Category - Thunder News

Russell Westbrook signs 5-year extension

It’s only taken two months but Russell Westbrook has finally signed his five-year $205 million dollar extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Westbrook’s extension ends tons of speculation the MVP winner wanted out of Oklahoma City. Time and time again, Westbrook reiterated Oklahoma City was the place he wanted to be and once again Westbrook signed and showed his loyalty to the city. He didn’t have to. His obligation was done last August. However, this man one ups his own self.

Thunder Digest confirmed the signing earlier this morning.

“Russell’s commitment to the Thunder organization since its inception in 2008 has helped propel us to great heights and stare down great challenges over our first decade,” said Presti. “We are extremely fortunate to have an athlete, competitor and person such as Russell wear the Thunder uniform. To have him cement his legacy as a leader as we enter into our 10th season in Oklahoma City is extraordinary. I am extremely grateful to Russell, his family and to our ownership for the commitment and support that they have demonstrated in supporting our vision for the Thunder.”

For Oklahoma City, they have a superstar in Bricktown for many moons to go. While Paul George and Carmelo Anthony may want to bolt for larger cities, it’s Westbrook who will continue to be the staple in Oklahoma City for the foreseeable future.

Westbrook will be 34 when his extension is up as he’s signed through the 2022-23 season.

The new CBA allows players like Westbrook to sign an extension known as the Designated Player Veteran Exception. The DPVE allows for Westbrook to make anywhere from 30-35 percent of the salary cap, which will be an estimated $102 million in 2018-19 when his DPVE kicks in. Westbrook was under contract for one more season at $28.5 million on his original contract re-negotiation signed last summer.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there is no place I would rather be than Oklahoma City,” said Westbrook. “I am so honored to have the opportunity to continue my career here with the Thunder. From day one the support that Mr. Bennett, Sam, Troy and the entire organization have given me and my family has been incredible, and we are so grateful. When you play in Oklahoma City you play in front of the best fans in the world, I’m looking forward to bringing everything I’ve got, for them, this city and for this organization. WHY NOT?”

Russell Westbrook won the 2016-17 NBA MVP last season, scoring an NBA record 42 triple-doubles. He then averaged a triple-double just for show. Oklahoma City is in great hands.

Oklahoma City’s largest priority, signing Westbrook, is accomplished. Now trying to secure Paul George and/or Carmelo Anthony remains next on task. It is believed both will opt out of their player options. However, the Thunder retain the bird rights on both players.

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Annual Blue-White Scrimmage Oct. 1 at Edmond North

The annual Blue-White scrimmage has been all over from Oklahoma City, Newcastle, Choctaw, Moore, Bixby, Bethany, Yukon and Midwest City. It’s Edmond’s turn to get a crack at it. The Oklahoma City Thunder will host their annual Blue-White scrimmage on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Edmond North High School at 2 p.m.

If you’ve never been to a Blue-White scrimmage, here’s how it goes: The Thunder will hold a very loose version of practice. It’s really like warm up but they run a couple of drills. The Storm Chasers are out and about. Rumble is doing his thing. Outside of the school, they’ll hold a Thunder Alley for everyone. That’ll start about 11 a.m. They’ll have bouncy castle things. They’ll really be doing this for the kiddos.

After they run through the fake drills to make it seem like you’re REALLY  at practice, they’ll hold an mini scrimmage that we’ll be able to see the Thunder in all of their glory for those in the arena.

“We are extremely proud to tip off our 10th season with this great community tradition, and we’re grateful to the Edmond North community for hosting us,” said Brian Byrnes, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for the Thunder. “We’ve played the Blue and White Scrimmage in a different location every year to show our fans across Oklahoma how deeply we appreciate their support and how much we value the connection they feel with our team.”

Tickets will only be handed out by the Edmond North administration to the students via raffle. This is best to keep the tickets in the community and not getting out there on the open market, jacking up the prices as this is a free event for the local community. However, all Thunder Alley festivities will be open to the public.

Thunder Digest will be live on the scene with Brady Trantham bringing you the 411.

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Thunder sign Isaiah Canaan

While we’re still all freaking out about the trade of Carmelo Anthony, the Oklahoma City Thunder quietly signed free agent guard Isaiah Canaan.

You might recognize the name and you should. Dude lit up Oklahoma City 31 points in March 2015. He’s been with the Rockets, Bulls and the 76ers before joining Oklahoma City.

The Thunder are in a situation that puts them at 18 roster spots, with two players, Dakari Johnson and Daniel Hamilton, heading to the D-League on two-way contracts.

During his time in Chicago, Canaan averaged 4.6 points on 36 percent shooting from the floor and then only 26 percent from three. However, he shoots 35.2 percent from deep. So, Oklahoma City is definitely getting someone who can shoot.

