Happy Friday, friends. We made it. If you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo all day this evening, please take care of yourselves.
Erik Horne on what Andre Roberson will get from OKC/the open market: “The salary cap spike of $70 million in 2015 to $94.1 million in 2016 saw free agent contract values increase across the league. With the salary cap set to jump again to $101 million, it’s a difference which could benefit Roberson as he hits restricted free agency this summer.”
OKC met with SG Billy Yakuba Ouattara as recruit to Thunder Summer League team: Yakuba is a 25-year-old shooting guard and currently playing in France for AS Monaco. He was a French League All-Star in 2017.
Kevin Love on rooming with Russell Westbrook in college: “We had thermostat battles,” Love said. “He was doing 74, 75 degrees, wake up in the middle of the night, turn that thermostat up. And for me, I’m like 68 [degrees]. But, you know, that little bit of heat really makes a difference.”
FanRag – Why the haters need to rein in their criticism of Russell Westbrook: “The most popular criticism of Westbrook’s game is… his game. The Russ mentality. Or, using 41.7 percent of your team’s possessions – essentially doing the work of two players – when on the floor, while shooting any shot you damn well please. Yes, Westbrook would be better if he shot fewer threes. Yes, Westbrook would be better if he didn’t attempt a few of his wild drives and lay-ins. And no, these critiques shouldn’t diminish the impact he has on his team. Like before, this is looking at a Picasso painting and thinking the color is off in one spot.”
Tramel with the Domas Sabonis report card: “Meshing with Russell Westbrook is a key to Thunder success, and Sabonis struggled more than most. Sabonis played 1,241 minutes with Westbrook, fourth-most on the team, but OKC averaged outscoring opponents just 1.4 points per 48 minutes in that time. That’s the same as Lauvergne.”
My piece on Russell Westbrook’s extension and life continuing either way: “But if the key to busting out of the loop is in Westbrook’s hands, there is an underlying truth here that is often overlooked. The future will be brighter in Oklahoma City should he ultimately decide to stay — but the same can be said if he chooses to leave.”
UFC Fight Night will be at the ‘Peake on June 25 and tickets go on sale today at 10AM. Johnny Hendricks is on the card and was hanging out in OKC yesterday. I assume Rumble showed up for a fight, but left with just a t-shirt when Johnny failed to make weight. (Don’t break me, Johnny. Love that jersey, by the way.)
Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kelly Olynyk had some Kelly O on Kelly O violence last night in DC. Quite a dramatic flop from Olynyk, leading to Oubre’s ejection.
Big Baller Brand released Lonzo Ball’s first signature shoe. It’s called the “ZO2 Prime” and will retail for FOUR HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE DOLLARS.
Too rich for my blood. I may have to settle for the $220 sandals. Have a good weekend, folks.