OKC Loud Links: Money Burning Holes in Their Pockets

Who is going to be the first team to offer the very contract in which owners argued that they need to be protected against? The fun secret is that once it happens, neither side will complain.

Could Busy Summer Schedule Hurt Durant? | NewsOK

Here is the basic answer to this concern - Kevin Durant is 23 years old, and his conditioning now looks to be 50% better than what it was even a year ago.

The Second Day of Christmas | Grantland

Simmons' second day focuses on the big men who are available on the free agency market. He confirms what we've written frequently here - Nene Hilario is a nice complimentary big man, but he has never really shown any evidence that he's a max or even near-max player.

Free Agent Frenzy: Where You Stand | Hardwood Paroxysm

Here is a great snapshot look to see where each team stands financially.

Scoring Purity | Hickory High

Levy comes out with another strong post, this time examining what it means to be a 'pure scorer.' In my mind, being a pure scorer means that the player has little desire to do anything else on the court. As such, I think pure scorers are best suited for a bench role, where the coach can keep tighter reins on their deployment.

Five Games in Six Nights | Ball Don't Lie

We the fans have the right to complain, but the players and owners? No, no right at all.

How Vince Carter Could Help a Contender | Sports Illustrated

My answer - by the contender convincing its division rival to sign Vince Carter.

/rimshot

Hornets Prepare Plan to Avoid Being 'LeBron'd' | NBA.com

Hornets fans probably hate it, but they have to come to the realization that the Chris Paul era is about to close, and the team needs to do whatever it can to avoid ending up with nothing when he leaves.

Lockout Forces Ray Allen's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Scenes to be Cut | Ball Don't Lie

Profoundly silly if not for the fact that it is kind of pathetic and sad. Sometimes I get the sense that the right hand does not understand what the left is doing.

For Clippers, Time is Now | Sports Illustrated

The Clippers find themselves in a place that the Thunder did not too long ago. They are on the cusp; how do they convert it into success? How do they keep Blake Griffin from fleeing in two years?

Mavs Making a Run at Deron Williams? | CBS Sports

The champion Mavericks' two veteran guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry come off the books next season, and so they may be gearing up to make a play for Nets' super-PG Deron Williams.

Roy Hibbert is Learning from Tim Duncan | 8 Points, 9 Seconds

I suppose Roy Hibbert could do worse; I imagine that the Yinka Dare summer big man camp always has space and comes at a steep discount.

More links after the jump.

A Toast to the Little Things | Hardwood Paroxysm

Enjoy it all, soak it in.

Ex-Wizards Coach Now Coaching DC Freshman Team | Washington Post

If you're cynical, you read this story one way. I choose not to be a cynic in this case.

Chauncy Billups May Be Part of Another Mega-Deal | Ball Don't Lie

I think Chauncy Billups has got to be the best player I've ever seen that no team really wants to have.

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