The 26-year old out of Murray State has been in the association for four seasons. Hopefully this is the place that sticks for him.

For Semaj Christon, this becomes a weird situation. With four point guards on the roster, he could be the odd man out. Oklahoma City likes to keep three. They’ll find out through the short preseason who the best third string point guard is.

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Thunder trade for Carmelo Anthony

The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded for Carmelo Anthony according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Thunder will send a draft pick, Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott to New York to complete the transaction.

The talks accelerated on Saturday morning. On Friday, Melo extended his teams where he would waive his no trade clause to Oklahoma City and Cleveland. The Thunder moved quickly on Saturday morning, getting it done.

Anthony has been a sore spot in New York and has not been happy for some time. Anthony’s no trade clause has kept him in the Big Apple for longer than anticipated.

For his career, Anthony is averaging 24.8 points 45.2 percent shooting. He’s a 34.6 percent shooter from deep. Last season in New York, Anthony played in 74 games and averaged a little over 22 points a contest.

Kanter has beccome beloved in Oklahoma City. His standing up for Westbrook and others has really made him popular. Then, we fell in love more as we saw him stand up to the tryanny in Turkey.

During his time in Oklahoma City, Kanter averaged 14.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Doug McDermott, aka McBuckets, in Oklahoma City was indifference for the Thunder. His time was forgetful.

Wojnarowski reports Russell Westbrook and Paul Geore were big in getting Melo to waive his no trade clause.

We’ll have more on this as it comes out.

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Presti: “We continue to move forward”

To kick off the 2017-18 NBA season, Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti held his annual opening press conference this morning at the Integris Thunder Development Center.

To no surprise, the two biggest players in the Thunder’s brief ten-year history — Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant — were the topics of many questions. The latter of which drew attention for some regrettable tweets from a covert Twitter account in which he criticized his former coach and teammates.

“First of all, no one with the Oklahoma City Thunder have anything negative to say about Kevin Durant,” Presti said in his opening answer.

Presti also said that he had not received any communication from Durant since the tweets surfaced.

This has been consistent from the organization from the time Durant announced his departure via the Player’s Tribune article in July of 2016. While there were no tribute videos during the regular season, Presti and the Thunder franchise have been persistent in their desire to move forward but to pay Durant the respect he deserves when it became necessary.

It’s going to be a fun year for Thunder basketball.

-Sam Presti

Moving forward is exactly what the Thunder have done.

After a season which saw Oklahoma City enter the playoffs and bear witness to one of the more incredible single season runs in NBA history by an individual player, Presti spoke about how the changing and evolving roster is in an effort to take the next step in competing for a title.

“We are continuing to build the Thunder into something the city can be proud of,” Presti said. “Billy Donovan and his staff have been incredible this summer. I’m really excited to see them work with this group of guys. It’s going to be a fun year for Thunder basketball.”

While Westbrook’s extension and the ghost of Durant still loom large over the franchise, Paul George seemed to be a forgotten piece to the Thunder puzzle. Presti was quick to express his excitement for not only he to watch Geroge assimilate with the team but for the fans to see it all unfold.

“It is an unique opportunity to acquire a player like him,” Presti said. “He plays the right way and adds a rare dimension to the team.”

I’m excited for our fans to see him play –

Presti on Paul George

On separate occasions, Presti boasted about George the person rather than George the top-12 NBA player.

“He’s such a mature guy, there’s something about him that is sturdy and stable,” Presti said. He has a nice confidence about him. I’m excited for our fans to see him play.”

Westbrook’s uncertain future did not seem to phase or worry Presti, a man who rarely shows how he’s truly feeling with the media.

“We are just going to let that play out,” Presti answered when asked about Westbrook’s unsigned extension. “We have until the 16th of October to figure out what he will want to do, until then I don’t want to use any adjectives to describe what is going on.”

They compliment each other very well. They both have killer instincts about them.

-Presti on Russell Westbrook and George playing together

The addition of George will certainly give fans memories of when Westbrook and Durant roamed the court together in Thunder blue, but Presti was cautious to simply assume that due to Westbrook’s history with another top NBA player, that the chemistry between he and George would yield the same success.

“Obviously that is the goal, to get back to where we were,” Presti said. “But each player is different, each team is different so I don’t want to say that just because Westbrook played with a great player in Durant that it will be the same with George. But I will say that they both compliment each other really well. They both have killer instincts about them.”

The addition of George as well as Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson to go along with the development of other young players from last season appear to give Presti a level of excitement we aren’t as accustomed to seeing from the stoic-Bay Stater.

“We are committed to growth as an organization and I think we have a group of guys that can continue that growth,” Presti said.

Thunder Media Day and Training Camp begin early next week. The excitement of this year’s preseason is a far cry from where the franchise was a season ago.

