Category - Thunder News

Thunder darkhorse to nab Greg Monroe

In a surprising turn of events, the Phoenix Suns agreed to a buyout with center Greg Monroe on Wednesday evening. With that, Yahoo’s Chris Mannix reported the buy out and said there is a legitimate darkhorse to land Monroe: The Oklahoma City Thunder.

Mannix is a really reliable NBA reporter. His work with Adrian Wojnarowski during Woj’s time at Yahoo is second to none. That said, a bit surprising as the Thunder have also been linked to Tyreke Evans. It’s unclear which direction the Thunder will go before the trade deadline. It’s pretty understood the Thunder’s will be one of the buyer’s as the deadline approaches.

Monroe, 27, has played for three NBA teams, with much of his career in Detroit. He was traded to the Suns on Nov. 7 in exchange for Eric Bledsoe. In 20 games with the Suns, Monroe is averaging 11.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in 23.3 minutes.

It appears Oklahoma City is without any exceptions and they could only offer Monroe the pro-rated league minimum (approx. $884,369 as of Jan. 31). For Boston, the favorite, they can offer $8.5 million, which came from the Gordon Hayward injury. Before the buyout, Monroe was making a hefty $17.8 million this season. So, taking a short pay cut on the back of that buyout is easy street for Monroe if he feels Oklahoma City is the best for his team. Most of the time, money talks.

If the Thunder were to reach out and grab the former Georgetown Hoya, he would be an instant relief for Steven Adams. As I said on the Peake & Roll podcast, the Thunder should look to go big and help Adams. When the Kiwi gets into foul trouble, the Thunder are almost left out to dry and forced to go small. This way, they could retain some normalcy within their line up.

Sure, Boston is the favorite but Monroe would be a great fit in Oklahoma City.

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Report: Clippers offered Blake Griffin for Paul George

We were all shocked by the wild trade on Monday afternoon, sending Oklahoma Christian School’s Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons for a handful of players. What we learned on Wednesday morning is the Clippers originally tried to trade Griffin to Oklahoma City.

It makes sense in the surface. Griffin played high school basketball for OCS in Edmond, winning a couple of state championships. Then, he went south on I-35 to Norman, where he led the Sooners to the Elite 8.

Royce Young of ESPN said on a podcast with Brian Windhorst of ESPN, they essentially reached out to numerous teams. Here’s the transcribed portion of the pod (by RealGM):

“They offered him around to everybody,” said  Young on The Hoop Collective podcast.

“I don’t know if that’s true,” replied Windhorst.

“I mean I know they made calls to Oklahoma City for Paul George,” Young said. “I’m pretty sure they made calls to Minnesota for players, so I mean, like, they tried to get some bigger name players. It just wasn’t happening.”

So essentially, the Clippers approaches teams to see what could stick. It’s apparent the were dead set on getting rid of Griffin, but for the right cost.

Why it made sense

On the surface, this is a win-win. Griffin gets to come come and so does George. Everyone is happy. Plus, Griffin is locked in for the next four seasons. It provides stability to the organization. Especially with how he Thunder are letting it ride with George becoming a free agent this Summer. Not to mention, George’s mentions on how he was a Clipper fan as a kid.

While it’s tough to compare players who play drastically different positions, Griffin provides a post presence the Thunder lack at times. It would also would’ve moved Carmelo Anthony back to his natural three position. While Griffin’s ability archaic in today’s NBA, by no fault of his own can still hit the mid range and has learned how to step out and hit the three.

Why it would’ve been a bad deal

Oklahoma City essentially took two months figuring out how to play together. Now, you’re taking out a key piece and throwing it another. The chemistry issues could’ve been far and wide. The Thunder are like standing on ice right now with the personalities. They’re found out what’s worked and if you even mess with it a bit, the cracks could cause the whole thing to fall through.

It’s easy to forget but Anthony came here, not for only Russell Westbrook, but George, too. Trading a key piece on why Anthony agreed to the trade could’ve forced Anthony into opting out of his deal and the Thunder could be almost back to square one.

