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Friday Bolts: 7.20.18

Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) on Carmelo Anthony being traded to Atlanta for Dennis Schroder: “Along with Anthony and his $27.9 million expiring contract, the Thunder will send a 2022 protected first-round pick to the Hawks for guard Dennis Schroder and forward Mike Muscala. The 2022 first-round pick is protected 1-14 and becomes two second-round picks if not conveyed in that first year, league sources said. The Thunder will then send Muscala to the 76ers for forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Philadelphia will send guard Justin Anderson to Atlanta, league sources said. Schroder comes to the Thunder for a desired need: another fast, playmaking point guard for a revved-up bench behind All-Star guard Russell Westbrook. OKC general manager Sam Presti and coach Billy Donovan were given permission to speak with Schroder before the agreement, and the three of them discussed his role with Oklahoma City.”

Jon Hamm (B/R) on the Thunder’s identity taking shape after moving on from Melo: “The Thunder have been preaching pace this offseason. OKC had been a top-10 team in possessions per game since 2011-12. It fell to 15


last year, and while Anthony’s style contributed, he’s not alone. Backup point guard Raymond Felton played with a pace of 95.7 possessions per game in 2017-18, well below the 101.2 Russell Westbrook put up. Though OKC re-signed Felton, he may have to scoot down another seat on the bench. Schroder will inherit the bench-scorer role the likes of James Harden, Reggie Jackson and Dion Waiters previously filled. The offense shouldn’t come to a jarring halt when the former MVP takes a breather. Schroder was just behind Westbrook last season in generating points out of pick-and-rolls, according to Synergy.”

Jenni Carlson (NewsOK) introduces the newest members of the Thunder: “Last September, Schroder was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge. Video shows him initiating contact with a victim, who suffered serious injuries. Earlier this year, the DeKalb County District Attorney recommended Schroder and three others be prosecuted for felony aggravated battery. The case is still in the hands of the district attorney’s office. … On March 20, Schroder scored a career-high 41 points against Utah, a defense well-known to Thunder fans. … Schroder played this summer for the German national team in FIBA European qualifying. … His father was German, his mother Gambian. … He skateboarded seriously until he was 11. … The blond patch in the front of his hair is bleached, a look he first adopted when he was 18. … Last name is pronounced SHROO-derr. … Twitter handle is @DennisMike93.”

Bryan Kalbosky (HoopsHype) on Schroder being one of last season’s top isolation scorers: “Last season, Schroeder averaged 1.09 points per possession on isolation-based plays. Among those with over 100 opportunities, he had the highest field goal percentage (48.9 percent) in the NBA. Schroeder scored on 50.9 percent of the 216 plays he ran in isolation, which was the second-highest percentage in the league behind only MVP James Harden. It’s interesting to see that Schroeder was so efficient in isolation because he was most often used as the ball-handler in a pick-and-roll offense. Atlanta ran one-on-one plays on just 5.6 percent of their possessions, which ranked No. 23 in the NBA. However, the Thunder ranked second in isolation-offense plays, trailing only the Houston Rockets. Last year, Schroeder had 3.2 isolation-based plays per game. That’s particularly noteworthy because Carmelo Anthony, who’s no longer on the team, had 3.1 such plays per game last season.”

Dennis Schroder took to Instagram and seems excited about the deal: And it looks like he PhotoShopped it himself.

Berry Tramel on Dennis Schroder and his willingness to play the Reggie Jackson role: “The Thunder’s best-case scenario might be to trade Schroder, who will make $15.5 million each of the next three seasons. With this trade, the Thunder saves about $60 million on the coming season tax bill, but if Schroder stays in OKC, stout tax bills will become the norm. And if Schroder remains in Thunder blue, Donovan will have more weapons. And more problems. Schroder is like most NBA point guards. He wants the ball in his hands. That’s problematic on a team with Russell Westbrook, not to mention trusty Raymond Felton. Will Schroder be a good soldier and run a second unit that could become a high-wire act, with the likes of Jerami Grant, Nerlens Noel and Terrance Ferguson? Even if Alex Abrines is out there, that group can’t shoot a lick, but if they beat opponents downcourt, they can dunk their way to a bushel of points. And a bushel of points is recommended, since Schroder is a defensive liability.”

Cody Taylor (Thunder Wire) on Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot’s favorite NBA player: “Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, acquired from the 76ers in the three-team trade involving Carmelo Anthony, says he is excited about the opportunity to play for the Thunder. As it turns out, he actually might be more happy to play with Paul George. The 76ers traded Luwawu-Cabarrot to the Thunder in the three-team trade and they also traded Justin Anderson to the Hawks. In return, the 76ers received Mike Muscala from the Hawks. Luwawu-Cabarrot is a bit of a footnote in this trade as acquiring Dennis Schroder from the Hawks is the headline for the Thunder, but Luwawu-Cabarrot is a young wing player that could help the team down the line.”

Haley O’Shaugnessy (Ringer) on the Thunder making the most of Melo’s exit: “Schröder is a considerable upgrade over Ray Felton, Russell Westbrook’s primary backup last season. Schröder led the Hawks in scoring last season with 19.4 points, and started virtually every game he’s played in for the past two seasons. Coming off the bench may be an adjustment for the 24-year-old, but if he accepts the role, Westbrook might actually be able to catch his breath for more than two possessions. Luwawu-Cabarrot is also intriguing, given the dearth of reliable shooting on the Thunder’s depth chart. The 24th overall pick in 2016 hasn’t lived up to his reputation as a plus shooter in his two seasons in Philadelphia, having shot 32.3 percent from 3 over 121 career games. Patellar tendinitis and inconsistency decelerated his sophomore campaign, but TLC could become a part of the Thunder’s rotation.”

Jonathan Feigen (Houston Chronicle) on Melo being one step closer to Houston: “The Rockets moved a step closer to realizing their long quest to land Anthony on Thursday when the Oklahoma City Thunder dealt him to the Atlanta Hawks, who intend to waive Anthony to make him a free agent. That move could lead to the Rockets landing Anthony as a free agent to team him with former Olympic teammates James Harden and Chris Paul and reunite him with Mike D’Antoni, his coach in New York for parts of two often difficult seasons. Anthony would have to clear waivers to sign with the Rockets, but he could reach an agreement at any time, having met with officials from the Rockets and Miami Heat. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, vice president Gersson Rosas, owner Tilman Fertitta, D’Antoni and Paul, long a friend of Anthony’s, met with Anthony in Las Vegas this month. An individual with knowledge of the meeting said the Rockets remain optimistic they will be able to sign Anthony, though he is also considering a move to Miami, where he could play with another friend, Dwyane Wade, assuming Wade re-signs with the Heat.”

Steven Adams has a new comic book out: And it looks awesome.

Around the League: The calculated risk of the Toronto Raptors…. Can the Spurs ease DeMar DeRozan’s angst over the trade?…. What to make of the post-Kawhi-trade NBA…. Understanding the goals of both teams in the Kawhi/DeRozan deal…. Marcus Smart is staying in Boston…. Gordon Hayward is confident in the post-LeBron East…. Jabari Parker isn’t here to play defense…. Jayson Tatum and the improvement on young passers.