4 min read

Tuesday Bolts – 11.1.16

Tuesday Bolts – 11.1.16

Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider: “Based on those projections, Oladipo in particular looks like a


potential bargain. I forecast his value at nearly $65 million over the first two seasons of his extension, more than the maximum salary he could make over that span (an estimated $50 million based on current salary-cap projections). Yet Oladipo is reportedly taking a deal that will pay him about $11 million less than his potential maximum over that span, assuming standard 7.5 percent raises.”

Erik Horne: “The new NBA collective bargaining agreement will reportedly be finalized before the Dec. 15 deadline for the league or the National Basketball Players Association to opt out. A new CBA comes with new rules. The Thunder doesn’t know how the rules will change, but the changes have been unfavorable to them in the past. For example, the current CBA signed in 2011 altered the contract extension of Kevin Durant (signed in 2010), adding close to $15 million more to the Thunder’s cap over the length of his five-year deal. Also, free agent cap holds in the new CBA are expected to increase. If the Thunder waited to re-sign Adams, Oladipo (and Andre Roberson) until after July 1, 2017, (when the new cap goes into effect), their higher cap holds could block any chance of chasing a free agent (see below). Thus, signing Adams and Oladipo now gives the Thunder assurances in an uncertain landscape.”

Metta World Peace says he had an interesting encounter with the Skirvin ghost.

Marc Stein has OKC 7th in power rankings: “The Thunder (and the whole league) couldn’t have asked any more from Russell Westbrook in Week 1. He totaled 116 points, 35 assists and 37 rebounds in the Thunder’s 3-0 start, put himself on pace for a tidy 55 triple-doubles for the season and thus did his part to ratchet up the hype — if that’s even possible — for Thursday night’s maiden installment of Thunder at Warriors. The truth is OKC will undoubtedly need better balance to get through 82 games, but there’s time for that later.”

Brett Dawson: “The 3-0 Thunder — whose wins have come against teams that went a combined 50-196 last season — have back-to-back road games looming this week against the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. Those two teams entered Monday’s games 4-1. The Warriors, who host the Thunder on Thursday, opened the season as 2-3 favorites to win the NBA title, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. The Clippers, at 20-1, were tied for the fourth-best odds. Though it’s early, Donovan likes the idea of learning about his team against top competition. He noted the value in a post-All-Star Game stretch last season in which the Thunder lost six of eight, including two games to the Warriors, one to the Clippers and one to the eventual NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.”

Russ won Western Player of the Week. ESPN Stats has Russ second for the week behind Anthony Davis: “As for Westbrook, his worst game of the week was a 32-point, 12-rebound, 9-assist outing on opening night, which he then promptly backed up with two triple-doubles. He became the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 with 50 points in a triple-double, while only Chamberlain and Baylor have ever scored more in a triple-double. Oh, and his team went 3-0 (albeit against the 76ers, Suns and Lakers). Oklahoma City has now won the last 20 games in which he’s recorded a triple-double, the third-longest streak of its kind in NBA history. These aren’t empty numbers.”

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer: “A trade for a star is always a possibility, but chances are slim. That’s why extending Adams and Oladipo is important. Adams is a blossoming two-way center with the greatest mustache in the history of mankind and Oladipo is a player the Thunder hope develops into the team’s second scorer behind Russell Westbrook. But Adams and Oladipo don’t feel like true no. 2 options, and now that the Thunder can’t bring in that player through free agency, he’ll have to come via trade. To make trades for stars, you need valuable assets. Besides Westbrook, Oladipo and Adams are the two most valuable assets on the roster. The Thunder couldn’t afford to risk losing them.”

Tom Ley of Deadspin: “The ultimate fate of this team doesn’t really rest with Adams and Oladipo, though. It rests with Russell Westbrook, who recently signed a three-year extension that he can opt out of in 2018. Remove Westbrook from the equation, and the Thunder are suddenly a team locked into paying Adams and Oladipo to win something like 35-40 games per season. In that nightmare scenario, it would make sense for the Thunder to use Adams’s and Oladipo’s bargain contracts as trade chips and wipe the slate clean. But I’m not entirely sure if the Thunder can afford to do something like that given their market. This is a team that has yet to test its small fanbase’s dedication with a truly dreadful season, and it’s entirely possible that even one Sixers-style season of tanking could send the franchise into a black hole.”