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Thursday Bolts: 6.15.17

Thursday Bolts: 6.15.17

Russell Westbrook invested in a new social media news startup: “I don’t like to speak publicly about what I invest in, but I’m really excited about what Genies will do for the way we all share and read about news,” said Westbrook. “It’s something I’ve seen change various times throughout my career and expect it will continue to evolve.”

CBS Sports has UCLA’s TJ Leaf going to the Thunder at 21 in their latest mock draft: “Leaf averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 46.6 percent from 3-point range this season. He was overshadowed by his teammates at UCLA but still a statistical monster. He’s a perfect stretch-4 for the modern-day NBA. Russell Westbrook could use him in Oklahoma City the same way Kyrie Irving uses Kevin Love in Cleveland.”

Sam Vecenie has OKC taking Colorado PG Derrick White: “This is a tremendous fit for a lot of reasons. The Thunder could use more efficient sources of offense, and White’s ability to both create and shoot would pay awesome dividends on the team’s roster. He could play next to Russell Westbrook as a 2-guard, or even take on some of the responsibility of being his backup point guard at times. White’s a popular player for NBA teams right now.”

Erik Horne takes a look at SMU small forward Semi Ojeleye: “The Thunder is no stranger to targeting athleticism in the NBA Draft. There may be no better athlete in this year’s collegiate crop than Jesusemilore Talodabijesu Ojeleye. You can call him Semi Ojeleye (pronounced Shem-me O-juh-lay). The 6-foot-7, 235-pounder out of Southern Methodist may have a full name that rivals former Thunder forward Serge Ibaka’s birth name for length, but it’s his versatile game at forward which has him pegged as a late-first round selection.”

Keith Smith of RealGM previews the Thunder offseason: “Given the reluctance of ownership to go deep into the luxury tax in the past, it is a bit hard to see the Thunder making any big moves this summer. They need to add a quality backup to Westbrook, but may need to do so at the draft. Most veterans know there is no shot at the job being more than a 15 minute a night backup. That can be a hard sell to free agents, especially when the team is shy of being a true contender.”

Finals TV ratings were the highest since 1998, but down in Oklahoma City: “With Kevin Durant in The Finals as a member of the Golden State Warriors, one would have guessed his old fans in Oklahoma City would have tuned in to either root against him or for him. But ratings in Oklahoma City for the 2017 Finals dropped compared to 2016. Oklahoma City averaged a 10.5 rating for The Finals, according to data provided by ESPN to RealGM. Last season, Oklahoma City averaged a 13.2 rating for the series and 11.9 for the first five games.”

Kevin Durant says the Warriors aren’t a superteam: “A lot of people didn’t expect these guys to be where they are today. Superteam? No, we just work extremely well together. Coach puts us in position to maximize our strengths.”

KD joined the Bill Simmons podcast after winning his first title: I wouldn’t be mad if you didn’t care to listen.

Jerry West is leaving the Warriors for the Clippers: “But West, who is featured in a silhouette on the NBA’s logo, is taking his talents back to his Southern California roots. He will reportedly join the LA Clippers in a front-office capacity, as first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum. A special consultant the past six seasons with the Warriors, and the architect of the Showtime Lakers of Magic Johnson in the 1980s and, in the early 2000s, the Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant-led squad there, West is returning to the city to assist the Lakers’ hallway rival at Staples Center.”