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Monday Bolts: 6.19.17

Monday Bolts: 6.19.17

John Helsey on the Thunder being tempted by Oklahoma State PG Jawun Evans: “That would be great, being back in Oklahoma, a place that was really good to me,” Evans said about the possibility of playing in Oklahoma City. “I enjoyed the time I was there. If that happened, I’d be excited for it.”

Bleacher Report has the Thunder taking UCLA’s TJ Leaf at 21 in their latest mock draft

Brett Dawson on how TJ Leaf fits in OKC: “At 6-foot-10, Leaf can finish at the rim. He can knock down a mid-range jumper. And he’s shown he can stretch the floor from behind the 3-point line.“I’m able to score on three levels, which a lot of bigs are not able to do,” Leaf said at the combine. “I think I can do it consistently as well, and I think that’s becoming a premium in the NBA.” It’s at a premium in Oklahoma City, where the Thunder holds the No. 21 pick and where 3-point shooting from the four spot was a rarity in 2016-17.”

The City of Oklahoma City took a shot at Kevin Durant with its SnapChat account: “Kevin Durant is an MVP, a finals MVP and now an NBA champion. He is also at the bottom of several blue bins across Oklahoma City. The City of Oklahoma City Instagram account posted this photo below of Durant on the cover of Sports Illustrated celebrating his first NBA title with a reminder to recycle your magazines, including the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated.”

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern discusses the Sonics’ exit from Seattle: “Demasio pressed Stern on e-mails that later came out showing Bennett and co-owners Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward had privately intended to move the team to Oklahoma City while publicly stating they wanted to keep it in Seattle. “I don’t remember the specific e-mails,” Stern said. “I was satisfied as commissioner that he was making a good-faith effort, and he would’ve been held to it if he was successful.”

Russell Westbrook celebrated his first Father’s Day yesterday:

Paul George let the Pacers know he is leaving next summer/wants to be a Laker: “All-Star forward Paul George has informed the Indiana Pacers that he plans to become a free agent in the summer of 2018 and will leave the franchise – preferably for the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told The Vertical. George hasn’t requested a trade before he can opt out of his 2018-19 contract, but did have his agent, Aaron Mintz, tell new Indiana president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard that he wanted to be forthright on his plans and spare the franchise any confusion about his intentions, league sources told The Vertical.”

The Pacers reportedly approached the Cleveland Cavaliers about a potential Paul George trade: “The Cavs are willing to enter into trade talks for George without any assurances he will commit to a long-term deal in Cleveland, a source familiar with the Cavs’ thinking told ESPN. Cleveland is confident its championship culture and overall atmosphere could sway George to want to stay after playing out the 2017-18 season. That said, there are only two assets the Cavs possess that would likely grab the Pacers’ attention in a potential swap (operating under the assumption that LeBron James is untouchable): Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.”

Paolo Uggetti on the Paul George Free-Agency Leak Ripple Effect: “George just pulled the NBA free-agency version of a backhanded compliment. Giving the Pacers a heads-up about how you plan to not sign with them so that they can scramble to find a solution doesn’t seem that helpful for the team, but it’s certainly better than George leaving them for nothing. As a small-market club with a questionable future, they have no choice but to comply and cooperate.”

Chris Mannix on how Danny Ainge put his legacy on the line when he traded the #1 pick in Thursday’s draft: “Is a blockbuster, player-heavy deal in the offing? As of now, league sources told The Vertical that isn’t the case. Boston – everyone, really – would love to get its hands on Anthony Davis. But Davis is tied to a manageable contract through 2021, and the Pelicans appear committed to giving the Davis-DeMarcus Cousins pairing a full season together. Jimmy Butler? Boston’s already overflowing chest of assets should have been enough for the Celtics to make a competitive offer. Paul George? With no guarantee of re-signing, any offer, Boston’s included, will be quarters on the dollar. So what gives? Theories abound. Clearly, Ainge wasn’t as impressed with Fultz as others. But why?”