4 min read

Thursday Bolts: 5.31.18

Tyler Conway (B/R) on the Rockets reportedly being interested in Paul George: “If the Houston Rockets don’t land LeBron James, they may already have another target in mind. Kelly Iko of Rockets Wire reported Wednesday that Houston has interest in signing Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George in free agency. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey reportedly pursued George via trade last summer before the Indiana Pacers sent him to Oklahoma City, per Iko. George, 28, is likely the best obtainable free agent on the market other than James. Kevin Durant seems destined to stay with the Golden State Warriors, and Chris Paul is almost certain to re-sign with the Rockets after coming within a game of the NBA Finals for the first time in his career.”

Nick Gallo on Billy Donovan searching for consistency over the summer: “As he does every summer, Donovan will evaluate his own strategy and decision-making, as well as monitoring league trends. But a core part of his offseason focus will be on the pesky factor that marked the Thunder’s entire season: consistency. There were bouts of sluggish play, times when the ball got stuck on offense and defensive rotations broke down on defense. Yet there were also soaring bursts of elite performance like the stretch of 12 wins in 15 games in December or the 8-game winning streak Donovan’s team ripped off in January where the club showed how dominant it could be when clicking. The lack of consistency was not about the x’s and o’s, lineups or rotations, but rather the focus, attention to detail and ability to repeatedly commit to the same tasks on a possession-by-possession basis for all 48 minutes. Some nights the Thunder had it. Others it didn’t. This summer, that’s a problem Donovan is going to take charge on trying to solve.”

Fred Katz on Nick Collison’s final season/what’s next: “Westbrook had an idea, too. And he wanted to make sure fans had one more opportunity to cheer for the 15-year vet on the last night of the regular season. “That meant a lot to me,” Collison said. “We’ve had a long time we’ve been together. We’ve been through a lot together. It was cool to be able to have a moment like that.” Collison hasn’t yet set his post-basketball goals. He could end up in a front office somewhere. Of course, “somewhere” could just be the exact place he spent the last 10 seasons. He could be on a coaching staff, though that seems less likely than front-office work. He could pop up on television. For now, however, he’s made on priority clear: he wants to spend time with his daughter.”

NJ.com lists Thunder Assistant GM Troy Weaver as a potential replacement for Bryan Colangelo if he’s fired in Philly: “A goal for the Sixers this offseason will be to bring in one of the elite players in the NBA — and one team that did that in spades last offseason? The Oklahoma City Thunder, who brought in both Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. With that in mind, the Sixers could show interest in Thunder vice president and assistant general manager Troy Weaver, who has been on the short list of general manager candidates for the last few seasons.”

Amit Banerjee (FirstPost) caught up with Corey Brewer as he spreads basketball in India: “Brewer joined Oklahoma from LA Lakers in March earlier this year, appearing in a total of 18 games for his new side (including 16 starts). While Oklahoma clinched the fourth seed in the regular season, they went down to Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. “We got some good players. We got Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, lot of good guys. Andre Roberson got hurt, and it kind of really hurt us, but we had a good run. It’s tough getting beaten by Utah in the playoffs. But, this summer I face a big summer,” added the veteran of more than 700 games.”

Alec Nathan (B/R) gave Russell Westbrook the sarcastic “Most Polite Player” award: “The NBA moments that matter to you #SauceAwards. We have “video proof” that Russ is the most polite player in the league.”

Brett Dawson on Jeff Green making the Finals 7 years after his trade from OKC: “The cold, hard truth of pro basketball business arrived on Feb. 24, 2011, when the upstart Thunder — in need of a veteran bruiser — traded Jeff Green to Boston to get one. Kendrick Perkins would be an important acquisition, but there was nothing sweet about the sorrow of parting with Green. “I have unbelievable respect for Jeff Green,” an emotional Thunder general manager Sam Presti said that day. “I value him greatly.” The Thunder made the NBA Finals a year later, and Green was dealing with more important realities by then. But on Thursday, the 10-season veteran finally gets his Finals shot, this time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who face the Golden State Warriors for the fourth consecutive season with the NBA title on the line.”

Fred Kerber (NY Post) with Kevin Durant’s interesting comments from yesterday: “Durant takes it in stride. Like Wednesday, when he was asked about his Game 7 against Houston, the game that propelled the Warriors back here for a fourth straight NBA Finals run. Durant had a 13-point first half, a 21-point second half. So how was he able to block out that awful first half — which probably was a first half many would sell the family pet to produce. “Well, this is my 11th year in the NBA. I know a lot of people probably didn’t watch me play before I got to the Warriors. But I was in the league before I got here, and I learned a lot along that time,” Durant said tongue-in-cheek. “I actually won an MVP award. I went to the Olympics. Scored a couple points.”

Around the League: All the ways Cleveland may try to beat Golden State…. Happiness is the key to the Warriors’ success…. LeBron says his faith in his team was shaken midseason…. KD & LeBron aren’t sick of Cavs/Warriors…. How will the Dubs overcome Andre Iguodala’s Game 1 absence?…. Gordon Hayward had plates and screws removed from his leg…. Bryan Colangelo denies having burner Twitter accounts…. Colangelo’s reputation hinges on the scandal.