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Monday Bolts: 7.24.17

Monday Bolts: 7.24.17

Fred Katz on Ronnie Price’s dead money: “The Oklahoma City Thunder will pay Ronnie Price $2.4 million in 2017-18 not to play for them. The move that got them here isn’t most damaging one general manager Sam Presti ever made, but it’s certainly one of the most inexplicable.”

Nick Collison isn’t sold on retirement after the 2017-18 season: “I don’t know for sure. I know I’m a lot closer to the end than the beginning. It’s hard to ever close a door. You just never know for sure.”

Erik Horne on how Paul George has already changed the Thunder: “Before George even plays a game, his acquisition is being viewed as a win, an addition that changes the Thunder just by having him on the roster. Here’s how.”

Russell Westbrook has been enjoying vacation in Cabo: “Russell Westbrook’s offseason has been busy with award shows from winning the MVP award to being named Best Male Athlete at the ESPYS. But on Friday he got some time to relax. He posted videos on social media of himself singing and dancing on a boat in Cabo San Lucas.”

Katz on Nick Collison embracing family and basketball: “The man many, including Russell Westbrook, call “Mr. Thunder” has earned the nickname. He’s one of two players, along with Westbrook, who has been a member for the Thunder for all 10 years of their existence. He was with the Seattle SuperSonics for five years before that; 15 seasons, all with the same franchise. But the 36-year-old needed approval from one major influence before returning: His 11-year-old daughter, Emma.”

Woj says the Lakers are in full LeBron James & Paul George Mode: “Their job is to make the Lakers a destination place again for the biggest free agents in the game. LeBron is going to be the biggest free agent in the game next year. The Lakers are going to be in full Paul George mode from now until July 1 next year … for LeBron, it’s started, and it started from the day they took over.”

Paul George was dangerously close to being dealt to the Cavs: “The three teams reportedly came to a tentative agreement on June 30 that would have sent George to the Cavaliers. Kevin Love would have headed to the Denver Nuggets. The Pacers would have received wing Gary Harris and several other pieces.”

Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland: “The request came last week and was made to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Irving has said that he wants to play in a situation where he can be more of a focal point and that he no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said. Among several possibilities discussed in Irving’s meeting with the Cavaliers, the San Antonio Spurs were raised as a preferred destination, league sources told ESPN. Irving said he’d also be willing to join the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources said.”

The full story behind Kyrie Irving’s trade request: “Irving was tired of being Robin to James’ Batman. Tired of having another superstar — even one of the best players of all time — in control of his fate. Yes, he had learned from James in the three seasons they’d played together. Yes, he was appreciative. But Irving felt the time had come to take his destiny into his own hands. He wanted to be the centerpiece of a team, as he thought he was going to be three years ago, when he signed a five-year extension 11 days before James decided to come home.”

Kyrie Irving reportedly believes LeBron James leaked the trade request: “According to my sources, they believe LeBron James had everything to do with news getting out that Kyrie Irving wants to be traded, because Kyrie Irving and his representation and others met with the Cavaliers a couple weeks ago, and not a word got out until recently. They believe that LeBron James got word of it and was put off by it and leaked it.”