Archive - July 2017

Thunder reportedly sign Bryce Alford

On a slow Sunday evening, a weird bit of information came through on Instagram. Former UCLA guard, Bryce Alford has been signed to the Oklahoma City Thunder… according to him. Travis Singleton of SneakerReporter.com first reported this information that had seemingly slipped through the real cracks.

It’s unknown if this is a fact but very well could be. I doubt a player would go public with this information if it was not in fact true. Alford, 22, averaged 15.5 points per game as a senior at UCLA. He also made 43 percent from beyond three-point range (116-270).

Alford did play in the Summer league for the Golden State Warriors, where he averaged 9.3 points in 19 minutes per game. Alford made only 21.7 percent (5-of-23) from three in those six games for the Warriors.

Because of his inexperience and being only a rookie, Alford could be a big candidate for the Oklahoma City Blue. The Thunder are currently at 16 contracts, 15 guaranteed. Alford could be the Thunder’s first two-way deal. However, this is most likely a training camp invite. The Thunder often have 18-19 players at camp. They don’t make the roster and are sent across the street to the Blue.

We’ll wait to see what the Thunder officially says before we decided what type of agreement this is.

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Thunder offically sign Terrance Ferguson

It’s been about a month in the making but the Oklahoma City Thunder signed Terrance Ferguson to a four year rookie contract on Thursday night.

While the Thunder do not disclose their terms, it’s pretty understood it is the rookie scale and most likely the 120 percent mark up. Not many sign below or even at the 100 percent. Josh Huestis and Andre Roberson are the only two known to do that with Oklahoma City.

It’s now understood Ferguson received clearance on July 14, almost two weeks ago, but has been negotiating with Oklahoma City. His agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports is known for holding out for rookies and securing the 120 percent.

If that assumption is true, Ferguson will make approximately $8.5 million over four years.

Born in Tulsa, Okla., Ferguson decided to forego the college lifestyle and head down under and played for the Adelaide 36ers this season in the Australian Basketball League. His statistics are not going to wow you but he shows real upside for someone who’s only 19 years old.

He averaged only 4.6 points in 15 game minutes for the 36ers and only 31.3 percent from beyond the three-point line. However, he showed flashes of what made him so special coming out of high school.

Ranked No. 11 in the 2017 ESPN Top 150 out of Advanced Preparatory International. The NCAA ruled API’s courses weren’t qualified and those who attended would not meet the certificates by the NCAA Clearinghouse. The NCAA had suspicion API was not a prep academy, nor an advanced school. It was considered to be a basketball factory. Ferguson, who originally committed to Arizona, spent last season in Australia due to the issue.

Ferguson went down under but he’s come back stateside. He says he’s coming home and excited to play for the Thunder.

It has be

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Thunder release home and away jerseys

While many hoped for an entire rebrand under Nike, the Oklahoma City Thunder did what everyone should have expected and they played it safe. Oklahoma City’s new home (association) and away (icon) jerseys are almost idential than before. The jerseys have a Nike swoosh on the right shoulder, leaving the left open for a potential advertisor. That’ll never happen any time soon.

Oklahoma City also added the “OKC” on the belt and that’s essentially all that changed within the uniforms. We talked about 2k18 leaking the home uniform the other day and the leak was pretty accurate.

Oklahoma City will get two more uniforms, as we’ve talked about before. Those will be release within the season. One is expected to be a futuristic looking font on a blue uniform.

While a rebrand is not out of the question, the Thunder are aware of the average public perception of their logo and uniforms. There has been talk of rebranding but don’t expect it to happen any within the next season or two. This change of adding a smiple “OKC” to the belt, is almost the epitome of the organization.

I, for one, like our icon and association unis. They’re clean. They’re synonymous with winning. Russell Westbrook wears it and that man knows fashion. Do you think he’d put on an ugly uniform? I didn’t think so.

 

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Westbrook organizing practices for Thunder players

The reigning MVP is currently organizing workout events for the Oklahoma City Thunder in Santa Monica, California, according to ESPN. These practices are expected to take place later on this week.

This has been a Thunder tradition going back to the Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka days.

Players and coaches will meet and run through conditioning drills together. Considering the heavy youth on this team, these practices provide a wealth of benefits for a roster that has changed a lot since being eliminated by the Houston Rockets in the postseason.

In their exit interviews, Russell Westbrook and head coach Billy Donovan both spoke about unofficial offseason workouts with the team.

These are not mandatory but rather an attempt to build and improve team chemistry before the start of training camp in late September. The entire roster will not be attending as several players have plans.

Paul George and Alex Abrines are in Spain while Nick Collison is enjoying vacation after re-signing with the Thunder. Oklahoma City rookie Terrance Ferguson remains unsigned while he waits for clearance from FIBA to sign his contract. His status remains unknown for these practices.

Westbrook’s status on his reported super max contract extension is still up in the air at this point. There does not appear to be any concern from the Thunder from all reports. The All-Star point guard has until October 16th to sign on the dotted line.

 

 

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2k18 sneak peek at Thunder Nike uniforms

With all the changes during the NBA offseason, it looks like one thing will stay the same – the classic white Oklahoma City Thunder jerseys, also known as “association.”

The NBA announced last week that they are getting rid of traditional uniforms in their change from Adidas to Nike. Now home teams can choose between four jerseys, while the visiting team will wear a contrasting color.

With all the hype behind the new Nike jerseys, it appears at the moment due to an NBA 2k18 first look, that the white jerseys for the Oklahoma City Thunder will nearly be identical to the old ones except for few minimal changes.

In the screenshot game with Paul George the only changes are, of course, the Adidas symbol is now a Nike symbol and the shorts will say OKC on them.

However, this is just one of the four jerseys. Fans will still have to see what Nike and the NBA have in mind for the Icon, Athlete Mindset and the Community jerseys.

As of right now though it appears that the white Association jerseys will pretty much be the same as when Adidas made them.

The new uniforms, which were designed, based of input from NBA players, will be released at the start of the 2017-2018 season. At least this year the NBA regular season will begin on Oct. 10, its earliest start since 1980.

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Is Sam Presti working his magic for Carmelo Anthony?

According to a tweet sent out by the infamous Bill Simmons, Carmelo Anthony and Oklahoma City are “circling each other.”

The reasoning behind this is Troy Weaver, the Vice President and Assistant General Manager actually recruited Anthony to Syracuse.

The next question is who do the Thunder trade away? Contracts like Kanter come to mind as one the team needs to ship off. However, according to Kurt Helin, the Knicks don’t want Kanter or his huge contract. ]

Bringing Anthony in to OKC would be huge, as he is still a great player, but it’s definitely a tough situation. But it may not even be one at all, because according to Tarek Fattal from L.A., Anthony will be a Rocket soon enough.

The Thunder would almost certainly have to give up a good amount to get Carmelo to The City, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. We will continue to follow this and any updates on Carmelo, as we are all now on this train together.

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Oklahoma City Thunder sign Yannis Morin

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed Yannis Morin to a one-year deal according to BeBasket.

Morin, 23, played in the French Pro B last season for Le Havre. He averaged 6.8 points per game on 40.6 percent shooting. He also pulled down 7.4 rebounds in 24 minutes per game. During summer league for the Thunder, Morin averaged only 2.2 points in 13.5 minutes per game backing up Dakari Johnson.

Morin has never played by the French national team but did play with the U-18 team in 2010.

It’s assumed this is a training camp agreement as the Thunder already 16 committed roster spots. They still can waive Semaj Christon and potentially Kyle Singler. They could stretch Singler’s contract up to seven years.

Oklahoma City often invites 2-3 players into camp with the intention of going to the G-League‘s Oklahoma City Blue. With Johnson going to Oklahoma City, the Blue will have a void at center.

