Thunder Notebook: 8.13.18
(1) Melo Officially Signs in Houston
Carmelo Anthony has finally signed with the Rockets, officially making it Will Melo Come Off the Bench? season in Houston. Despite his open resentment to the idea of being a reserve in Oklahoma City, it’s apparently possible he accepts a lesser role with his new squad.
“Anthony will have a chance to compete for a starting spot in training camp, but could ultimately come off the bench based on what Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni decides is best for the team.”
So Mike D’Antoni may be the one to tell Melo he’s not a starting-caliber player anymore? Nothing can go wrong there — they’ve historically had a great relationship…
D’Antoni’s remarks via Wojnarowski:
“I don’t know, and that’s something that we’ll have to work out. All I know is that we’ll try different combos — preseason, early season, and the good thing is that with analytics and with gut feelings and coaches and players, we’ll figure out what is the best way to play.”
While it’s possible the Thunder is better off without Anthony on the roster in any capacity, it will be a bit frustrating if he does indeed agree to come off the bench with the Rockets. Had he conceded a starting spot in Oklahoma City, it’s possible he’s still on the roster today. Depending on how the Dennis Schroder experiment works out, perhaps one more season of Melo at $28 million would have been preferable to paying Schroder $15.5 million in each of the next three seasons. Then again, it’s possible Schroder ends up being a fantastic tool in Billy Donovan’s bag. We’ll see on that.
Either way, the Melo drama has moved south for the winter and everyone can now officially move on. To put it bluntly, solving the Carmelo Anthony puzzle is someone else’s issue now. All the best to him and his.
(2) Thunder Signs Tyler Davis to a Two-Way
The Thunder signed undrafted center, Tyler Davis, to a two-way contract. As such, the Thunder is out of two-way slots after using them on Davis and Deonte Burton. With Devon Hall signing in Australia for next season, that makes Kevin Hervey the odd man out — leaving the 57th overall pick in the 2018 Draft with a full-time spot on the Oklahoma City Blue.
Davis (6-10, 265) spent three years at Texas A&M before declaring for the draft, averaging 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks for the Aggies last season. He earned All-SEC honors in each of his seasons in College Station — including a First-Team selection last season. After going undrafted, he spent Summer League with the Brooklyn Nets, putting up 11 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest.
Per NBA rules, two-way players can spend a maximum of 45 days on the main roster and do not count toward the salary cap. In any case, expect him to spend most of next season in the G-League. Probably not much long-term potential with this signing.
Davis’ highlights from last season’s Sweet 16 win over North Carolina:
(3) Remembering Layne Murdoch
Longtime Thunder photographer, Layne Murdoch, passed away over the weekend after a fight with cancer. The Thunder organization honored him on Facebook with a collection of his best shots:
While I didn’t know Murdoch personally, it’s impossible to do this sort of thing and not be extremely familiar with his work. He was, by all accounts, an exceptional human being and someone that made a sizable impact in the Thunder community. As far as the photos are concerned — well, they will continue to speak for themselves.
Quite a legacy. His talent will be deeply missed.
(4) Westbrook on PG’s return, fashion inspiration, etc
Russell Westbrook is currently touring Asia with Jordan Brand and spent some time speaking with Coral Lu of ESPN China. Nothing truly groundbreaking here but….it’s August.
First Song for Your Mixtape
At the halfway point between the end of the Finals and the start of next season, the NBA shared Russell Westbrook’s 2017-18 “mixtape” today on Twitter. While we’ll argue about his ability, effectiveness, and style of play until the end of eternity, I don’t know if there’s anyone more capable of filling up a highlight reel.
That was fun. Just 64 more days until the start of next season.
That’s it. Enjoy the rest of your Monday.