Griffin’s injury history is scary. It started by his meniscus injury at Oklahoma and he’s had a bunch of random ones, including punching a team personnel member at a bar in Toronto. So, you’re giving this talented player over $100 million and hoping he’ll remain healthy.

All-in-all, San Presti probably made the right move. George, in my mind, is the right fit for the Thunder, personality wise and system wise.

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Paul George selected as All-Star replacement

With DeMarcus Cousins hurting his Achille’s in New Orleans’ win over Houston on Friday, Jan. 26., the NBA had to find a replacement for the 2018 NBA All-Star game in February.

George is slated to make his fifth All-Star appearance, joining teammate Russell Westbrook on Team LeBron, replacing New Orleans’ DeMarcus Cousins.

George was considered the biggest snub in the Western Conference. One of the best defenders in the league, George had started to find his groove, averaging almost 22 points per game since Dec. 1. His defensive stats are second to none this season.

Cousins sustained a season-ending ruptured left Achilles tendon against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 26.  An All-Star selection for the fourth consecutive season, Cousins was voted to start and drafted to Team LeBron by captain LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When an All-Star is unable to participate, Silver will choose a replacement from the same conference as the player who is being replaced.  Cousins and George both represent the Western Conference. George received the most voting points from NBA head coaches among Western Conference players who were not selected as reserves.

George is currently averaging 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.17 steals (ranks 2nd). In 46 games this season, he is averaging a career-best 42.0 percent from 3-point range on a career-high 7.3 3-point attempts per game. He ranks first in deflections (4.4) and third in loose balls recovered (1.7).

George is currently on pace to become the fifth player in NBA history to average 20.0 or more points on .420 percent 3-point shooting to go along with 2.00 or more steals per game (Stephen Curry, Michael Jordan, Hersey Hawkins and Larry Bird).

This season, George has helped Oklahoma City to a 29-20 record and the league’s longest active win streak at seven games.

The 67th NBA All-Star Game will air on TNT and ESPN Radio. Featuring a new format in which team rosters were drafted by James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, the All-Star Game will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.

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Andre Roberson ruptures patellar tendon

Andre Roberson took a serious fall in the third quarter and ended up leaving on a stretcher and for the Oklahoma City Thunder they wait for the official word of what is the diagnosis.

With 4:33 left in the third quarter, Roberson found a wide open back door cut but as he went into the air, it looks as if his leg gives out and he takes a nasty spill to the floor. Roberson was able to pull his self off the court and it was obvious something serious just happened.

As teammates came over to console him, Roberson left on a stretcher, biting a towel, holding back tears.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported a source saying Roberson has a ruptured patellar tendon.

Thunder head coach Billy Donovan confirmed in post-game Roberson has a patellar tendon injury but did not specify on the severity.

According to the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute, a person cannot resume sports activities for up to six months. He might not even be able to walk for 3-3½ months.

the Patellar tendon i a tendon that extends down the high muscle, or quadricep, and attaches to the knee cap to the shin bone. It helps keep the knee straight. Forceful movement by the quad or falling directing on the knee can cause the tear.

Kathryn Trumble, the Physical Therapist who wrote the article, says surgery is often required to repair the injury.

While it’s not 100 percent sure the severity of the injury, The Thunder said they want to wait until they land back in Oklahoma City to get the severity.

The severity of the injury can determine for sure if surgery (full tear) or just physical therapy is needed (partial tear).

According to Wojnarowski, Roberson is expected to need season ending surgery to repair his injury.

Roberson came into the game averaging 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds for a Thunder team that has now won seven consecutive games.

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George makes statement in comments about Westbrook

Russell Westbrook’s explosion about Paul George being snubbed in 2018 All-Star game showing big steps in the potential re-signing of Paul George in free agency this summer.