Training camp will start at the end of September, which the league starting at one of the earliest days in recent NBA history.

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REPORT: Dakari Johnson inks new deal with Oklahoma City

According to reports, Dakari Johnson has signed a two-year, guaranteed deal with the Thunder.

Johnson, 21, was a second-round pick by the Thunder in 2015 and has spent his career so far in the Development League.

Last season, he was named to the NBA D-League All-Star Game. His wingspan and height could mixed with his development over the past two years are something the Thunder like.

This signing does put the team at 16 active players, so there may be another move to take it down to 15 in the coming days.

The story was first reported by Shams  of the Vertical.

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NBA changing traditional home and away uniforms

In the new generation of multiple uniforms, the NBA has made an unprecedented move and eliminated the traditional designated uniforms. Teams can now wear color at home at all times if they choose to do so.

Teams will now choose a designated uniform, of any color, as their home court uniform and wear that for the season. They can change each season. The road team will then wear a contrasting color. So, you won’t see any Brooklyn black against Minnesota black.

With Nike’s takeover of the NBA uniforms, which are slowly being leaked, teams will have four uniforms. They’ll have traditional white, traditional road, which is Oklahoma City’s blue unis. Oklahoma City will be given two other uniforms.

Nike has renamed the jerseys to the following:

  • Association (Classic white)
  • Icon (Team color)
  • Athlete Mindset
  • Community (Locally inspired)

It has been reported the popular orange uniforms are out for Oklahoma City. It is reported Oklahoma city will be given a blue, futuristic looking uniform. It’s very vague on what makes this uniform “futuristic.” Oklahoma City will also get a fourth uniform. The locally inspired uniform has not been talked of too much yet with Oklahoma City but will be interesting to see.

Eight NBA teams will have a Classic Edition uniform that will celebrate iconic uniforms of the past.

The new Nike uniforms are comprised of a combination of Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester (each athlete uniform represents approximately 20 recycled PET bottles). Not only does this yarn blend match Nike’s broad commitment to sustainability, it also removes moisture more quickly than previous NBA uniforms — wicking sweat 30 percent faster than current NBA uniforms resulting in a 15 percent quicker drying time.

The heading image is created by Brian Begley and is just a rendering. It is still pretty cool though.

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Nick Collison signs 1-year deal, will retire at season’s end

Nick Collison will retire as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Collison, 36, signed a one-year agreement on Friday morning, inking his tenure in Oklahoma City.

Originally drafted by Seattle with the No. 12 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, he was one of a handful of players who made the journey from Seattle to Oklahoma City. Collison has spent his entire with the franchise. He is the fifth current active player who’s spent 10 or more years with the same franchise who drafted him.

Here are some players who have put together lifer NBA careers, active:

  • Dirk Nowitzki (20th season with the Mavericks)
  • Tony Parker (17th season with the Spurs)
  • Manu Ginobili, if he doesn’t retire (16th season with the Spurs)
  • Udonis Haslem (15th season with the Heat)
  • Mike Conley (11th season with the Grizzlies)
  • Russell Westbrook (10th season with the Oklahoma City)
  • DeAndre Jordan (10th season with the Clippers)

Collison’s role in Oklahoma City has decreased every season. He was a defensive lynch pin for seasons, garnering charge after charge. However, as the younger generation moved in, Hair Jordan moved out. Last season were career lows across the board for Collison. He averaged only 1.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in 20 contests. However, in 23 attempts, he made 14. Giving him a career best 60.9 percent from the field.

The loyalty to the franchise and the city is almost breathtaking. Collison could have gone to Golden State, where one of his better buddies is playing. He could have probably gotten a ring the easy way out. For this man that has taken so much pounding on the defensive side of the ball, this is a thank you to the Thunder. His reunion tour will be a golden comb at each away game. Almost like a Kobe Bryant type of things.

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