July 10, 2016, 12:34 pm
Adrian Wojnarowski went on Colin Cowherd’s radio show and said he likes Russell Westbrook’s chances of staying in Oklahoma City.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 8, 2016
“I, I, I like Oklahoma City’s chances to keep Russell Westbrook. I really do. I don’t think he’s dying to leave there,” proclaimed Woj. It sounds like Oklahoma City is going to try to keep him but you’ll notice that Woj never really addressed the issue of Westbrook getting an extension or giving a promise that he will indeed stay — because absent that promise if you’re Sam Presti you have to trade him.
That said, the Thunder have never stuck to a script (see getting rid of James Harden so they could keep Kendrick Perkins), so maybe they’re crazy enough to play it out.
Woj adds a number of reasons that Westbrook would want to stay and we’re fans of the idea too.
Let Westbrook rise from the ashes of the Kevin Durant decision and destroy major cities. Let him make like Uma Thurman against an NBA house filled with Crazy 88s and in the end just maybe he can climb up into the Western Conference Finals for a showdown at the House of Blue Leaves.
The Warriors have given us a Goliath and we need a David that is certifiably insane enough to believe he can dice them up. All of the karma and #narrative and anti-Kevin Durant sentiment will have parked itself at Oracle Arena, right before the Warriors remove their heart and soul for a zip code across the bay, and he will have the entire basketball world on a string with the delight of a revenge series.
Yes, the Cavs and LeBron James are the first team we have to talk about when discussing who can beat the Warriors. But Vegas re-installed the Warriors as theoretic -200 favorites right after the Finals ended if they were to tip it up again. That was before the Warriors got Durant.
You’d like to think the Cavs can find a way around the Kevin Love contract situation and that their pieces can hold up, but they have some mileage issues and injury concerns up and down the lineup.
In this conversation it seems we need a perfectly constructed team to mold itself around a perfect basketball weapon.
Woj’s pitch has some merit — Victor Oladipo and Steven Adams are a very good start to figuring out the puzzle. You’re checking boxes in the Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green conversations. If they could find a player built in the mold of a Willie Cauley-Stein to cover Durant then I believe we’re having a conversation about the Thunder and the Warriors.
And that’s hard to do right now.
But it all starts with Westbrook and there’s no better setting for this drama than OKC. The Warriors would inevitably downplay any correlation between the past and the present, but basketball is a game about narrative. “Kevin, how do you feel about Russell leading what used to be your guys’ team to the Western Conference Finals.”
“I’m happy for him and we’re just focused on winning the next game.”
Over and over and over and over again.
Pardon me for grasping at straws but I’m just trying to fit in with NBA decision-makers at this point. There are only a small handful of players with both the talent and mental composition to hold the slingshot. Kawhi Leonard. Russell Westbrook. Karl Anthony-Towns. That’s it.
So if Woj and the NBA powers that be want to maintain Oklahoma City as a sort of spirit animal for those of us wanting real competition in the playoffs, we’ll have the popcorn ready.
July 21, 2019, 7:49 pmDarius MillerSF, New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have officially re-signed Darius Miller to a two-year deal.
Miller will be playing behind a plethora of young assets at the Pelicans' disposal. Given that the team has entered a full-blown youth movement, it is unlikely that he will earn enough meaningful minutes to make a splash in fantasy in 2019-20.
Source: Pelicans on Twitter
July 21, 2019, 7:35 pmBonzie ColsonPF, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have waived Bonzie Colson.
Colson only played 98 minutes during his rookie season, but when he played he was a DFS favorite. Colson could play multiple positions and is young enough where a few teams would likely be interested in taking a flier on him.
Source: Eric Nehm on Twitter
July 21, 2019, 5:11 pmKostas AntetokounmpoPF, Los Angeles Lakers
Kostas Antetokounmpo has signed a two-way deal with the Lakers on Sunday.
The Mavericks waived Antetokounmpo last week and most knew the younger brother of last season's MVP would not last long before another team took a shot on him. He is still a developmental player, but he should have ample opportunity playing for the Lakers' G-League team, the South Bay Lakers.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 21, 2019, 10:09 amAnthony DavisPF, Los Angeles Lakers
When asked by Chicago Tribune reporter K.C Johnson on how he'd feel about wearing a Bulls jersey someday, Anthony Davis said that "If the opportunity ever presents itself and when that time comes, I’d definitely consider it.”
The chances of that time coming is more likely for 2025 than 2020, but still, until Davis is firmly committed to the Lakers long-term speculation of his future will remain. It's nice to know if you're a Bulls fan that he imagines playing for his home town at some point, but don't expect him bolting LA for them after one season.
Source: Chicago Tribune
July 20, 2019, 6:42 pmKenny WootenPF, New York Knicks
The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.
Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post
July 20, 2019, 3:09 pmOshae BrissettSG-SF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.
Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 2:32 pmJordan McLaughlinG, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.
McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.
Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 1:26 pmEmmanuel MudiayPG, Utah Jazz
The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.
All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.
July 20, 2019, 12:59 pmCJ McCollumSG, Trail Blazers
C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.
Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter
July 20, 2019, 12:51 pmFrank MasonPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.
Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster spot even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter