Author - Chuck Chaney

Paul George finished with contest low 9 points

It was a bit surprising but Paul George finished last in the 2018 JBL three-point contest on Saturday night.

George finished with only nine points, one point shy of his last place finish in 2013, struggled throughout the middle racks.

The Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker beat out Klay Thompson (Warriors) and Tobias Harris (Clippers) for the three-point championship. Booker’s 28 points in the Championship round is a new three-point contest record.

After making 2-of-5 shots on the first rack, including his money ball, George missed six straight shots before getting one in the middle rack. George put his money ball rack, a money ball is a ball worth two points, on the fourth rack. George missed all attempts.

However, George finished strong, nailing his final four corner threes, including a money ball.

George finished 8-of-25 (32 percent) from the floor.

It’s a fun competition that really means nothing. Russell Westbrook gave George some laughs on the sideline for a fun teammate-to-teammate ribbing.

Maybe this is George leading up to the final 23 games of the season. Maybe he threw out all of his bad shots in preparation for the rest of the season and playoffs.

George, 27, in 56 games this season has shot 43.2 percent from three-point range. Which is a career high. He’s averaging 22.5 points per game, third highest in his career. He leads the league in steals at 2.2 steals per game, making him a prime Defensive of the Year Candidate.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

NBA All-Star Saturday: Paul George in action

There aren’t a lot of Thunder players involved in Saturday’s NBA skills competitions. In fact, it’s only Paul George that will be on the court. The Defensive Player of the Year candidate will participate in the three-point shoot out.

Who?

Paul George

Where?

Staples Center – Los Angeles, California

TNT

When?

Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.

Will take place approximately 30-40 minutes after the Taco Bell Skills Competition

What?

JBL Three-Point shootout

George will compete against Eric Gordon (Rockets), Devin Booker (Suns), Klay Thompson (Warriors), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Wayne Ellington (Heat), Kyle Lowry (Raptors) and Tobias Harris (Clippers) for the right to win the 2018 title.

Gordon (2017) and Thompson (2016) are the last defending champions. Gordon, Ellington, Booker and Harris are the players who are not All-Stars who will be participating.

George has the fourth best odds to win the contest. Thompson is the favorite.


The 32nd JBL Three-Point Contest is part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which will air on TNT and ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. ET. All-Star Saturday Night also includes the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and Verizon Slam Dunk.

George is shooting a career-high 42.8 percent, 13th in the NBA, from beyond the arc this season and ranks fifth among all NBA players in three-pointers made (155) while averaging 21.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and a league-leading 2.2 steals per game.

George had a season high 43 points in the 127-124 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, Feb. 1. George shot 19-of-26 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from three-point range. He also had two steals in the second half as he scored 28 in the half and helped Oklahoma City climb back from 20 points down.

George is the second person in Thunder history to participate in the three-point competition. Kevin Durant participated in the 2011 and 2012 three-point competitions. Durant finished last in 2011 and finished second to Kevin Love in 2012.

For George, this will be his second time competing in the three-point competition. The last time he competed was the 2013 shoot out. George finished last with only 10 points. He admittedly didn’t practice last time and said he will this time in an attempt to win.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder Game Day No. 59: at Memphis Grizzlies

Oklahoma City Thunder (32-26, 12-16 away)

at

Memphis Grizzlies (18-37, 13-16 home)

Wednesday, Feb. 14 :: 7 p.m. CST :: FedEx Forum (18,119)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4-point favorite. The over/under is 208.
Online Stream: Fox Sports | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Grizzlies: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder take their game to Beale Street for the final game before the All-Star Break against the Memphis Grizzlies.
  • Oklahoma City lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers last night and look to rebound as they beat the Grizzlies 110-92 on Sunday afternoon.
  • Memphis only 1.5 games out of the worst record in the NBA.
  • The Thunder are 1-0 in Memphis this season, with a 102-101 win over the Grizzlies back on Dec. 9.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).

SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES

  • The Memphis Grizzlies are 38-37 on the season, 12th in the Western Conference.
  • The Grizzlies are 2-8 in their last 10 games.
  • In their last game, Memphis lost to the Thunder 110-92 on Sunday.
  • Last season, the Thunder took three of four from Memphis in their season series.
  • All-time, Oklahoma City is 57-26 against Memphis.
  • Since relocation, the Thunder are 29-14 against the Grizzlies.
  • When playing on Beale Street, the Thunder are 9-9 and only 4-6 over the last five seasons.
  • Injury report:
    Jamychal Green (illness) is a game-time decision.
    Chandler Parsons (knee) is a game-time decision.
    Wayne Selden Jr. (knee) is out. Mike Conley Jr. (heel) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Memphis came on Dec. 8, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 125-88 (37-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (34 points) vs. the Grizzlies occurred during a 80-114 loss on Dec. 19, 2016.

INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.

NEXT UP

  • The NBA All-Star Break is here.

WHAT’S IN A GRIZZLIES NAME

  • When Vancouver was awarded an expansion franchise in 1994 to begin play the following season, the team’s owners had tentative plans to name the team the Mounties.
  • The Royal Mounted Canadian Police and fans alike objected, so team officials resumed their search for a name.
  • The local newspaper sponsored a name-the-team contest, which club officials monitored before choosing Grizzlies, an indigenous species to the area, over Ravens.
  • When the team relocated to Memphis before the 2001-02 season, FedEx was prepared to offer the Grizzlies $100 million to rename the team the Express, but the NBA rejected the proposal.



Three Keys to the Game

Limit Threes

Over their last five games, the Oklahoma City Thunder are allowing opponents to shoot 38.1 percent from the three-point line, which is seventh worst in the Association. Over the same span, the Thunder are allowing 40 percent from deep, 26th in the NBA. Oklahoma City changed that tied in their win over the Warriors, holding them to only 8-of-28 from deep.

Lawler’s Law

The Grizzlies are an okay defensive team, they’re giving up 102.6 points per game, fifth best in the NBA. For that reason, when the Lakers score under 100 points, they’re 5-24. That’s key for the Thunder. Gotta hit 100 and keep the Lakers from doing that.

Russell Westbrook

Before dominating win over the Warriors, Russell Westbrook had been riding the struggle bus. He was shooting only 41.1 percent and 5.4 turnovers per game. His scoring was down by almost two full points and the Thunder had gone 2-3 over that stretch. The Thunder need Westbrook to do his thing. When the Thunder win, Westbrook is averaging 25.5 points and shooting over 46 percent. That’s what the Thunder need. Get back to being Aggressive-brook.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Abrines needs rhythm for success

Alex Abrines showed why the Thunder were able to take their time on a young kid from Spain. While he’s only 24, Abrines is still trying to find his role within the organization despite his name coming up numerous times last week during trade rumors.

It starts with rhythm. Abrines showed last night that was absolutely the case as he scored 16 points in the first half, on 4-of-4 shooting from three-point range.

“I think it’s [starting] is way easier,” Abrines said.

When Abrines starts for the Thunder, he’s averaging 11.2 points, compared to 4.2 points per game off the bench. He’s also shooting 53.1 percent from three-point range, compared to 34.5 percent from the bench. However, the Thunder are plus-1.5 with Abrines off the bench as to negative-6.5 with him starting.

“Usually with PG, Russ, Melo or even Steven, you don’t miss the flow,” Abrines said. “It’s easy to get shots and make those and it’s easier to get confidence.”

Abrines numbers have slightly elevated compared to last season. However, his impact and importance is magnified when the Thunder have a rookie in Terrance Ferguson under-performing and Andre Roberson out for the season with a ruptured tendon.

Confidence is key for Abrines. Get the guy good looks. Throughout

“All shooters are the same I think,” Abrines said. “If I get 10 threes a game, I’ll take it.”

Abrines took made six buckets against Memphis and Oklahoma City won big. It’s not a coincidence. Oklahoma City is 14-4 when Abrines makes four or more shots.

