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Monday Bolts – 8.10.09

Monday Bolts – 8.10.09
thunderbolt23The Scores Report looking at teams with cap space in 2010

: “The Thunder are compelling because they have a great young nucleus that includes Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and James Harden. It would be a terrific spot for a big like Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire to go if they are serious about trying to win a championship.”

Basketball Fiend breaking down OKC’s offseason: “Speaking of disappointment, I’m sorely disappointed that Sam Presti didn’t make a play for restricted free agent David Lee this offseason. Lee may not be the defensive presence that Presti is searching for (Lee had a 108 defensive rating last season according to Basketball Reference), but he is a very good defensive rebounder and a classic locker room guy (no, not in a Josh Weinstein-Entourage way). If the price is right (and it is right now), what’s not to like here? The Knicks are low-balling Lee and his agent like crazy right now. Would it kill Presti to jump in and offer three years, $24 million? The Thunder have a payroll under $50 million right now. It’s not like Lee is going to break the bank or put them in luxury tax territory. The move makes sense. What’s preventing this from happening? I want answers! Ultimately, the Thunder didn’t do much this offseason. I like the Harden pick a lot. But when four of your five major offseason acquisitions are Etan Thomas, B.J. Mullens, Kevin Ollie, and Robert Vaden, it’s a disappointing offseason. I give the Thunder a C.”

Brook Lopez talking about who impressed him most at the Team USA mini-camp: “I’d say it would come down to Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose. They are like the two best young players in the world. They definitely showed that at the camp and can take one of the spots on the team.”

Tony Mejia grades the Northwest Division and OKC scored an A-: “Smartest move: Seeing very few pieces they felt would greatly impact the franchise’s future, the Thunder stood pat and maintained their massive allotment of cap space for 2010, where the first order of business will be locking up Kevin Durant to an extension come July 1. It helped make GM Sam Presti look good to see Durant become the talk of Las Vegas at the Team USA minicamp with his dominant play. Jeff Green, also eligible for an extension, has made nice strides, too.”

New rookies got the pictures taken yesterday for trading cards and other things. Click here to see the whole gallery (good pictures of James Harden and Byron Mullens.)


Mike Baldwin looks at actual attendance and money numbers for the Thunder: “But “packing the Ford Center” is misleading. According to NBA turnstile counts published recently on CBSSports.com, Oklahoma City finished 16th in “actual attendance” out of 30 teams. According to NBA turnstile counts, the Thunder averaged 14,415 fans a game. That’s one area the Thunder should improve. One reason why — when the league released the 2009-10 schedule, the Thunder has 22 weekend home games compared to 16 last season … The bottom line: Oklahoma City team chairman Clay Bennett and his ownership group flourished where it counted most — money generated. The Sonics produced only $18.8 million in ticket revenue their final season in Seattle. Last season, the Thunder generated $46.0 million, an average of $1.12 million per game.”

Shoals shares his thoughts on the new Nike ad: “Like Nike needs my help in promoting this ad. But this is so classic, I have to post it. This is that strain of Nike ad-making that fueled the business up until recently, and helped create players as much as they helped create it. “The LeBrons” picked it up briefly, but this confirms what I’d been hearing: That these companies know the demand is there, and have been trying to get back to this. I definitely attribute this to Twitter, though not Obama; not sure how my theory about those two phenomena works when you introduce a third element. Regardless, this is the shit, even if it’s somewhat redolent of past Undrcrwn efforts.”


And if you just LOVED the Hyperizers new “Don’t Criticize, Hyperize” song, you can go here to download it. There’s also some good pictures and other rif-raf there too.

HoopsWorld looking at the stingiest spenders: “Granted, this summer’s spending is not finished, but so far the Charlotte Bobcats, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Wizards have not made a significant free agent signing.”

It appears Linas Kleiza has signed to play next year in Europe: “Den FA forward Linas Kleiza has agreed to a 2-year, $12.2 million with an opt-out next year with Greece Olympiakos, a source told Y! Sports.”

Oh, and if you’re wondering, Durant scored 52 this year at the Goodman League. That’s not 62, but I think it’s still pretty good.