On Wednesday, George spoke to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (h/t ESPN.com’s Royce Young) that he thought i twas “awesome” Westbrook went and stood up for the former Indiana pacer after the coaches snubbed George as a Western Conference All-Star reserve.

George then took it a step further:

“Russ is the reason why this decision is becoming even more easier to make, is the character Russ [has],” George said. “A stand-up guy, and he has his teammate’s back.”

George then said it went in a little more on what he meant: “It was awesome for a teammate to have your back and to stand up. And to be honest, he should be a starter. He’s been the MVP, been the best player at his position. He should’ve been a starter. But that’s another story. But the fact Russ had my back, that’s my guy forever, and it’s more apparent what this decision needs to be made when it comes down to it.”

Westbrook after Tuesday’s 109-108 win over the Brooklyn Nets exploded when asked by our own Brady Trantham on his thoughts with George being snubbed.

“Unbelievable. I think it’s just outrageous in my opinion,” Westbrook said. “I don’t know who else made the team, but I know you got guys with four people from one team. You got guys complaining about being snubbed so they can get in. You got guys that just talk about it all the time, but the guys that deserve it should be in it. I just don’t understand. It doesn’t make any sense a guy that leads the league in steals, compete every night, top two in his position, it don’t make any sense regardless of anything else… Everybody’s not an All-Star. Just because you get voted in don’t mean you’re an All-Star. I just think it’s outrageous.”

George has been heaven sent since arriving from Indiana in a trade in June. George is averaging 20.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.1 steals per game, first in the NBA, while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 42.2 percent from three, a career high.

With the duo of George and Westbrook on the floor, the Thunder have outscored opponents by almost eight points per 100 (7.7).

Since starting 8-12, George and the Thunder have turned it around. Oklahoma City is 19-8 since with George averaging 21.3 points per game on 44.3 percent three-point shooting.

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Paul George and Andre Roberson listed out against Dallas

The news gets worse for the Thunder, who are coming off a bad call loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have listed both Paul George (left knee soreness) and Andre Roberson (left patellar tendinitis) as out for the tomorrow night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks (12-25) in their Game Notes.

You can view the Game Notes here.

George missed last night’s game and Roberson left with 18 seconds remaining and did not return. Donovan said in post game it would have been Roberson on Giannis Antetokounmpo, not Josh Huestis, if he was healthy.

Fred Katz at the Norman Transcript was first to report this.

Now this could be only scheming. You list the two players out more than 24 hours before the game. Then, tomorrow you list them as doubtful and by game-time they’re ready to go. Oklahoma City likes to be secretive and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a thing. They’ll wait as long as possible to name a starting replacement due to this as well.

Oklahoma City is now 1-2 without either George or Roberson in the lineup. George previous missed games against Brooklyn and Memphis. Roberson missed Charlotte and Indiana.

It’s unknown who will replace the two in the starting line up if they’re unable to go. The probable starters on the Game Notes lists the same ones from last night. However, Josh Huestis stepped in and played big minutes last night. He was a plus-21 while Alex Abrines was negative-24. Usually single game plus/minus can be ignored, but not that big.

You will probably see a combination of Huestis and Abrines in the place. Maybe they’ll surprise everyone and start Daniel Hamilton, which is something I’d like to see.

The Thunder host the Mavericks in a New Year’s Even showdown at 6 p.m. on FS Oklahoma. The Mavericks have won three straight and the Thunder are 7-3 in their last 10 games, including 12 of their last 16 games. The two teams split their previous two meetings this season, both winning at home.

Roberson is averaging 5.0 points on 52.4 percent shooting this season. His defensive rating of 96.5 is No. 1 in the NBA and will surely be missed.

George in 33 games this season is averaging 20.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and an NBA best 2.5 steals per game.

The Thunder cancelled practice due to the icy road conditions in Oklahoma City today. So, there was no media availability to ask about the status of either player.

