4 min read

Monday Bolts: 8.27.18

Brett Dawson on Donte Grantham getting an invite to Thunder training camp: “The former Clemson forward on Sunday signed a one-year contract with the Thunder, according to a release from his alma mater. The deal is non-guaranteed, but Grantham is expected to be with the Thunder for training camp. Oklahoma City has 15 players under contracts that are guaranteed for 2018-19 or soon will be. That’s the most allowed at the start of an NBA season. A team can have up to 20 players on its training camp roster. The 6-foot-8 Grantham averaged 14.2 points and 6.9 rebounds as a senior at Clemson, but his season was cut short on Jan. 20 when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Grantham shot 56 percent from the floor and 41.9 percent from 3-point range as a senior.”

Grantham’s highlights from his injury-shortened 2017-18 season:

Brett Dawson with an update on Andre Roberson: “Andre Roberson says he’s a “couple months away” from a return after injury. But he knows it’ll take some time to feel like himself.  Speaking to KABB Fox-29 at his camp last weekend in his native San Antonio, Roberson said he’ll return “when I feel ready” after rupturing his left patellar tendon in January. But he’s targeting the end of the 2018 for a return to normalcy.  “I’m not really putting a particular timeline on it, but I want to come back to myself somewhere in, like, December,” Roberson told the station. “It would be great if it happened before Christmas. That’d be great, but like I said, not putting a timeline on it, just taking it a day at a time.”

Dan Favale (B/R) picks the Thunder as his fifth-biggest title contender in 2018-19: “Still, the Thunder’s defense is enough to land them this high. Roberson’s return is monumental in this regard. Oklahoma City posted a defensive rating south of 95.6 (99th percentile) when he shared the court with George, per Cleaning The Glass. Extra time without Anthony will help that duo pick up where they left off, and the Thunder should have an easier time gumming up offenses wire-to-wire with Nerlens Noel backing up Steven Adams. A healthier Patterson, who underwent knee surgery during the 2017 offseason, could also have a huge impact. Sticking him at the 5 with Grant at the 4 unlocks switch-everything setups. Having Grant log more time at center does the same. And given that Oklahoma City was the lone Western Conference team to post one of the league’s 10 best net ratings against both the Warriors and Rockets, this defensive malleability means a whole lot.”

Cody Taylor (Thunder Wire) on what the Thunder might have planned for Raymond Felton: “As Felton proved to be a good backup for Westbrook last season, it is clear that Schroder is an upgrade at the position as he is a rather similar player to Westbrook as an athletic point guard that can get others involved. Schroder projects to thrive in the uptempo pace that Donovan wants to run and Schroder should provide for a smooth transition from when Westbrook is off of the court. Felton, on the other hand, has proven to be a better shooter than Schroder and that could play a factor in how Donovan elects to set up certain lineups given various situations during games. With Westbrook, Schroder and Felton on the roster now, the Thunder will have plenty of depth at the position heading into next season and that figures to be a good problem to have.”

The NewsOK team pick the best Thunder teams of all-time: “Anthony Slater, former Thunder beat writer. 2015-16: Everything came together during that nine-game mid-playoff stretch, going 4-1 to close out the 67-win Spurs before bolting up 3-1 on the 73-win Warriors. That may be the greatest (or at least most challenging) 7-2 run in league history. The Game 6 meltdown ruined the Thunder’s title hopes. But I’d take that Thunder team, playing that way — mature and desperate — over the others.”

Erik Horne on why the 2012-13 Thunder may be the best: “It’s difficult to argue objectively. But in an era of advanced statistics, one statistic — net rating — has taken precedent as a key tool in measuring a team’s strength. Net rating is a team’s point differential per 100 possessions, or the difference between a team’s points scored per 100 possessions (offensive rating) and points allowed per 100 (defensive rating). Offensive and defensive ratings can have slight variations depending on the source, but using NBA.com’s formula, the Thunder’s 2012-13 team posted the sixth-best regular season net rating of the past 20 years.”

Royce Young spoke with Enes Kanter about trolling and not backing down: “With Durant, of course there was a beef with [Russell] Westbrook when he came back [to Oklahoma City]. In the end I understand it’s a business. This dude went [to Golden State], and in two years he made two All-Stars, two Finals MVPs and two championships. I think our problem with [leaving] the Thunder was how he did it. I don’t think he’ll ever get the respect he wants because of how he did it.”

Around the League: Terry Rozier thinks the Celtics will be truly special…. Milwaukee’s city attorney is supporting the police over the arrest of Sterling Brown…. Nick Young was arrested in Hollywood…. Kobe thinks his die-hards will warm up to LeBron…. Vince Carter says he is ‘nearing the end’…. Maximum cap space for all 30 teams next summer.