3 min read

Thursday Bolts – 2.23.17

Thursday Bolts – 2.23.17

Here’s some complete nonsense from The Big Lead: “While it will depress some Indiana

fans, Brad Stevens is almost certainly not leaving the Boston Celtics, but rumors suggest Donovan might be looking to head back to college. He went to Oklahoma City for the opportunity to coach Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and one of those guys is gone now. With Westbrook dominating the ball, any semblance of an offensive system has gone out the window and despite his dominant statistics, the Thunder currently sit in seventh place in the Western Conference. While the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors exist in their current forms, the Thunder have no shot at playing for a championship. Donovan has to be keenly aware of that fact.”

Sam Amick of USA Today: “Paul George wants to stay in Indiana. But like so many things this time of year, when the phones are ringing off the hook in NBA offices as the trade deadline nears, the situation between the four-time All-Star and his Indiana Pacers is racked with nuance. So when George met with team owner Herb Simon in recent days and told him that the Hoosier state was still the place for him, how he would love nothing more than to eventually go down as the greatest Pacer of them all, it came with one qualifier. If they can contend for a title. According to a person with knowledge of the meeting who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, that is the crossroads that Pacers president Larry Bird now faces. If the Thursday deadline comes and goes and the Pacers roster remains the same, the pressure rises in a significant way.”

OKC is after Taj Gibson? And no longer after Wilson Chandler?

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Teams are calling about PG13. They want him. Boston, Denver, among others would throw the farm (or translated to Celtics’ terms, Avery Bradley and a second-rounder) at Bird to get him. But it would surprise most people around the league if Bird pulled the trigger. This is what the DeMarcus Cousins trade has done: There is no “never” anymore. And while in times of chaos, NBA teams tend to head for the bunker and wait for things to stabilize, there’s also a great deal of assets on the market for someone willing to pick up the phone with a true superstar like George.”

Enes Kanter returned to practice yesterday.

Shouts out to Mayor Mick.

Erik Horne: “At the end of ESPN’s Around the Horn on Monday, legendary sports writer Bob Ryan was the winner of the four-man duel for points, earning him the show’s closing words on its “Face Time” segment. Ryan had something to say about Thunder assistant Maurice Cheeks. Ryan, who’s covered the NBA since the 1960s, vouched for Cheeks to be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame.”

Reggie Jackson is getting shopped.

Erik Horne: “It’ll also be the first day of free agency, and Westbrook is one of a handful of players eligible for the new CBA’s “Designated Veteran” exception in which he could earn a reported $219 million over five additional seasons, a total and length of deal no team but the Thunder can offer. His current contract expires in the summer of 2018, when he has a player option to play for $30 million in 2018-19. Westbrook’s decision this summer could gauge how the Thunder approaches the 2018 trade deadline, as Westbrook will be entering a Kevin Durant-esque scenario, able to hit the free agency market in 2019. It’s a lot of projection, but important. Equally as important is the development of the current roster, tied for the fourth-youngest in the NBA (average age: 25.6).”