Tag - contract

Steven Adams for Most Improved? Maybe.

There’s probably one player who’s running away with the Most Improved Player award this season. That’s former Thunder player Victor Oladipo. However, what discussion would be complete without adversaries for said award.

That’s where Steven Adams comes in.

In his fifth year with in the NBA, Adams has shined this season on the court, arguably becoming the second or third best player on the court this season. Many may see Adams’ large contract as a negative to his inclusion within this award race. A $100 million contract last season. Many detractors say Adams didn’t earn it last season. That’s large in part to the Thunder’s lack of offensive identity in a season where Russell Westbrook was really the only offense the Thunder had. They put it in the MVP’s hands and let him do work. Because of this, defenses sagged into the paint, causing a log jam and limiting the overall impact of Adams.

Enter Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

The two acquisitions this summer for the Thunder have opened all of the space in the paint and Adams has thrived. His averaging a career high in points, offensive rebounds, total rebounds, blocks, steals and shooting percentages, The 2-man game with Westbrook and Adams pick-n-roll that is deadly for any opponent is complying an almost instant score when the two initiate it.

When you dive more into the advance stats, Adams is once again thriving. His win shares, measures the number of wins contributed by a player per 48, 9.3, is a career high by almost three full wins per 48. While PER is largely an offensive statistic, is a career high at 21.3 over a previous high of 16.5 according to Basketball-Reference.

Adams’ 16.7 percent offensive rebounding percentage, which measures the percentage of available offensive rebounds a player or team collects while on the floor, is the best in the NBA. It’s a drastic rise over his 12.7 percent last season. His rebounding rise is a large reason why the Thunder are one of the league’s best rebounding teams in the NBA.

Though, it also should be pointed out, Oklahoma City is 4-1 without Adams in the lineup this season. Their lone loss: a one-point win over Denver back in December.

Sure, Oladipo is going to run away with this award. His points per game are a third higher than they’ve been in his career. He’s taken the flailing Pacers, who missed the playoffs last season, to a potential home court advantage in the first round. The impact he’s made since his trading to Indiana.

However, it’s not without the discussion. Adams is there. He may not win it but the recognition should be warranted.

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Spurs Meltdown! 3.10.18

We know Spurs Meltdowns are bad. They’re often racist, misogynistic and often homophobic. This one is no different. While Pop preached diversity and acceptance, their fan base at times is anything but that. Oklahoma City won and here’s the meltdown. Not all Spurs fans are this bad.

  • Get it.
  • Nationally televised game on ABC. Could get ugly.
  • Which Spurs player dies tonight?
  • WestGOAT goes off for 40+ pts
  • Biggest game of the year. Spurs can’t wait any longer to turn this ship around.
  • Prediction: Chimpbrook goes for the trip dub while almost giving up the W for his team. OKC by 5
  • Brewer better than our entire team tbh
  • This offense is painful to watch.
  • WHAT THE F*** is up with this STUPID ASS decision to start Patty over Danny? Is Pop f***ing senile??
  • Pau you useless dinosaur
  • Fatty and Fathead are walking tumors out there
  • Good news is Tony has turned the playoff mode switch on. Bad news is so has gin0bili.
  • Becky can outcoach Pop
  • This team is so beyond trash that Kawhi coming back won’t change sh**.
  • 3 offensive rebounds given up by Rudy Fa***t in this quarter alone
  • OKC with one of the worst scoring benches in the league… Spurs getting obliterated by them.
  • All that work gone in 3 seconds lmao
  • Rookie move Parker
  • wow, absolutely pathetic effort.. playing dumb is just inexcusable
  • Parker’s boneheaded foul with no fouls left to give turns into 4-pts for OKC lol. A microcosm of our season.
  • Adams too long and strong for LMA tbh
  • Yeah we got them right where we want them.
  • If the refs let Adams play defense like Draymond LMA would never score.
  • lol @ cory brewer going off on us
  • first Curry and now Adams …Harden is the next..
  • haha no adams no defense ya fuckers
  • I usually like seeing other nba players hurt but not adams
  • pop more like poop
  • fathead in contract year right there
  • Refs never fails in OKC. Pathetic
  • get this eurof** off the court smh
  • Daddy Donovan running circles around Poop, per par
  • both these teams should be banned from the playoffs
  • Paul george looks like a fat arabian terrorist
  • OKC is hot trash but we’re flaming trash.
  • its like someone told rudy gay “you are rudy gay, you ruin teams”
  • Thunderefs won’t miss a ft and Fathead can’t make one
  • Down by even more when Adams is out…  lolol
  • Donovan only brings out Collison against sh**** teams
  • Collison of all ppl killing us
  • Collison is the worst player in the NBA and he is embarradsing us.
  • You forgot about Gay tbh
  • The crowd cheers for Collison like he’s a Make a wish kid playing in the NBA and the dude is killing the Spurs. Dark times.
  • Billy Donovan has sh** on pop since he’s come into the league.
  • has Poop put in the scrubs yet? oh wait
  • poop already thinking about SXSW panels about anti racism and inclusivity
  • I hate hate this team.
  • Forbes wants off this corpse of a team
  • Like he gets to talk… he’s f***ing terrible.
  • The Thunder ain’t got no respect for the Spurs…none.
  • I’d rather watch my sister have a train run on her than watch LaMarcus Aldridge pass out of a double team, tbh..absolutely nauseating..
  • choo chooo
  • PICS
  • When was the last time the Spurs were this terrible? 2010?
  • 1996-97
  • Ready for this season to end.
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Thunder sign Corey Brewer

The Oklahoma City Thunder finally made their move.

On Saturday morning, the Thunder signed veteran swingman Corey Brewer for the remainder of the season in hopes of fixing some defensive woes that’ve come since the loss of Andre Roberson to injury.

He cut it close being bought out by the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 28. Players must be bought out by March 1 to be eligible for playoffs.

Brewer is entering his 11th season and has played for five other teams in the Association, Minnesota, Dallas, Denver, Houston and the Lakers. In his 765 games, he’s averaged 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He’s a career 28 percent shooter from 3-point range.

 

Brewer, drafted seventh in the 2007 NBA Draft, played for Billy Donovan at Florida. In three years at Florida, Brewer helped guide the Gators to two National Championships (2006 and 2007), appearing in 108 games (106 starts) and averaging 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.63 steals in 27.2 minutes. The Tennessee native was also named NCAA Most Outstanding Player in 2007 and was selected to the NCAA All-Tournament Team in 2006 and 2007.

Other teams that were interested in Brewer: Cleveland, Portland, Washington and Milwaukee.

Brewer, 31, has averaged 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game in 54 contests this season. He had fallen out of the Lakers’ rotation recently and pursued a buyout to join a postseason contender.

While he’s not a super offensive player, Brewer is a perimeter defender who can defend multiple positions and helps secure the defensive issues a bit. While he’s nowhere near the level of Andre Roberson, he’ll be an okay decent replacement.

 

Brewer will earn $526,249 for the remainder of the season on a minimum contract and due to his year’s served. However, the Thunder will have invested a large portion just into Brewer’s addition. With the Thunder being a non-repeater luxury tax team, the Thunder will end up paying $1,315,622.60 just to add Brewer for the final 18 games, plus playoffs.

While Brewer isn’t Andre Roberson, he’s a formidable player and will provide some level of security on defense. He’s not going to wow you offensively and will play limited minutes.

Oklahoma City talked to Tony Allen and Derrick Rose but ultimately settled on Brewer.

Brewer’s highlight is when he scored 51 points in 2014 against Houston, but don’t expect him to give you anything like that this season.

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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.

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Thunder, T-Wolves favorites to sign Joakim Noah

Connect Billy D. to another Florida player, but not Al Horford this time. According to ESPN’s Ian Bagley, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves are the two who could stand out and be the favorites if Joakim Noah would accept a buyout from the New York Knicks.

Minnesota makes a ton of sense as former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and Noah have a longstanding relationship during their time in the Windy City.

