Fast Break Rumblings
How about some random Royce ruminations for this lovely Thursday afternoon?
- We’re all kind of wrapped up in the upcoming draft and what Oklahoma City will do. I understand. It’s kind of a big deal. But for some reason, I wondered to myself recently (very quietly, mind you): Whatever happened to DeVon Hardin? So with the help of this really cool thing called the Internet, I found out. Hardin was the 50th overall pick in the 2008 draft, but didn’t make the team. Though he wasn’t signed to a contract, the Thunder still owns the rights to him. Hardin suffered a stress fracture in his right foot in late 2008 and was released by the Turkish team Mersin BB for not recovering properly from it. He was then signed in February by Egaleo AO, a team in the Greek league and played in 11 games, averaging 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever see him, but he’s 6-11, extremely well built and very athletic. He just doesn’t have the whole, “good basketball player” thing down.
- Watching the Lakers literally turn it on in the fourth quarter was like watching Mine That Bird wait in the back and then kick it into high gear to win the Derby. They waited, sitting calmly in the middle of the pack, even letting Denver stretch out a little lead. Then when it was time, they got spurred and boom! they erupted to take the lead. Really something to watch. Bold prediction: The Lakers finish off the Nuggs in Denver this weekend.
- Since everybody is making ridiculous trades, how about Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook for the No. 1, 2 and 3 picks so that OKC can take Blake Griffin, Ricky Rubio and James Harden. Just wipe the slate clean and start over with a new Big Three. But seriously, all this trade talk is getting a little ridiculous. Every writer in every market is throwing out outlandish deals that brings Griffin to OKC. And the worst part is, just because someone has a “bright” idea, it then gets regurgitated as a “trade rumor,” when it was nothing more than just talk. But I’ll admit, I spent a solid 30 minutes on the Trade Machine today wheeling and dealing. I don’t plan on posting a trade speculation column, but I’m not making any promises. Ah, who I am kidding – get ready for one. Probably next week. Try not to hate me.
- At this point, I don’t think we’re that far off from someone suggesting Earl Watson straight up for Blake Griffin. People are just nuts with this stuff. On one end they want WAY too much (see: Ted Green of the LA Times) and on the other, they are talking about a bag of rocks for the top pick (see: local sports talk radio callers and hosts).
- Speaking of trade talk, yesterday when I saw the proposed trade by D.J. Foster of Clipperblog that included Thabo Sefolosha, I was actually kind of mad at it. Trade Thabo? NO WAY! My initial reaction to seeing Thabo’s name in a trade told me that I think he’s more untouchable in my mind than Jeff Green. Is that weird? Or maybe crazy? There’s just something I really like about Thabo and I highly enjoy employing a nasty defensive stopper. Obviously, Uncle Jeff is a better player and a much better asset, but I guess I’m just trying to say I’d rather not trade Thabo Sefolosha.
- Let’s say for fun that Blake Griffin decided to go back for his junior year and that Rubio couldn’t get his contract thingy settled. Who is the top pick? I think most would say Hasheem Thabeet, but seriously, Hasheem Thabeet No. 1 overall? Would it be the big guy or would someone else sneak in? And would this be the worst draft (on paper) ever? No clear-cut prize, no intriguing prospect and just a bunch of solid players. I actually could see someone like Demar DeRozen or Brandon Jennings jumping up to one, just because of their upside. We will never know, but this didn’t stop me from thinking about it.
- Is there anyone more normal, yet awkward looking than Pau Gasol? He’s got these freakishly long dangly arms, the poofy hair and it seems like he’s always puckering his lips because his mouth sticks out for some reason. It’s like he’s got a cantaloupe slice stuffed in his upper lip. He moves extremely well for a big man, but yet, he looks a tad bit uncoordinated at the same time. I don’t know what the deal is, but I almost can’t enjoy watching him play because of this.
- HoopsWorld speculated that Joe Smith may want to come back to OKC next year and may sign here in the offseason. While I’m not sure there’s going to be a spot for him, I’d welcome him back with open arms. I think you’re always better off with a savvy veteran. There’s a reason teams were after him this season – he’s a good player and a good leader. Every young team needs guys like this and Joe Smith is an excellent person to help tutor the Thunder’s young guys.
- Nick Collison’s Twitter is extremely entertaining. If you’re not following it or at least checking it, you should be. All the cool kids are. I’ll admit, I don’t really understand what Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are saying half the time, but Nick is throw out some nice one-liners. My favorite: “Visiting grandma in the nursing home…saw a little kid in the hall….or is it ben button?” He’s got some classics in there.
- Seeing as my pop is going to be participating in the Ford Center renovation by handling the masonry, what kind of special “touch” can the readers of Daily Thunder put on the new building? Someone already suggested burying a Sonics jersey in there for good luck (but I guess that could be taken two ways… hmm). Any other ideas?