Space and rhythm for Abrines and the Thunder, that’s the key to success for the remainder of the season.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony go through practice

They’ve missed the last two games, but Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook went through the entire Monday’s practice at the INTEGRIS Health Thunder Development Center.

Westbrook (left ankle) and Anthony (right ankle) have missed the last two games, in which the Thunder have gone 1-1 with ankle injuries sustains in the 125-105 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

“I haven’t had any conversations with them about tomorrow yet,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “We’ll have to wait and see how they feel coming out of today.”

In 55 games for the Thunder this season, Westbrook is averaging 25.5 points per game, 10.3 assists and 9.3 rebounds. Westbrook has really been a force to be reckoned with since Dec. 1. Since then, Westbrook is averaging 27.4 points on 46.4 percent shooting, 9.5 rebounds and 10.8 assists per game.

Since Dec. 1, Anthony is averaging 15.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game as the Thunder are 23-12 over that time frame. For the season, Anthony is averaging 17.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game on 34.7 percent from three-point range in 54 games. Oklahoma City is 2-1 without Anthony on the floor this season.

Oklahoma City is set to play against LeBron James and the new look Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night on TNT. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and We’ll have all of your game day coverage in and out of the arena.

 

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

George’s 33 powers OKC to blow out Memphis 110-92

The Oklahoma City Thunder stopped a two-game skid by obliterating the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday evening 110-92.

Oklahoma City improves to 32-25 on the season, and has a full hold on fifth place in the Western Conference.

The start was ominous as the Grizzlies started the game out 6-0 and Oklahoma City had more turnovers than points but Oklahoma City responded with a quick run to tie the game up at 10-all.

Once again, the Thunder were without Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony for the second consecutive game. The Thunder are listing the two superstars game-by-game. Both went through warm ups but did not play.

Memphis took a 12-10 lead with 6:16 left in the first quarter but that’s when the Thunder went bananas. Oklahoma City would go on a 25-6 run to end the quarter.

Oklahoma City would lead 74-54 at halftime.

The lead would balloon to as many as 28 in the third quarter as Oklahoma City held an 82-54 lead off a Paul George pull up three-pointer with 10:24 left in the third quarter. The Grizzlies though, would try to make the game respectable.

Memphis would go on a 24-10 burst, cutting the deficit down to 13 with 1:58 left in the third but Oklahoma City would not allow Memphis’ field goal over a span of 7 minutes and 59 seconds. During that time, Oklahoma City would push their lead from 13 to 27 points.

The Thunder would finish the game 16-of-37 from three-point range, tying a franchise record for makes in a single game. They had done it twice before, once against Miami in 2013 and once against New York in this year’s season opener.

George would finish with 33 points on 10-of-24 shooting, including five three-pointers. George went 8-of-11 at the free throw line and dished out eight assists.

Including George, the Thunder put five players into double figures, including four starters. Steven Adams finished with nine points and nine rebounds. Patrick Patterson had 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Raymond Felton finished with 14 points, six rebounds and eight assists with only one turnover in his Russell Westbrook impression.

Jerami Grnat scored 14 points off the bench to lead the Thunder reserves.

Oklahoma City will now prepare for the new look Cleveland Cavaliers for a Tuesday night showdown. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oklahoma City thumped the Cavaliers big in Cleveland in their first meeting, so you know LeBron James will be looking for revenge.

Keys to the Game

Alex Abrines: A+

With Abrines stepping into the starting line up, his productions was key and it showed true tonight. The usual back up two-guard scored 16 points for the game. He went 4-of-7 from beyond the three-point line. Oklahoma City did a great job getting Abrines into rhythm early.

Don’t let up: A+

Sure, the Grizzlies found a way to cut it down to 13 once but that’s about it. the Oklahoma City Thunder did a really great job of finding and elevating any comeback by the Grizzlies. Jerami Grant was huge off the bench and did a really good job as an energy guy off the bench as the Thunder won big tonight.