Noah played under Thunder head coach Billy Donovan during his time as the head coach at the University of Florida. Noah won a national championship while there.

Drafted by the Bulls in 2007 in with the ninth overall pick, Noah was a stable in the vaunted Thib’s defense for years. He was an all-star for two of his nine seasons in Chicago but sour grapes saw him sign a stupid large contract with the Knicks last season.

Noah, 32, is set to make $17.7 million this season. He has $37.3 million remaining through the 2019-20 season.

Noah has only appeared in seven games this season, barely registering on the radar of productions. Last season for the Knicks, he averaged 5.0 points on 49 percent shooting and grabbed 8.8 rebounds per game. He appeared in 46 games.

This makes a little sense for the Thunder. Dakari Johnson isn’t the answer at back up center. They’re running Jerami Grant out there when Steven Adams gets into foul trouble. Oklahoma City desperately needs some bench help in the bigs department. It’s unknown what kind of shape or health he’s currently in.

Noah currently is not agreeing to a buy out. The Knicks announce in January, Noah won’t be joining the team for the foreseeable future after a confrontation with head coach Jeff Hornacek. If Noah was to agree to a buyout, the Thunder could swoop Noah up for approximately $815,686.

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Trade Deadline Tracker

It’s that time of the year again, NBA deadline day. The Oklahoma City Thunder are an unknown at this point. Most of the fan base wants the Thunder to make a move. It’s assumed they will but I, Chuck, am under the belief it could be a quiet afternoon of events. Sam Presti has proven me wrong time and time again. That said we’re running our annual live trade deadline tracker here.

Here’s how it works. Every rumor. Whether little or not, will be posted here, with a link back to the article we’ve written on it. That article gives you some insight to the deal, if we can paste it together.

This is important to note: ALL TRADES RUMORS HERE ARE FROM VERIFIED, QUALITY SOURCES, i.e. WOJ, ROYCE, THE OKLAHOMAN, ETC.

All posts will be corresponded with a tweet or article linking to the verified source. When a tweet is posted, the user will have the Twitter blue check mark for their verification.

The tracker will run to the top, too. So, When you scroll down, you’ll be able to see the most recent rumor.

NBA TRADE DEADLINE IS 2 P.M. CENTRAL STANDARD TIME

Feb. 8

9:21 a.m.

Not a trade but the Thunder are front runner to sign the former Florida Gator, Joakim Noah. Noah is scheduled to make almost $38 million over the next two seasons. Knicks would have to buy him out.

Feb. 6

Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting the Thunder have branched out on the Utah’s Rodney Hood.

They will be hard-pressed to replace what Roberson gave them defensively, but Hood would offer them a shooter with size who can score.

Jones

Feb. 5

Oklahoma City has once again been tied to Avery Bradley. We here at Thunder Digest do not condone this trade for moral reason.

Feb. 4

KC Johnson of the Chicago Sun-Times has reported the Thunder reached out to the Bulls about newly acquired Tony Allen.

League sources said the Bulls and Thunder have engaged in talks with at least Tony Allen’s expiring deal involved.

Johnson

Feb. 1

Michael Scotto of The Athletic says the Thunder aren’t going to be too busy come deadline day.

Oklahoma City isn’t actively chasing a major upgrade via the trade market due to the team’s chemistry.

Scotto

Jan. 31

Thunder have reached out to the Grizzlies in hopes of snagging Tyreke Evans, the former Rookie of the Year. With Lou Williams signing a three-year $24 million contract on Feb. 7, Evans could be a high item on deadline day.

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10 Kyle Singler Trade Scenarios

He’s your lovable hipster that can rock a man bun better than the Starbucks barista. However, while he doesn’t play, the Thunder’s Kyle Singler is a rotting log that takes up $4.7 million. His percentages aren’t great so fans are fed up with the former Duke Blue Devil.

I think most people are just salty because Singler makes almost as much as Josh Huestis, Terrance Ferguson and Jerami Grant ($4,780,687).