Growth.

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Thunder release third uniform

As we’ve reported in the past, the Thunder were going to release a third uniform. Earlier this week, they did just that. We told you “one is expected to be a futuristic looking font on a blue uniform.”

The slanted font that is disproportionate lettering I guess could be considered futuristic. However, the lines on the back; an almost gradient like styling.

The original images that were coming out across 2k weren’t looking too hot. This looked to be one of the bigger debacles in Thunder history. However, now that we’ve seen it in person. I’ve changed my point of view: I dig it.

It’s sleek and we’ve loved the OKC on the front of the jersey. While sunset is gone and we’re still mourning the loss of it, we have found a potentially new favorite alternate uniform.

Rating: 7/10

Why so high? I think it’s unique and I like the sound waves. What if this was an orange version? That could be the fire uni we were all looking for. However, it’s not even Thunder blue really. It’s more of navy blue.  There’s a weird obsession with navy blue within the organization I’m guessing.

The Thunder are getting ready to release a fourth one. This one will be community influenced. It’s supposed to be released during the Winter, so that’s a super vague timeline. We’ll do our best to bring you all the coverage.

You can view the Thunder’s image gallery on their site here.

Vote:

Do you like the statement unis?

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Oklahoma City Thunder Regular Season Schedule Released

It’s that time we’ve all been waiting for, the 2017-18 NBA schedule has been released. There are some really cool things in the schedule, like we’re going to Mexico! Then, the bad ones: Durant comes to Oklahoma City on Nov. 22.

Overall, the Thunder will play on national television 37 times. This includes NBATV. All non-exclusive national TV games will be on FS Oklahoma for the umpteenth year.

Here’s how it breaks down by appearances, most to lowest.

  • TNT: 12
  • NBATV: 10
  • ESPN: 9
  • ABC: 6

Not counting NBATV games, the Thunder’s 27 times on national TV, is the fourth most in the league behind Warriors (31), Rockets (28) and the Cavaliers (27).

For the first time in league history, the schedule does not have any team playing four games in five nights. This is part of the NBA’s effort to cut down on injuries and reduce the number of games in which teams rest healthy players.

Back-to-back slates also have been reduced to an average of 14.4 per team, down from 16.3 per team last season. No team has more than 16 back-to-backs this season. The Thunder have 11 back-to-backs this season.

Here is the schedule:

DateTeamTime (CST)Channel
Oct. 19vs. Knicks7 p.m.TNT
Oct. 21at Jazz8 p.m.FSOK
Oct. 22vs. T-Wolves6 p.m.FSOK
Oct. 25vs. Pacers7 p.m.FSOK
Oct. 27at T-Wolves7 p.m.NBATV
Oct. 28at Bulls7 p.m.FSOK
Oct. 31at Bucks7 p.m.NBATV
Nov. 3vs. Celtics7 p.m.ESPN
Nov. 5at Blazers8 p.m.FSOK
Nov. 7at Kings9 p.m.NBATV
Nov. 9at Nuggets9:30 p.m.TNT
Nov. 10vs. Clippers8 p.m.FSOK
Nov. 12vs. Mavericks6 p.m.FSOK
Nov. 15vs. Bulls7 p.m.FSOK
Nov. 17at Spurs7 p.m.ESPN
Nov. 20at Pelicans7 p.m.FSOK
Nov. 22vs. Warriors7 p.m.ESPN
Nov. 24vs. Pistons7 p.m.FSOK
Nov. 25at Mavericks7:30 p.m.FSOK
Nov. 29at Magic6 p.m.FSOK
Dec. 1vs. T-Wolves7 p.m.NBATV
Dec. 3vs. Spurs 6 p.m.NBATV
Dec. 5vs. Jazz7 p.m.FSOK
Dec. 7at Brooklyn (Mexico)9 p.m.FSOK
Dec. 9at Memphis8 p.m.NBATV
Dec. 11vs. Charlotte7 p.m.FSOK
Dec. 13at Indiana6 p.m.ESPN
Dec. 15at Philadelphia6 p.m.ESPN
Dec. 16at Knicks6:30 p.m.FSOK
Dec. 18vs. Nuggets7 p.m.NBATV
Dec. 20vs. Jazz7 p.m.FSOK
Dec. 22vs. Atlanta7 p.m.FSOK
Dec. 23at Jazz7 p.m.FSOK
Dec. 25vs. Rockets7 p.m.ABC
Dec. 27vs. Raptors7 p.m.NBATV
Dec. 29vs. Bucks7 p.m.FSOK
Dec. 31vs. Mavericks6 p.m.FSOK
Jan. 3at Lakers9:30 p.m.ESPN
Jan. 4at Clippers9:30 p.m.TNT
Jan. 7at Suns7 p.m.FSOK
Jan. 9vs. Blazers7 p.m.NBATV
Jan. 10at T-Wolves7 p.m.ESPN
Jan. 13at Hornets4 p.m.FSOK
Jan. 15vs. Kings7 p.m.FSOK
Jan. 17vs. Lakers7 p.m.ESPN
Jan. 20at Cavaliers2:30 p.m.ABC
Jan. 23 vs. Nets7 p.m.FSOK
Jan. 25vs. Wizards7 p.m.TNT
Jan. 27at Pistons6 p.m.FSOK
Jan. 28vs. Philadelphia5 p.m.ESPN
Jan. 30at Wizards6 p.m.FSOK
Feb. 1at Nuggets9:30 p.m.TNT
Feb. 2vs. Pelicans8 p.m.FSOK
Feb. 4vs. Lakers1 p.m.ABC
Feb. 6at Warriors9:30 p.m.TNT
Feb. 11vs. Grizzlies6 p.m.FSOK
Feb. 13vs. Cavaliers7 p.m.TNT
Feb. 14at Grizzlies7 p.m.FSOK
ALLSTARBREAK
Feb. 22at Kings9:30 p.m.FSOK
Feb. 24at Warriors7:30 p.m.ABC
Feb. 26vs. Magic7 p.m.FSOK
Feb. 28at Mavericks7:30 p.m.FSOK
March 2at Suns8 p.m.FSOK
March 3at Blazers9 p.m.FSOK
March 6vs. Rockets7 p.m.TNT
March 8vs. Suns7 p.m.FSOK
March 10vs. Spurs7 p.m.ABC
March 12vs. Kings7 p.m.FSOK
March 13at Hawks6:30 p.m.FSOK
March 16vs. Clippers7 p.m.NBATV
March 18at Raptors12 p.m.FSOK
March 20at Celtics7 p.m.TNT
March 23vs. Heat7 p.m.FSOK
March 25vs. Blazers6 p.m.FSOK
March 29at Spurs7 p.m.TNT
March 30vs. Nuggets7 p.m.FSOK
April 1at Pelicans5 p.m.FSOK
April 3vs. Warriors7 p.m.TNT
April 7at Rockets7:30 p.m.ABC
April 9 at Heat6:30 p.m.FSOK
April 11vs. Grizzlies7 p.m.FSOK
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Thunder sign Daniel Hamilton to two-way contract

