Thunder Media Day begins today at 12:15 PM: Stream it live on the Thunder website or mobile app.
The Thunder has solidified its training camp roster: “The Oklahoma City Thunder signed guards Bryce Alford, Abdul Gaddy, forward K.J. McDaniels and center Richard Solomon, it was announced by Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not released.”
A look at the training camp roster:
Shaun Powell (NBA.com) previews the 2018-19 Thunder season: “With Westbrook, George and Steven Adams soaking up much of the payroll, OKC was limited this offseason. They took Diallo, a springy guard from Kentucky, in the second round. At least there will be a welcome return from defensive ace Andre Roberson, who is expected back from knee surgery. And Schroder, Noel and Luwawu-Cabarrot should figure into the rotation as well. Schroder, the Hawks’ former starting point guard, is the most interesting of the bunch. He gets to the rim about as well as Westbrook and boasts a quick first step and crafty dribble. His shooting, however, is streaky, his defense is suspect and he doesn’t always spot the open man. A bit less intriguing is the energetic Noel. Two years ago, he had a lucrative contract extension on the table from the Mavericks … which Noel refused, electing to take his $4 million qualifying offer to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. But the free-agent market, combined with Noel’s thumb surgery last season, added injury to insult.”
Nick Gallo recaps Sam Presti’s preseason press conference: “With the departure of Carmelo Anthony, there’s a hole open at the starting power forward position, and many fans are wondering what the game plan is for the Thunder at that position. Obvious candidates are veteran forward Patrick Patterson, whose defensive abilities and knack for moving the ball quickly and knocking down three-pointers is a plus. Another option would be Jerami Grant, the springy forward who re-signed long-term with the Thunder this July. The decision will ultimately rest with Head Coach Billy Donovan, who may even elect to go in another direction, or change the lineup based on situation and opponent.”
Bill Haisten (Tulsa World) on the Thunder’s new play-by-play guy: “After having been the radio voice of Southern Cal basketball for eight years, Chris Fisher has been selected by Oklahoma City Thunder officials as the organization’s new television play-by-play announcer. For two hours today, starting at 12:30 p.m., Thunder fans can get their first look at Fisher. He and returning analyst Michael Cage will be involved in live-stream coverage of the Thunder’s Media Day event at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The stream can be viewed on the Thunder’s mobile app. A native of northern California, the 33-year-old Fisher attended Southern Cal. He also has been involved in Trojan football radio broadcasts and has done television work for FS1, the Pac-12 Network, Fox Sports West and Time Warner Cable. He has a background in minor league baseball broadcasting.”
ESPN has the Thunder fifth in its first batch of power rankings: “For the first time in a few years, the season looked pretty straightforward for OKC. There is continuity, there aren’t wandering questions about superstar departures and there’s a team with a clear-cut identity and style. And then Russell Westbrook went and had knee surgery a week and a half before training camp. The half-full outlook is this provides the Thunder a long look at how to play without Westbrook — a constant issue — with new acquisition Dennis Schroder getting plenty of time. The half-empty is Westbrook has to enter the season rusty, catching up on the fly while everyone evaluates his athleticism and well-being. But hey, it wouldn’t be a Thunder season without a little drama, now would it?”
Marcus White (NBC Sports) on Kevin Durant following Russell Westbrook on Instagram: “It appears ex-Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are on better terms. Durant started following the Thunder point guard on Instagram on Saturday. Durant and Westbrook played together for eight seasons in Oklahoma City, but their relationship seemingly turned sour two years ago after Durant joined the Warriors in free agency. Westbrook reportedly wasn’t happy Durant spurned OKC for the Bay Area, and the two jawed at times during various Thunder-Warriors tilts. But the icy relationship seemed to thaw at February’s NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Durant and Westbrook again played for the same team, and it appeared they were enjoying themselves.”
Around the League: Anthony Davis has signed with Klutch Sports…. The T-Wolves and Karl Anthony-Towns agreed to an extension…. Minnesota’s owner hopes to quickly move on from Jimmy Butler…. Every realistic trade scenario for Butler…. The Rockets are interested in acquiring Butler…. Seven questions the preseason will answer.