So, the best thing to do is to trade the man. He’s never panned out to what the Thunder hoped He was expected to be a spot up three-point shooter as he was in Detroit. Some players just struggle with adjustment and Singler is one of those.

Who wants Singler’s salary and playing ability, or lack there of? I’ve used the ESPN Trade Machine to trade Singler to 10 different NBA teams. Here are a few pointers before you have a mental breakdown:

  • Some of them are real, some are not. I’m sure you can figure which ones aren’t real.
  • Factors into the non-real ones: Salaries only. That’s it.
  • I had fun.

All right, that’s out of the way, let’s have some fun.

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Five Thoughts 12-13-17 (Thunder 100, Pacers 95)

1. That was a really fascinating game. And it had a pretty improbable result. And I missed part of it because either my DVR malfunctioned or I malfunctioned. Smart money is probably on the latter. Somehow I accidentally set it (or it set itself) to record only the first 80 minutes. I didn’t realize this until a couple of minutes into the third quarter when the recording just stopped. Highly frustrating. Somewhat luckily for me I wasn’t that far behind. But it was scary— going from very early in the third to midway through the fourth having no idea what the score was going to be. I was relieved to see we had a nine point lead and then sat through the tense final five minutes or so. I then was able to skim back and piece the rest of what happened together. But like I said; fascinating. Highly emotional, highly charged atmosphere and it was a great played like a playoff game. It is beyond stunning that OKC can win ANY game with the stars going 10-45; but to do in THAT situation is unfathomable. So how did they do it?

2. I’ve been saying this for awhile now, but the Thunder are incredibly good defensively. If they aren’t the best defensive team in the NBA, they aren’t far behind. This is why I haven’t lost hope and why I don’t want any sort of coaching change. They get after people. Very, very rarely do the Thunder give up clean looks. And sometimes when they do it’s because a guy went for a steal or block— and I’m OK with that considering we need to take gambles to spark offense right now. Even without their best on-ball defender (Andre) the Thunder more or less locked down a Pacers team tonight that has been as white hot as any team in the league. This isn’t new; Thunder have been defending at a high level all season long. It’s becoming their identity and it is allowing them to stay alive as they crap themselves on the other end. In addition to defense, I’d say overall physical effort is keeping them afloat. The team plays hard. They won this game on guts. The big three are a mess offensively, but they are buying in on the other end. Even Russ, who has never been a great defender, has made massive improvements. He isn’t losing his man as often and he is working screens better than he ever has in the past. They are locked in defensively. Which is essential considering they are locked out of the basket.

3. Steven Adams. My goodness. He is carrying them right now. Dude is just a beast. 23 and 13 is good in itself, but he is also making all types of winning plays that aren’t showing up in the box score. Tips, taps, screens, annoying the man he is guarding, etc. He is ridiculously efficient in the paint and some of his offensive rebounds are about the only reason the offense isn’t worse than it is. To their credit, the other guys aren’t afraid to get him the ball. Clearly they trust him— many of our turnovers are on passes intended for Adams in addition to all of the ones that connect. He is playing at all star level and he is saving our ass right now. Abrines and the bench were also really, really good tonight. Felton had 6 assists in 12 minutes. The offense is pretty fluid when the bench is on the floor. Patterson finally showed up and made some big shots tonight as well. Basically everyone other than Russ, PG, and Melo played great tonight.

4. Before we bury Russ too much, let’s acknowledge his sheer force of will. He’s one guy that isn’t afraid to fail and he sure as hell is going to go down swinging. The dude had 17 rebounds tonight. I know in some circles people like to dismiss his rebounding as “stat hunting” and insinuate that it’s some sort of negative, but I find that to be about 99% ridiculous. Getting a rebound in basketball is a good thing, period. Tonight his tenacity may have saved the game for them. On the Abrines miss, Russ came soaring in for his 17th rebound, he missed the put back attempt, but Abrines was there to tip it in and give them the three point cushion. He’s the reigning MVP, but he still plays like a guy on a ten day contract trying to make a living. It’s one way you survive a 3-17 shooting night— go into demon-mode in terms of all-out effort. So while the Thunder are going nowhere unless Russ figures out his shooting issues, we can all trust that at the very least he isn’t going to lay down and just take it. 10 points, 12 assists, and 17 rebounds is still a really good night for an NBA player. Let’s not forget that.

