president of Sales and Marketing, stated, “This new uniform not only features another of our primary team colors, it also reinforces the strong connection our team has to our hometown and home state.” The jersey, given the nickname “Sunset”, will have the OKC moniker written on the front in navy blue. The Thunder will debut the jersey at home on November 1ST against the Denver Nuggets, and will wear them 17 more times this upcoming season. They’ll be worn 10 times at home and 8 times on the road.

Sifting through the rubble: A Thunder trading deadline postscript

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From the time I woke up on February 19th to about 1:30 PM CST, I was almost certain that a certain Brooklyn Nets 7-footer would be a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Speculation was abound that the Thunder and Nets had rekindled talks revolving around Brook Lopez, Kendrick Perkins, and Reggie Jackson. All the information leading up to about 12:30 PM CST was that it was basically a done deal and that the Nets were awaiting Oklahoma City’s approval. Then the chatter stopped.

Trades usually come at you one of two ways. The first way is like the trade in which the Thunder acquired Dion Waiters. It comes at you in an instant and you barely have time to react. The second way is like the Brook Lopez (non)trade. You hear the rumors and speculation leading up to the trade, and usually it gets done after that. But sometimes, the chatter stops prompting one of two thoughts: either the teams are working on the specifics of the deal or the deal has completely fallen through. In the case of Brook Lopez, it was the latter.

The rumors started that the Thunder were doing their due diligence and were looking at all their options. Around 1:45 PM CST, Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Reggie Jackson had been traded to the Detroit Pistons. Apparently the Jackson move was the linchpin that was holding everything back in the league. Once Jackson was dealt, all hell broke loose. About 30 players were traded in a 10 minute span leading to the trading deadline. The trade deadline literally napalmed the entire league. And these weren’t end of the bench players. These were former All-Stars, talented players on rookie deals, a former Rookie of the Year, and game-changers. This trade deadline was definitely worth it.

When all the dust settled, four new players were slated to be in Thunder uniforms, while four others became former Thunder players. Here’s an overview of the two deals the Thunder made at the deadline.

Deal 1:

  • Oklahoma City received Enes Kanter and Steve Novak from Utah and DJ Augustin, Kyle Singer, and a 2019 2nd round pick from Detroit.
  • Utah received Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett, the draft rights to Tibor Pleiss, and a 2017 lottery protected 1st round pick from Oklahoma City and a 2017 2nd round pick from Detroit.
  • Detroit received Reggie Jackson

The Jackson deal was actually a 3 team deal that also involved Kendrick Perkins and little used rookie forward Grant Jerrett. Jackson let his intentions be known at the end of last season and at training camp this season, that his main goal was to be a starter in the league. With Russell Westbrook in tow and Oklahoma City’s penchant for starting defensive minded, normal sized SG’s, the Thunder were never in a position to acquiesce to Jackson’s demands. As the trading deadline drew closer, Jackson’s agent, Aaron Mintz, asked the team to trade his client. From all the accounts, the locker room chemistry between Jackson and his teammates (specifically Kevin Durant and Westbrook) was reaching a boiling point of which there would be no returning from. The Thunder had to get a deal done and Detroit (and Utah) offered them the best deal in terms of known commodities.

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I will say this. It was kind of hard to see Perkins go. On a team full of hares, Perkins was the tortoise. I know he was the bane of a lot of Thunder fans’ existences, but his effects on the team will be felt for years to come. He was the big brother on the team and he relished that role. When the younger players (to include Durant and Westbrook) had a bad day, they would usually turn to Perkins for advice. He was the protector of the inner sanctum. Only team members and a select few were allowed in their locker room (I’m looking at you, Joakim Noah). He made the team better defensively (don’t argue, just look up the stats), and toughened them up. Did he have his flaws? Of course. But he also personified the qualities that you and I take into our 9 to 5’s, and I for one, appreciated it.

Deal 2:

  • Oklahoma City received a protected 2016 2nd round pick from New Orleans.
  • New Orleans received Ish Smith, the draft rights to Latavious Williams, a 2015 protected 2nd round pick from Oklahoma City, and cash considerations.

The Thunder made this move to clear a roster spot for the incoming new players. The Thunder could have waived Smith, but his salary would have counted towards their final salary number of the team. With the team already being over the luxury tax, they didn’t want to add to the total amount they would have to pay to the league. Instead, New Orleans stepped in and took on Smith, who was subsequently waived.

When I look at the players the Thunder acquired, one word resonates in my mind: balance. This is the most balanced team the Thunder has ever yielded. You could argue that the 2011-12 team that made it to the NBA Finals was more balanced, but this team is more experienced. In the end, the Thunder lost a good player in Jackson and a team leader in Perkins, but got back so much more in depth and balance. The Thunder got back a true back-up point guard that can shoot, two sharp-shooters, and an offensively adept center that is only 22 years of age. In short, the Thunder got better.