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Monday Bolts: 7.10.17

Monday Bolts: 7.10.17

The Thunder signed Ray Felton as backup PG: “Free-agent point guard Raymond Felton has reached an agreement with the Oklahoma City Thunder, league sources told ESPN on Friday. According to sources, Felton’s new pact is a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum. The 33-year-old veteran averaged 6.7 points and 2.4 assists as a member of the LA Clippers during the 2016-17 season.”

James Harden signed a “super max” extension — Russell Westbrook’s could be even larger: “In addition to Westbrook’s $28.5 million salary in 2017-18, he’d receive an estimated $207 million over the length of the extension (until the 2022-23 season), which would amount to more than $235 million – and an average salary of $39.2 million, which would be a U.S. professional sports record. Like Harden’s annual salary, Westbrook’s is subject to change based on future salary cap projections.”

Fred Katz traces Westbrook’s competitiveness back to UCLA: “Westbrook didn’t say much. He just borrowed someone else’s playing shoes, not an easy task for someone who wears a size 15, didn’t bother to change his clothes and went to work on the guy. “Russell grabbed those shoes and went on him and just abused whoever this was talking,” Abdul-Hamid said. He was dunking on him. Sinking shots. The competition didn’t know what or who he was up against.”

Brett Dawson on how OKC’s new additions provide much-needed shooting: “George shot 41.7 percent on wide-open 3-pointers last season. Patterson made 39.2 percent of his. Their shooting should make a difference in how teams defend OKC. Oklahoma City’s most-used starting lineup last season – Westbrook, Oladipo, Steven Adams, Roberson and Sabonis – combined to make 423 3-pointers. The players projected to start this season – Westbrook, Roberson, Adams, George and Patterson – made 534 in 2016-17.”

Erik Horne discusses what it is that Paul George wants: “In June, George’s agent, Aaron Mintz, was upfront with Indiana about his client’s intention to leave the Pacers to become a free agent in 2018. George, a native of Palmdale, Calif., prefers to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Oklahoma City is not Los Angeles. But it’s also not the summer of 2018 yet. The acquisition of George will invigorate the Thunder’s lineup and chances at advancing in the postseason.”

Westbrook had a good time at his OKC camp last week: “Russell Westbrook nailed a half-court shot and threw down a dunk to the joy of kids who attended his basketball camp in Oklahoma City on Friday. The one of the half-court shot is the best. The kids chant “HALF-COURT SHOT” until Westbrook makes it, and then they followed that up with an “MVP” chant that the league MVP is used to hearing.”

Westbrook received “MVP” chants at the BIG3 League in Tulsa yesterday: “As soon as Russell Westbrook started walking toward his courtside seat at the BIG3 3-on-3 professional league Sunday, the crowd at the BOK Center roared with approval. “Russ is here,” NBA Hall of Famer and Ghost Ballers coach George Gervin said later in the bowels of the BOK Center. “I heard it.”

Allen Iverson showed love to the MVP: “He’s my favorite player in the league. I have a lot of respect and admiration for the guy. I think the MVP was well-deserved — I called it early in the season.”

Kenyon Martin likes the Russ & PG pairing/Stephen Jackson took a shot at Andre Roberson: “I can come off the bench and give you a good 15-20 minutes right now. And I guarantee you — I won’t be like Roberson. They won’t be Hack-a-Shaqin the small forward. I’ll make my free throws.”