5. One reason I’m not quite in the panic mode others are is that I do see and appreciate the effort and energy the team is giving. Even while scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of shooting the ball, they’ve still managed to win five of their last seven games. They fought really hard tonight and they rallied around PG. Everyone understood what was at stake. It’s one thing if PG didn’t play great (he didn’t) and another thing entirely if he didn’t play great AND the Thunder lost to the Pacers in Indiana. They mostly bottled up Oladipo who has been killing it all year and they somehow found a way to overcome astonishingly bad shooting from the three stars. Maybe I’m stubbornly sticking to this due to my fandom, but I simply refuse to believe the shooting won’t improve. There is just no way these three guys will continue to offer up bricks at this rate. There is evidence to suggest that it is NOT “the offense” holding them back. Other guys (Abrines, Felton, even Huestis) are making shots in the same offense. It’s going to come around. I’ll go down with the ship proclaiming that. This one should have them in better spirits. Probably a relief for PG. Melo gets his turn Saturday back at MSG. But first the Sixers await. Thunder need to get at least one of those to consider this trip a success.

Ed Kleese is a long-time Thunder season ticket holder and a smart Thunder fan. You can read all his work on his own personal blog.

 

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Power Rankings Week 1 (Oct. 16-22)

The NBA season is upon us! Oklahoma City doesn’t play until Thursday but the NBA season starts tomorrow night. With that said, we’re going to try and do something every Monday here at Thunder Digest. We’re going to rank all 30 NBA teams. If you disagree, please tell us. We’re going to try and remain impartial to being a Thunder site.

1) Golden State Warriors

I feel like this is a given. The Warriors added Nick Young and are the defending champions. They’re going to be here until they lose more than they’re expected. Vegas has them at 67 wins. I’d take the low as the West is very tough this season.

2) Houston Rockets

When you add a hall-of-fame point guard, you’re going to improve. The Houston Rockets with the addition of Chris Paul are going to barrage every team in the league with three-pointers and there is only way to stop them, let them miss. That’s really it.

3) The Oklahoma City Thunder

You add Paul George and Carmelo Anthony? You shoot up everyone’s rankings. Russell Westbrook doesn’t need to do it all himself this year. Alex Abrines, who set a rookie Thunder record for made threes, is back and will provide a nice support off the bench. The bench is the major question mark for the Thunder.

4) Boston Celtics

Once again, a team acquiring another superstar(s) shoots up the rankings. Though, Boston went to the Eastern Conference Finals, they added Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Boston is deep and very talented. How will Irving and the rest of the Celtics gel?

5) San Antonio Spurs

Kawhi Leonard. Enough said. This man might be the front-runner for the MVP this season. Their age is always going to be a factor but you cannot discount everything the Spurs do. They’re consistent as the sun and the moon.

6) Washington Wizards

I have a soft spot for Scottie Brooks. That man will always be revered in my household. Wizards almost won 49 games last year after an abysmal 3-9 start. With a healthy John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards are on the right path.

7) Cleveland Cavaliers

Now please don’t sacrifice me for putting the Cavaliers this far down. It’s really due to Isaiah Thomas being out with the hip until at least Christmas. This list is to start the season. The Cavaliers will probably still win the Eastern Conference.

8) Minnesota Timberwolves

How many teams have 2016-17 20-point scorers? Three. Golden State, Oklahoma City and Minnesota. Adding Jimmy Butler and Co., the Timberwolves will finally move into the playoffs.

9) Toronto Raptors

Patrick Patterson is gone but that’s fine. Serge Ibaka is the stretch Toronto wanted anyway. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan give the Raptors one of the best backcourt duos in the NBA.

10) Milwaukee Bucks

Kevin Durant said Giannis Antetokounmpo could be the player in the history of the NBA. The dude keeps getting better and better. Experts, not Durant, think he could eventually average multiple seasons of triple-doubles. That’ll be time before it comes true but he’s fun to watch. Oh and there is Thon Maker, too. He’s cool.