Shoot the three: A+

No one saw this coming but the Thunder hit lightning from deep! The Thunder drained 16 three-pointers tonight, tying a franchise record for makes in a single game. Oklahoma City was on it. At point, they were shooting 55.6 percent in the second half from deep.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Westbrook-less Thunder waxed by Lakers

Russell Westbrook missed his first game of the season with a sprained ankle and Paul George wasn’t enough to do it by himself. The Los Angeles Lakers used an 8-0 run from the first to the second quarter, taking the lead and never looking back as Los Angeles beat the Thunder 106-81 on Thursday night.

Oklahoma City falls to 31-25 on the season and the Thunder are now 1-5 in their last six games.

it’s the first time since the Thunder relocated from Seattle the two teams split the regular season series. The last time the two split before this season was the 2002-03 season.

Westbrook rolled his ankle in the Thunder’s 125-105 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night and it’s pretty understood if this was a must win game, the Thunder could’ve let him roll out there. However in the name of preservation and health, the Thunder held out Westbrook despite him going through some walk through drills in pre-game and in shoot around.

George scored 15 of the first 22 Thunder’s points and it appeared the Thunder were in good spirits. However, a horrible stretch where the Thunder missed 14 consecutive shots, spanning almost five minutes.

Oklahoma City fought back from a double digit deficit to close within 52-46 at halftime.

George couldn’t do it all tonight, he finished with 29 points on 11-of-25 shooting, including 5-of-12 from beyond the three-point line.

Steven Adams struggled from the floor against Brook Lopez. He was only 4-of-11 for 13 points and nine rebounds.

However, the free throw shooting seemed to be the Achilles tonight. Oklahoma City was dreadful once again. The Thunder went 9-of-19 (47.6 percent) from the free throw line. Then, they tried to match that by going 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) from the three-point line.

Oklahoma City would get within 89-71 with 8:27 left in the fourth quarter but the Thunder would get no closer. Los Angeles would push their lead to as many as 27 in the fourth quarter.

Kyle Singler had three points in the second half, second highest total this season.

Oklahoma City only scored 35 second half points.

Oklahoma City will turn their attention to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday evening. The Thunder and the Grizzlies haven’t met yet and will do so twice in three games. They’ll also play on Thursday night with a meeting with the new look Cleveland Cavaliers in between.

Keys to the Game

Limit Threes: F

The Oklahoma City Thunder struggled to defend the three. The Lakers blitz Oklahoma City from beyond the arc, hitting 10 three-pointers. Los Angeles shot 10-of-31 from three (32.3 percent). It was an absolutely pathetic defensive performance.

Lawler’s Law: F

The Lakers hit 100 first. Oklahoma City didn’t even hit 100. This is a rough performance when one of the NBA’s best players sits with an injury. Oklahoma City really missed Westbrook explosive ability to get to the rim tonight. On the bright side, the Thunder don’t play again until Sunday.

Paul George: B

George turned it over six times but scored 29 points. George really had to do it all and was trying his best. When you’re the only one gaining any momentum, the Thunder were bound to struggle. Outside of the first six minutes of the game, George only scored 14 points the remainder of the game.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder Game Day No. 56: at Los Angeles Lakers

Oklahoma City Thunder (31-24, 12-15 away)

at

Los Angeles Lakers (22-31, 13-14 home)

Thursday, Feb. 8 :: 9:30 p.m. CST :: Staples Center (21,000)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 3½-point favorite. The over/under is 216½.
Online Stream: Fox Sports | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Lakers: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • With the barn beating victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder have fixed some holes on the ship. They’ll test that theory with a showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers tonight at 9:30 p.m.
  • Los Angeles beat the Thunder on Super Bowl Sunday with a 108-104 advantage at the Peake. It ended the Thunder’s 11-game home winning streak against the Lakers.
  • Only the Houston Rockets (9-1) and the Utah Jazz (8-2) are hotter over their last 10 games than the Lakers (7-3).
  • Oklahoma City just ended a four-game losing streak with their win over Golden State. The Thunder will look to take the season series from the Lakers with a win tonight.
  • The Lakers will be without a handful of players after they made some stunning moves today at the deadline.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • Tonight’s TNT broadcast crew is Brian Anderson, Reggie Miller and Allie LaForce. Sorry about the Miller.

