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Thursday Bolts: 6.29.17

Thursday Bolts: 6.29.17

Fred Katz looks at the Thunder’s upcoming free agents: “The Oklahoma City Thunder won’t be fully intact when free agency comes around July 1 at 12:01 a.m., even if they do have loads of money on the books for 2017-18 already.”

Erik Horne on how Blake Griffin must want OKC for anything to materialize: “For it to happen with the Thunder, Griffin would have to walk into the Clippers’ office and say ‘I want to go to Oklahoma City. Let’s make it happen. Sign-and-trade me there.’”

Jason Parham on Russell Westbrook and humanity outpacing science: “We live in dizzy times, and counternarratives like Westbrook’s quick-stepped gambit toward NBA deification became a rare kinetic rebuttal to the dark shadow of political unsurety and widening social disunity. Throughout the 82-game regular season, he served as a precise metaphor for an imprecise moment in the American chronicle: heave yourself forward, against outwardly impossible hurdles, against cynicism, against disbelief, and even then, when the road ahead remains too nightmarish to navigate, continue on, fight, move forward.”

Mountain Dew created a custom suit to celebrate Westbrook’s MVP: “The soda company partnered with designer Mark McNairy, who the Wall Street Journal dubbed “king of menswear collaborations” last year and who GQ has called one of their favorite designers, to create a “Triple Double Breasted Suit.” It’ll be made for the Oklahoma City Thunder guard to wear later this year.”

Jon Hamm joined Down To Dunk to discuss all things Thunder salary cap: A great listen for those looking to get some insight into where the Thunder stand financially.

So Chris Paul plays for the Rockets now: “The Rockets will send Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Wiltjer, a top-three protected 2018 first-round pick and $661,000 to the Clippers in exchange for Paul.”

Zach Lowe on how Houston is gunning for Golden State: “But if you have a superstar in his prime, as Houston does with Harden, you might as well try like hell to win. There is no time to waste, not even with Golden State lording over the league. Injuries happen, and it’s unclear if the Warriors will swallow unprecedented payroll bills approaching $400 million once Klay Thompson’s new deal kicks in for the 2019-20 season. Last season’s Houston team approached its ceiling. This version has a higher one.”

The Clippers hope to keep Blake Griffin: “With Chris Paul headed to the Houston Rockets, the LA Clippers will turn their attention to keeping Blake Griffin, a source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Griffin notified the team last week that he will not pick up his option for next season. The Clippers are of the understanding that it will take a five-year deal to keep Griffin, a source told Shelburne.”

Jason Concepcion on how Phil Jackson is the worst kind of stupid: “He’s the worst Knicks executive of my lifetime, I think. Not just for his moves. But because of the towering heights from which he flung himself. The fact that I have to remind myself that Phil, by any measure, but specifically in terms of rings, is a legend, is a testament to the damage he’s done.”

Dion Waiters in SLAM Magazine: “I’m going to be honest with you—after that whole OKC thing, with the contract and all, it felt like my back was against the wall,” he says, referring to last offseason. The Thunder kept Waiters in limbo while Kevin Durant pondered his future. Once KD bolted, Waiters was no longer in the franchise’s long-term plans, despite the team previously hinting that he was. “It felt like they played with my life and with my family. I had offers—stuff you can’t pass up—and for them to hold out that long? It’s messed up.”