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Thursday Bolts: 11.2.17

Thursday Bolts: 11.2.17

Brett Dawson on the Thunder letting another trade exception expire: “At 11 p.m. central on Wednesday, the Thunder’s deadline passed for using a trade exception it acquired last November. The exception was a product of the trade Oklahoma City made last fall to acquire Jerami Grant in exchange for Ersan Ilyasova. The Thunder received a $7.4 million exception in that deal and used part of it on Doug McDermott in the February trade that brought McDermott and Taj Gibson to OKC.”

Russell Westbrook was credited with a triple-double in Tuesday’s win over Milwaukee: “The NBA awarded Westbrook a tenth assist on Thursday morning, after failing to credit him with the dime on a first quarter lob to Steven Adams. Westbrook now has four triple-doubles on the season, 83 for his career, and is 0.1 rebounds per game away from averaging a triple-double here in the early season.”

Jack Maloney (CBS) on Raymond Felton being a perfect fit with the Thunder: “While Felton shooting a whopping 55 percent from behind the arc certainly wasn’t expected — and most certainly isn’t going to continue — the fact that he’s having the best shooting season of his career isn’t all that surprising. Not only did he put in the work before arriving in OKC, but his attempts are pretty much all wide open because of the attention that Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George draw.”

Ben Golliver (SI) on why the Thunder should consider trading Paul George before the deadline: “Trading George before the deadline would represent an abrupt change of direction, it would generate real public blowback, it would throw Anthony’s future into question, and it would require another round of patience from Westbrook. But if Oklahoma City hasn’t climbed firmly into the West’s top three seeds by February, Presti should move George and launch his next retooling plan with haste. Oklahoma City’s payroll is too big and its risk exposure to a George departure is too great to settle for a second-round exit, especially if Presti could pry Brooklyn’s first-round pick from Cleveland.”

Tim Bontemps (WaPo) on why strong play from Oladipo & Sabonis doesn’t change the Paul George trade: “The Indiana Pacers are off to a 5-3 start, including Wednesday’s 124-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, sparking a rush in some quarters to revise history about the Paul George trade. So let’s start by saying this: Acquiring Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis this summer was not good value for George, even though he was entering the final year of his contract and had expressed his desire to play elsewhere. That said, this year’s Pacers could be better than most — including this writer — expected them to be.”

Erik Horne with three positives from the Thunder offense thus far: “On Tuesday, as the ball pinged from player to player and the pick-and-roll lob game opened up for monster dunks from Steven Adams, it evoked images of the last time the Thunder ripped off back-to-back road wins by those margins: Jan. 1, 2016 – a game in Charlotte where OKC showed the glimmers of its devastating offensive potential. “That first half, that’s how I would love to see us play,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Tuesday. “I feel like when we play like that, the floor’s so spaced it takes advantage of all those guys.”

Matthew Hallett (Behind The Bucks) on why Milwaukee should trade for Josh Huestis: “When Huestis was drafted back in 2014, he was taken by the Thunder based on his defense. He has a tremendous vertical leap as shown by the two massive blocks in the preseason game against Melbourne United. It was these two blocks that allowed the Thunder to hold on against a very plucky United team. However, Huestis has added more than that to his game. From 3-point range, Huestis has shot a respectable 39 percent for his career. While the sample size is small, there is a definite edge to Huestis’ game. He also possesses an athleticism that will fit really well on this Bucks team.”

The Thunder organization is continuing its tradition of holiday giving: “This season, Holiday Assist will start with the Thunder Cares Food Drive, presented by Whataburger at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Friday, Nov. 3. Fans attending the Thunder vs. Boston Celtics game that night are asked to make a donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. While supplies last, all fans who donate will receive a coupon for free Whataburger. For every $5 donated, fans will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Thunder team-autographed basketball or free Whataburger for a year.”

Around the League: Gordon Hayward describes his opening night injury…. Kyrie Irving says the darndest things…. Tony Parker is re-joining the Spurs…. Golden State reportedly declined Steph Curry’s request for a no-trade clause…. The Cavs appear to actually be struggling this season.