SCOUTING THE LAKERS

  • The Los Angeles Lakers are 22-31 on the season, 11th in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Lakers are 7-3
  • Los Angeles has won five of their last seven, including three in a row currently.
  • In their all-time series, the Lakers lead the series 141-104 over Oklahoma City.
  • Since moving to Bricktown, the Thunder are 21-13 against the Lakers.
  • When games are played at the at Staples, the Thunder are 9-8 in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
  • In their last meeting, the Lakers topped Oklahoma City 108-104 on Sunday, Feb. 4.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Lonzo Ball (knee) is out.
    Jordan Clarkson (trade) is out.
    Larry Nance Jr. (trade) is out.
    Isaiah Thomas (trade) is out.
    Channing Frye (trade) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Los Angeles came on Dec. 19, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 118-78 (40-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (18 points) vs. the Lakers occurred during an 107-89 loss on March 24, 2009.

INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.
  • Carmelo Anthony (ankle) is questionable.
  • Russell Westbrook (ankle) is questionable.

NEXT UP

  • The Thunder will host the Grizzlies on Sunday. Then, host the Cavaliers on Tuesday before playing Memphis again to wrap up the before All-Star break festivities.

WHAT’S IN A LAKERS NAME

  • How many natural lakes are there in Los Angeles? The short answer: Less than 10,000.
  • When a pair of investors relocated the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League to Minneapolis before the 1947 season, they sought a name that would ring true with the team’s new home.
  • Given that Minnesota is “The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” they settled on Lakers.
  • When the Lakers moved to Los Angeles before the 1960 season, their nickname was retained, in part because of the tradition the team had established in Minnesota.



Three Keys to the Game

Limit Threes

Over their last five games, the Oklahoma City Thunder are allowing opponents to shoot 38.1 percent from the three-point line, which is seventh worst in the Association. Over the same span, the Thunder are allowing 40 percent from deep, 26th in the NBA. Oklahoma City changed that tied in their win over the Warriors, holding them to only 8-of-28 from deep.

Lawler’s Law

The Lakers aren’t a very good defensive team, they’re giving up 109.7 points per game, second worst in the NBA. For that reason, when the Lakers score under 100 points, they’re 3-13. That’s key for the Thunder. Gotta hit 100 and keep the Lakers from doing that.

Russell Westbrook

Before dominating win over the Warriors, Russell Westbrook had been riding the struggle bus. He was shooting only 41.1 percent and 5.4 turnovers per game. His scoring was down by almost two full points and the Thunder had gone 2-3 over that stretch. The Thunder need Westbrook to do his thing. When the Thunder win, Westbrook is averaging 25.5 points and shooting over 46 percent. That’s what the Thunder need. Get back to being Aggressive-brook.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder to be aggressive in buyout market

As we said in our Deadline tracker, the Oklahoma City Thunder were going to be relatively quiet through the 2 p.m. CST deadline. Sure, there were some nibbles but the fact is players they wanted, Avery Bradley and Tyreke Evans, opposing teams wanted way too much. Then, another player Oklahoma City was interested in, Tony Allen, could be found on the buyout market without giving up anything.

Here’s the thing. Oklahoma City gets knocked for their horrible start. If Andre Roberson doesn’t get hurt and the Thunder aren’t robbed on three different occasions by the officiating, the Thunder are near a 40-win team. However, they’re not and the fan base is freaking out.

I guess it’s rightfully so they are. Oklahoma City is known for excellence. Since 2009-10, the Thunder have been one of the best teams, and sometimes in the regular season, the best team. So, some of the freak out is warranted.

So, the Thunder were quiet and will be very active in the buyout market. Why though? Why go after a player who is really a rental for a couple of months? What is the buyout market? Do the Thunder need it?

