Thunder Links – December 5, 2011

Looks like the Shane Battier sweepstakes is leaving OKC. Free agent forward Shane Battier has narrowed his list of prospective teams from more than the original dozen or so to a handful of teams, including his current team, the Memphis Grizzlies, Miami, Indiana and Toronto, according to a league source. The 33-year-old, whose defensive skills still are among the league’s best, has been one of the most sought-after free agents since teams were allowed to discuss contract parameters last Wednesday.

Could KD’s summer hurt him? Mayberry addresses it. It was all fun and games watching Durant dazzle crowds from coast to coast this offseason when he played in nearly every pro-am and charity game he got invited to. But there’s no telling how much of a toll that taxing tour took. And for a franchise that will be widely expected to compete for the championship this season, the Thunder absolutely cannot afford for its leader to be fatigued mentally or physically in a shortened 66-game season.

This is why BleacherReport is one of the worst sources on the internet. They don’t believe Russell Westbrook deserves a max contract. Idiots. For all of Westbrook’s strengths (scoring and rebounding primarily), there are too many things he needs to improve on before he earns a maximum contract.

Bruce Jenkins of the San Fransisco Gate makes a good point about the rumor mill. We’ve entered the rumor stage of the NBA’s new world, a veritable torrent of misinformation. First comes the “report,” from a “source,” followed quickly by the denial.

Serge Ibaka played his final game for Real Madrid. Serge finished with 6 points on 3 of 4 shooting. Ibaka also had 2 rebounds.

Opposing Views examines the MVP candidates, KD is one of themHype he’ll receive: Not as much as before last season, but as a top player on one of the league’s young teams on the rise, Durant will have a strong candidacy if the Thunder have a great year. The emergence of Russell Westbrook (and, to a lesser extent, James Harden) could hurt him though, especially if…. Read the rest of why KD is a candidate here.

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