Happy Monday, folks. Hang in there.
Erik Horne on the future of Josh Huestis: “When the Thunder picked up Huestis’ option Oct. 29 for an additional year, guaranteeing his salary through 2017-18, it was a positive for his future with the franchise. Three days later, however, the writing was essentially on the wall for Huestis — at least this season — when the Thunder acquired Jerami Grant via trade Nov. 1. At 6-foot-8, Grant is a hybrid small forward/power forward with shot blocking ability, 3-point range and serious athleticism. Sound familiar?”
Arizona freshman Rawle Alkins worked out for OKC last week: Ahead of this week’s NBA Draft combine, it appears the Thunder has worked out Rawle Alkins out of Arizona. The 6’4″ SG is a borderline 1st Round talent — although I admit I haven’t done my research just yet. NBADraft.net has his NBA comps as “Lance Stephenson/Tyreke Evans” and that’s enough to keep me intrigued.
Tramel’s report card for Steven Adams: “The Thunder can’t use Adams with Enes Kanter against some teams. But against teams that deployed traditional lineups, the ‘Stache Brothers combination was excellent again. Adams and Kanter played together for 397 minutes, spread over 54 games, and outscored opponents by 8.7 points per 48 minutes. With Adams able to defend well outside the paint, the Thunder defense held up with two centers, allowing 106.4 points per 48 minutes. If Kanter is back next season, this is again a valuable combination.”
Adam Joseph on Victor Oladipo’s identity crisis: “The guard’s usage rate dropped, as did his turnover rate to a career best, but his assist percentage also fell to a career low. Part of the battle in his new town was to figure out who is he going to be moving forward. He’d tried various roles in Orlando and none had taken, and it was down to Billy Donovan to find the fit that was going to promote the best of his talents.”
Tramel’s report card for Doug McDermott: “McDermott struggled defensively in his 21 Thunder games. Of the 19 players who suited up for OKC this season, McDermott ranked 19th in three key defensive categories – defensive win shares (0.004, which basically meant McDermott did virtually nothing to help defensively); defensive rating (113.0, which means the Thunder gave up 113 points per 100 possessions with McDermott on the floor); and field-goal percentage defense as the primary defender (57.6 percent field-goal shooting; Kyle Singler gave up 44.3 percent).”
This is interesting:
Odds & Ends
The NBA Draft Combine begins tomorrow in Chicago: Sixty-seven players will be in Chicago for the combine, which features a number of drills and 5-on-5 scrimmages. Jawun Evans out of Oklahoma State will be adding the local flavor to the event.
Mock NBA Draft from Bleacher Report: As of today, B/R has OKC taking Jordan Bell out of Oregon at 21. The 6’9 PF averaged 10.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG & 2.3 BPG for the Ducks last season.
StatMuse takes a look at how removing the handcheck rule allowed for the NBA scoring explosion: “Several of the league-wide highs (or lows, given the specific stat) have been trending steadily since the 2004–05 season, which is the first year the league started enforcing the hand-check rule, which limits any hand/arm contact a defender can make with an opponent on offense.”
Someone hire this kid: