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Friday Bolts: 11.16.18

Rob Goldberg (B/R) on the Thunder’s rumored interest in Kyle Korver: “According to Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box, the Cavaliers are asking for a first-round pick in return for the sharpshooter. The general belief is reportedly that “no team will likely agree to the Cavs’ asking price.” The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the top candidates for a possible trade, with a deal potentially including former Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova. The Bucks could add a young player like Thon Maker, D.J. Wilson or Christian Wood to complete the deal. Otherwise, the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder could also be interested in trading for Korver. Each of these teams has high expectations for 2018-19 and could use an experienced floor-spacer to add depth to the rotation, especially one who’s a career 43.1 percent three-point shooter.”

Grant Hughes (B/R) has the Thunder fifth in his latest power rankings: “Behind a defense that looks more elite by the day, the Oklahoma City Thunder won two of their three games this past week—albeit against one of the softest schedules imaginable: at Dallas and then home for Phoenix and New York. Still, for a club that’s operating without Russell Westbrook, who’s sidelined with a sprained ankle, any win is a good one. Steven Adams has been terrific, hitting the Mavs for 20 points and 13 boards, then following that with 18 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks against the Suns. On Wednesday, he put up 19 points, six rebounds and five assists on 9-of-13 shooting. It just doesn’t stop with this guy. Adams’ rebound, assist and steal percentages are all at career-best levels, and this makes it five straight seasons in which Adams has increased his scoring average and player efficiency rating. OKC ranks second in defensive efficiency, and this recent tightened-up stretch shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Thunder have defended better without Westbrook on the floor all year.”

Erik Horne (Oklahoman) on the rhythm of Paul George: “After a slow shooting start to the season, George is back to his rhythmic best of offense. But the other areas he excels in have been ever-present in the Thunder’s 9-5 start to the season. Through 14 games, George is averaging career highs in rebounds (7.6), assists (4.6) and steals (2.5). His rebounding and assist numbers have increased to 9.2 and 5.0 per game, respectively, in the past five games without Russell Westbrook. Even after Westbrook went down with a sprained left ankle, however, George had a mission on his mind. Following a season in which George admitted he wasn’t happy with how he was helping on rebounds, the five-time All-Star has put more focus into getting on the glass.”

Jarrel Harris (SI) on Paul George’s road to a signature Nike sneaker: “George’s road to becoming a signature sneaker star has not been easy. He rose to stardom after making the most of an opportunity in his third season when All-Star small forward Danny Granger injured his knee and missed the majority of the season. George instantly developed into one of the NBA’s best two-way players and became a cornerstone for an Indiana Pacers team in desperate need of one. George was named an All-Star and returned the next season better than ever, leading the Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals in a classic duel vs. LeBron James and the Miami Heat. The Pacers fell in six games, but George entered the offseason as a lock to represent the country at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.  Then he suffered a severe leg injury in a Team USA scrimmage after attempting to contest a layup by James Harden. George returned to the court eight months later, after being declared out for the season. He was determined to play and appeared in six games. It was during this period that Nike saw his potential as a spokesman. The company saw fans gravitate toward him and players rally around him during his recovery.”

PG in the latest Foot Locker spot:

Another interesting bit from SI’s Paul George piece: “Honestly, I think I have some of the biggest partners being in a small market,” said George, “and I think it doesn’t really matter, you can accomplish anything if you have the right people around you and be driven. Every partner that I wanted, I can mark off my list as the partners I want to be with, and I made it that happen playing out of Indiana.” George also has no problem sharing the spotlight with Westbrook, who has emerged as a fashion icon off the court. “Nah, not at all,” said George. “Because we are two different people. The stuff he likes doesn’t necessarily pertain to me and vice versa. We have two different identities so it doesn’t really interfere or cause any problems.”

In case you’re full of bad ideas:

Around the League: Carmelo Anthony is officially done in Houston…. The Puerto Rican national team hopes to lure Melo…. How Houston took a step back in their pursuit of the Warriors…. KD is done talking about Draymond Green…. More details from the KD/Draymond incident…. The Western Conference playoff race is going to be wild…. Recapping last night’s NBA action.