First we’re going answer what it is and what are the stipulations:

  1. Usually veteran players who have been traded (see: Derrick Rose and Joe Johnson) to a non-contending team. The newer team will agree to a minimal buy out and release the player so they can go play for a contending team on a minimum salary.
  2. Players have to be signed by March 1 to be playoff eligible. There is history throughout the league of players signing due to injury, etc. They weren’t playoff eligible.
  3. As said in No. 1, a lot of times it’s for a minimum contract. You can that through two steps. First, you take the minimum salary for their experience and you divide it by the number of days in the season. This season that’s 177 days. So, for let’s say Joakim Noah, He’ll get approximately $13,156 for 60 days or approximately $789,373. Each day between the posting of this article when he’s signed, it’ll decrease by the $13,156. So, if he signs on March 1, Noah would make $552,561.

Why do the Thunder need to do this?

Well, in short term, Andre Roberson’s injury has put the Thunder in a predicament where they do need someone to help defend but the Thunder realize they’re not going to be able to find a level of defender of Roberson’s caliber to replace him. So, you’re really look for a plug to fix the leak for the rest of the season. It’s not Terrance Ferguson. We know that much. There are opportunities out there.

This trade deadline, despite whatever ESPN or your best friend has told you, is not about convincing Paul George to stay. If he doesn’t think Oklahoma City is the right fit by now, the man knows if he’s gone or not. He’s also going to keep his options open unless something wild happens. The Thunder avoided doing anything wild over the deadline because of how long the Thunder took to mold their chemistry and they weren’t in the business of jeopardizing it.

We’re going to see some teams, Phoenix, maybe Dallas, sign some guys who are buyouts to continue the tank. They’re over their real ability to help a contender but they still want to collect a paycheck (I’d lump Joe Johnson probably in this group).

Oklahoma City has the unique opportunity to have a real position open to someone, like Allen or Johnson. The two could provide the right spark. Both are well liked guys in the locker room. There are others who could be available, like a Marco Belinelli. While Belinelli is a poor defender he can get hot from three.

A real dark horse could be Brook Lopez. Steven Adams needs some relief when he goes to the bench. He’s making $22 million this season, he could be willing to take less to play on a playoff contending team. Plus, his ability to relieve Adams in key situations could prove beneficial for the Thunder.

Oklahoma City isn’t going to wow you with this selection. They’re going to play it smart. They’re going to do what they do all the time, make sound decisions. They’ve done it in the past without you realizing it. You knew Derek Fisher and Caron Butler were buyouts but you really weren’t thinking that when the Thunder signed them.

The Thunder aren’t done making moves, it may not be the move you want but something will happen.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

A brief history of the Thunder on deadline day

Nothing gets me more amped than a 2:08 p.m. tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski relaying the Oklahoma City Thunder swooped in and stole a last second trade idea. It’s happened before and It’s sure to happen again. It’s one of Sam Presti’s monikers.

While not every move Presti move has been significant. There’s always some moving pieces happening. Some historic things as the Tyson Chandler thing and some things that changed the face of the franchise, ala, Kendrick Perkins. So, here are what the Thunder have done on trade deadline day in the Presti era.

2009

Chris Smith and Joe Wilcox and the draft rights to DeVon Hardin to the Hornets/Pelicans for Tyson Chandler

RESCINDED

When it came down to it, the Thunder medical staff had the big whiff, assuming Chandler’s foot had issues. That was untrue and Chandler went on to win Defensive Player of the Year and a ring with the Dallas Mavericks. This is one of the biggest what ifs in Thunder history.

Joe Wilcox to the New York Knicks for Malik Rose

Wilcox was supposed to be in New Orleans, instead he went to New York and Malik Rose appeared in 20 games for Oklahoma City, scoring only 5.0 points per game. This deal was done about 1 p.m. in the afternoon.

2009 first round pick (Taj Gibson) to Chicago for Thabo Sefolosha

It’s hard to believe both players would play in Oklahoma City at one point in their career. I guess that’s how the cookie crumbles. Sefolosha had fallen out of the rotation after being drafted in the first round. However, he was a staple and a big reason on why the Thunder became such a good defensive team. His time in Oklahoma City is well remembered. Another deadline buzzer beater for Presti.