 

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Steven Adams is out with a concussion

Steven Adams will miss tonight’s game against the New York Knicks after suffering a concussion in last night’s triple-overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Here’s the play in which Adams got hurt, putting him into league’s concussion protocol:

Per the NBA’s Concussion Policy, Adams will now begin the NBA-mandated Return-to-Participation Protocol. This process includes a series of steps designed to ensure an athlete exhibits symptom-free behavior before resuming basketball activities. There is no predetermined timetable to complete the protocol, as each injury and player is different and recovery time can vary in each case.

He will be re-evaluated tomorrow in Oklahoma City.

Adams has been thriving in the post on both sides of the ball.

In 25 games this season, Adams is averaging 13.7 points per game on a career best 63.5 percent shooting fron the floor.

In his previous game score missed with a back injury, Dakari Johnson stepped into his place.

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Andre Roberson questionable at Pacers

That often question two-guard out of Colorado may miss a big game Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers.

Andre Roberson is considered questionable for Wednesday night with an ankle sprain. Roberson missed Monday’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets with the same injury.

Roberson sprained his left ankle in the Oklahoma City win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, Dec. 9. Roberson did go through so post-practice drills on Tuesday afternoon.

According to Erik Horne of the Oklahoman, Roberson’s practice moves were done without a lot of sharp movement. He mostly took set shots and jogged around with black elastic sports tape stretching up his inner left ankle.

Roberson has become of the league’s best perimeter defenders and that was evident in Oklahoma City’s 116-103 loss to Charlotte. The Hornets nailed down 52 percent from deep, including 7-of-10 in the third quarter.

Roberson is averaging a career high 4.8 points on 53.5 percent shooting. The Thunder are  giving up less than 96 points per 100 possessions with Roberson the court.

Since the 2014-15 season, Oklahoma City is 12-19 without Roberson in the line up.

Oklahoma City and Indiana will tip-off at 6 p.m. on ESPN on Wednesday night.

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Here’s why Carmelo Anthony skipped out

Carmelo Anthony skipped out on the media after Oklahoma City’s 116-103 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night. It’s rare for a player to do and to happen after a loss can signal up warning signs from the locker room. However, Anthony set the record straight on Monday at practice.

“I was facetiming with my son,” Anthony said.

Currently, Anthony’s estranged wife La La and his son Kiyan, both are still residing in New York City. So, it’s understandable that Anthony would want to take time when he got a chance, and at a decent hour as New York City is an hour ahead of Oklahoma City, to talk to his son. Especially with it being a school night.

“I skipped out on you guys yesterday, I apologize,” Anthony said.



La La has said Anthony is an incredible dad, saying “they have an incredible bond, and Melo is an incredible dad. They’re always on FaceTime or on the phone planning their next trip.”

Anthony will get a chance to spend time with his son Saturday. Oklahoma City will be in New York to play the Knicks on Saturday night and don’t play again until Monday. They’ll get Sunday off for a back-to-back played on Friday and Saturday. It’s not impossible to think Anthony will stay in New York City on Saturday night to spend time with his family.

In his first season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony is averaging 18.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in 32 minutes per game.

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Paul George expects Pacer fans to boo

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Paul George are returning to Indiana for the annual trip to the Hoosier State. The big different this time is Paul George returning to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse for the first time as an opponent.

On Tuesday at practice, George said he expected boos when asked what his expectations are for returning to Indiana for the first time since being traded.

“Boos,” George said. “I honestly wouldn’t expect it to be any other way.”

George was traded on June 30 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. The Thunder won the first meeting in Oklahoma City handedly but on the road it may be a different atmosphere for the Thunder and George.

“The Pacers fans outweigh the Paul George fans,” George said.



For George, he’s looking forward to being the villain in his former home. George told the Pacers front office he wasn’t re-signing with the organization in mid-June. It only took two weeks for the Pacers to trade George.

“It’s for whatever reason I’ll be booed but I’m going to embrace it,” George said. “I’m gonna thrive on that and it’ll give me energy to play better.”

Oklahoma City and Indiana will tip-off at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at Banker’s Lifefield house. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

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