11) L.A. Clippers

What a weird season for the Clippers. Chris Paul is gone but they retain Blake Griffin and still have DeAndre Jordan. I’d like to think Milos Teodosic is the real deal. Plus, adding Sam Dekker was a clutch move to sure up them their bench.

12) Utah Jazz

The Jazz are in a weird spot, like the Thunder were last year. However, with Derek Favors and Rudy Gobert, they still have some players. They added Ricky Rubio from Minnesota. It’s not like they fell off the map. Bench is a bit of a question but they’ll be okay.

13) Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic is a stud. Will Barton and Gary Harris will lead a backcourt but the inconsistency of the Nuggets from last year leaves them out of my top 10. Though, they were 15-11 after the Nurkic trade last year.

14) Portland Trail Blazers

It’s the Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum show once again. Jusuf Nurkic was a beast after the trade and they added Caleb Swanigan but is there enough defense out there to contend in the super tough Northwest Division?

15) Philadelphia 76ers

Okay, maybe I’m overselling the 76ers but that’s fine. Joel Embiid is so entertaining to watch. If he can stay healthy, he’s an All-Star player and the 76ers make the playoffs. If he gets hurt, JJ Redick made $23 million to go to Brooklyn next season.

16) Charlotte Hornets

Kemba Walker gets help from an over-the-hill Dwight Howard but will still be enough to make the playoffs in the East but won’t be entertaining to watch.

17) Miami Heat

The Heatles went 30-11 down the stretch and barely missed the playoffs. Curious to see what Waiter’s Island is like without a contract year to fall back on.

18) New Orleans Pelicans

Despite Boogie and Anthony Davis being maybe the best front court in NBA history, the Pelicans don’t have enough to get it done. Rajon Rondo isn’t the answer, either.

19) Dallas Mavericks

If you haven’t seen Dennis Smith Jr. play yet, this guy is going to be so good. Dallas found their next franchise player. Even with aging Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks will miss the playoffs.

20) Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies have been a staple in the playoffs for the last few years. I think that ends this year. While Mike Conley is one of my favorite point guards to watch, I don’t think him and Marc Gasol can do it alone.

21) Sacramento Kings

Dave Joerger and Zach Randolph, okay. Also, Vince Carter is on this team. Is this the rejected Memphis Grizzlies? Why didn’t Tony Allen come here?

22) Detroit Pistons

There isn’t a lot from keeping me ranking the Pistons lower on this rankings, other than bottom six teams are all from the East. Just a plague of how bad the East bottom half is.

23) Los Angeles Lakers

I’m not sold on Lonzo Ball yet. However, he makes the Lakers relevant, even if they’re bad again. The League’s (and team’s throughout the league’s, profit goes up when the Lakers are relevant.

24) Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker and Dragon Bender got some help in Josh Jackson. The Suns are going to be bad again. However, they’ll at least be entertaingly bad.

25) Indiana Pacers

Victor Oladipo will have his work cut out for him in Indiana. Luckily he has Miles Turner to assist him in this 35-win season.

26) Orlando Magic

Kind of like Chicago, I find it hard to really name some players. Then, they rolled in a bit better than with Chicago. Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier will get some attention but for the most part, this team might not win 30 games.

27) Chicago Bulls

I thought about it really quick, there isn’t a person on the Bulls I could name off the top of my head. That’s not a good sign. However, Zach LaVine and Robin Lopez will try not let this team end up worst than some expect.

28) New York Knicks

Poor Ron Baker. He and Kristaps Prozingis will have to win every game on their own.

29) Brooklyn Nets

They don’t have a first round pick of their own until next season. They do have a first round pick from the Raptors, but it’s lottery protected. That’s about the only thing going well for Brooklyn coming up. This is going to be a rough season. They only won 20 games last year.

30) Atlanta Hawks

Only if the Hawks were going to be as entertaining as their twitter account is. This is going to be a rough season in the dirty south.

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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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