While the big name contracts are done with, except for one, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced they’ve signed Daniel Hamilton, to a two-way deal on Aug. 3.

Hamilton, 21, played last season with the Oklahoma City Blue after being drafted No. 56 by Oklahoma City in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Starting in the 2017-18 season, each team is allowed two players on two-way contracts, in addition to the standard 15 players on the roster. Players on two-way contracts spend most of the season in the G-League, but can be called up to their NBA team for a maximum of 45 days.

With the Blue, Hamilton started 47 of 49 games, averaged 14.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. His rebounding led all rookie guards in the G-League.

Hamilton’s major showing was in the 2017 G-League Playoffs. His triple-double against the Santa Cruz Warriors helped the Blue to the G-League Western Conference Finals. It was only the team’s fifth triple-double in history.

 

“Daniel has shown significant strides in his development since entering our program,” said Presti. “We are thrilled that he will receive the first two-way contract in Thunder history as we expect him to spend time with both teams this season as he continues to evolve as a player.”

Hamilton competed with the Thunder in the 2017 Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League, where he started four games and averaged 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and an Orlando Summer League-high 6.8 assists per game.

In his time at Connecticut, he was named American Athletic Conference (AAC) Rookie of the Year, an AAC All-Conference Second Team selection and the Most Outstanding Player of the 2016 AAC Championship.

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Thunder release 2017 preseason schedule

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced their 2017 preseason schedule on Aug. 4. There will be only four preseason games this season, the lowest since the lockout shortened season of 2011-12.

The Thunder will play only two games at Chesapeake Energy Arena, one in Tulsa at the BOK Center and will play the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

The first game will be in Tulsa against the Houston Rockets on Oct. 3. They’ll be back in Oklahoma City on Oct. 6 to take on the New Orleans Pelicans.

On Oct. 8, the Thunder will welcome in Austrailia’s NBL team, Melbourne United at the Peake. This will be the third time in franchise history Oklahoma City will host a preseason game vs. an international opponent.

Oklahoma City concludes their preseason schedule with a trip to the Mile High City to play the Nuggets on Oct. 10.

So, that’s four games in a week and the NBA schedule is set to tip-off on Oct. 17.

All games will be on the WWLS the Sports Animal (98.1 in OKC and 97.1 in Tulsa). The Thunder will broadcast only the Denver game on FS Oklahoma, leaving the other three available on the Thunder app or online at okcthunder.com.

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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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