2010: Nothing

Surprisingly, the Thunder made zero trades. They sat back and just chilled as they rolled to their first 50-win season.

2011

Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, cash and a 2012 1st round draft pick (Fab Melo) to the Boston Celtics for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson

I remember where I was when this went down. I was working for US Cellular and I was in a meeting. I get a text message at the time and I raced out of the meeting, onto my work computer and saw the trade. I wasn’t and still am not the biggest Green fan. The night before, Green had air-balled a game winning three against the Spurs and I was done with the former Georgetown Hoya. To my happiness, he was traded the next day. The rest was history. Oklahoma City became an entirely different team and eventually marched to the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. This was also done at the deadline buzzer.

Morris Peterson and D.J. White to the Charlotte Bobcats for Nazr Mohammed

DJ White was drafted in the same class as Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook. He was a stud at Indiana. Injuries and just a lack of separation from the rest of the talent eventually led to his demise in the NBA. If you can’t find a niche in the league, you’ll be out soon enough. Nazr Moahmmed, in all his wisdom and glory, found himself in the midst of a division winner and became as solid back up behind Perkins. This also wasn’t report for almost 20 minutes after the deadline had passed.

2012: Nothing

Again, a bit of a surprise. However, the Thunder did sign Derek Fisher in the buy out market as the Thunder would go to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, falling to the Miami Heat.

2013

Eric Maynor to the Portland Trail Blazers for Giorgos Printezis. Oklahoma City also received a trade exception from Portland

Poor Maynor. A torn ACL and the guy never was the same. He struggled to meet old expectations and was shipped off to Portland for a player we’ll never hear of again. Derek Fisher was back to run the offense and Maynor fell off to the wayside. That trade exception expired by the way. (another buzzer beater)

A 2014 2nd round draft pick (Xavier Thames, who?) and cash to the New York Knicks for Ronnie Brewer

Brewer was an okay addition for a second round pick. He wasn’t of much value and didn’t really hurt the Thunder. He appeared in only 10 games, mainly mop up duty. (Announced after the deadline).

2014: Nothing

Every other year at this point, the Thunder are avoiding deals. They would sign Caron Butler in a buyout signing. Butler was with the Milwaukee Bucks, but was bought out a few days before.

2015

Grant Jerrett, Kendrick Perkins, Tibor Pleiss and a 2017 first round draft pick to the Utah Jazz; the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Reggie Jackson to the Detroit Pistons; the Detroit Pistons traded D.J. Augustin, Kyle Singler and a 2019 2nd round draft pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder; the Detroit Pistons traded a 2017 second round draft pick (Thomas Bryant, who?) to the Utah Jazz; and the Utah Jazz traded Enes Kanter and Steve Novak to the Oklahoma City Thunder. (UTA first round pick received from OKC is protected).

Yeah, tears of Joy for that long, bolded trade. Essentially, the Thunder sent Perkins to Utah for Kanter and they sent Jackson to Detroit for Singler and Augustin. Pleiss barely played with the Jazz and fizzled out quickly. We know about Singler.

Ish Smith, Latavious Williams, cash and a 2015 second round draft pick to the New Orleans Pelicans for a 2016 second round draft pick. (NOLA 2015 second round pick received from Oklahoma City was protected and not conveyed). (OKC 2016 second round pick received from NOLA was protected and not conveyed).

This was just to free of some roster spots.

2016

Traded D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak, a 2016 second round draft pick (Petr Cornelie, who!?) and a 2016 2nd round draft pick (Daniel Hamilton) to the Denver Nuggets for Randy Foye. (2016 second round picks from OKC to Denver are OKC pick and bottom-five protected Charlotte pick)

I never really cared for Foye’s time in Oklahoma City.

2017

Joffrey Lauvergne, Anthony Morrow and Cameron Payne to the Chicago Bulls for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second round draft pick

I’ll miss Anthony Morrow but Cameron Payne looks more like a bust every day. Taj Gibson was a Godsend for the Thunder and McDermott wasn’t too fond of his playing time here. He spoke well of the city but didn’t like his role. He’es enjoying his time in New York City right now.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!