Sean Deveney of Sporting News: “That knock on Westbrook is gone. The Thunder will be his
team, completely. They will likely hammer opponents with Westbrook in the pick-and-roll—even with Durant last year, Westbrook posted the fifth-most possessions as a ballhandler in the pick-and-roll—with Steven Adams and Enes Kanter operating as very effective roll men. Those two figure to get better this season. What will probably determine whether Westbrook can ascend above Curry at point guard this year is the play of his reconfigured team. New combo guard Victor Oladipo can take some ballhandling pressure off Westbrook, but he will need to continue his improvement as a 3-point shooter to really thrive with Westbrook (Oladipo’s 3-point percentage has jumped each year of his career, to 34.8 last season).”
Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report with a team preview: “Westbrook, Adams and Oladipo have to start, and though Ilyasova is not an objectively better player than Enes Kanter, shooting is at a massive premium on this roster. So OKC’s newest power forward is likely to see time on the first unit, and he’ll stay there as long as he’s stretching the floor with his career 37 percent stroke from deep. Leaning on Ilyasova as the lone source of spacing is a scary thought, but no on else in the starting lineup inspires consistent long-range fear in opponents.”
Erik Horne: “Could Thunder players follow the same route, taking less to help the team’s salary cap in the future? Like Antetokounmpo, Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo were drafted in the first round in 2013. Like Antetokounmpo, they’re eligible for extensions. If they’re not re-signed by the Oct. 31 deadline to extend 2013 first-round picks, Oladipo, Adams and fellow 2013 first-round pick Andre Roberson will become restricted free agents at the end of the season. The pair of Adams and Oladipo will undoubtedly receive maximum contract offers from other teams in the summer of 2017, but the Thunder wants to keep both.”
Rudy Gay has told the Kings he’ll opt out next summer. That’s essentially him demanding a trade.
These bogus trade rumor sites are just something else, man: “Parent Herald wrote a blog on the possibility of the Knicks trying to get Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. Let’s just say that the chances are slim but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.” Just read that. And read it again. Parent Herald wrote a blog… And some people actually think these are real rumors. Sigh.
Kelly Evans of The Undefeated: “On the Fourth of July, Durant announced he would be joining the Golden State Warriors. In his statement on The Players’ Tribune, he wrote that the move “encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community, which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth.” He was serious. Since then, the NBA MVP has been investing in a number of business ventures, with Acorns being the latest. Acorns’ mission is to help millennials gain wealth-making tools and help them start investing. The company has opened more than 1 million investment accounts in just two years.”