Man of Many Talents
As per usual, this is the part of the story where we discuss Russell Westbrook’s polarizing style of play. Except…no…maybe we won’t do that this time:
Love it or hate it, this is about as on-brand as Westbrook can get when opening up to the media. I’ll take it.
Schroder & Grant
Dennis Schroder (personal) and Jerami Grant (ankle) both missed Monday’s win over the Trail Blazers. According to Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman, their status remains up in the air ahead of tomorrow night’s game in New Orleans:
Grant sprained his ankle last Saturday in Houston, so giving him another night off ahead of the All-Star break makes sense. As for Schroder, well, his excuse is pretty good too:
Expect another Patrick Patterson start if Grant can’t give it a go, and it’s back aboard the Deonte Burton/Raymond Felton train if Schroder is absent again. I, for one, am ready for such an event if they look anything like they did against the Blazers.
Franchise Scoring List
Fresh off breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s record of consecutive triple-doubles, Russell Westbrook has some more history in his crosshairs. With 18,203 career points, he now needs five more to pass Gary Payton for the all-time leading scorer in Sonics/Thunder franchise history.
Here’s a look at the current top 10 via Basketball Reference:
- Gary Payton: 18,207
- Russell Westbrook: 18,203
- Kevin Durant: 17,566
- Fred Brown: 14,018
- Jack Sikma: 12,034
- Rashard Lewis: 10,251
- Shawn Kemp: 10,148
- Gus Williams: 9,676
- Dale Ellis: 9,405
- Xavier McDaniel: 8,438
Though many Thunder fans openly reject any ties to the SuperSonics organization, this is still a cool bit of history for the Brodie. As for other statistical categories, he’s second to Payton in assists and needs 735 more to take over first place. He’s also third in total rebounds, third in steals, and fifth in three-pointers made.
Quite a career he’s having with the franchise.
Scotty Hopson 10-Day
Per ESPN’s Royce Young, the Thunder are signing Scotty Hopson to a 10-day contract prior to tomorrow’s game in New Orleans:
Hopson is a 6-7 guard that’s averaging 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 25 appearances with the Blue this season. He shoots 55.1 percent from the floor, 34.1 percent from three, and doesn’t figure to be any sort of long term solution to the openings in OKC’s roster. Along with Richard Solomon’s 10-day contract from yesterday, this is likely Sam Presti getting his roster to 14 while he continues monitoring the buyout market.
In any case, here are Hopson’s top plays from the G-League this season:
Kanter to Portland
Scratch one name off the list of buyout possibilities, because Enes Kanter is headed to Portland:
Kanter signed a four-year, $70 million max offer sheet with the Blazers in 2015 — a deal the Thunder ultimately decided to match. Though he’s taken a winding road to get back, he’ll settle in with a Blazers team that can certainly use his scoring contribution off the bench.
As it turns out, OKC was reportedly in on the hunt to acquire his services for the remainder of the year:
The Thunder are 3-0 against the Blazers this season, and will face them for the final time on March 7 in Portland. That will be the third time OKC has seen Kanter in the 2018-19 campaign.
All I got. Enjoy your Wednesday.