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Loud Links: Oklahoma City Thunder News for June 23, 2009


There is more Oklahoma City Thunder news in the latest edition of Loud Links. Most interesting is that OKC has hired a Spanish law firm to assist with Rubio’s legal matters should Presti decides to draft him. The Thunder are working out a bunch of possible draftees. If I’m not mistaken this will be the third time Dionte Christmas has worked out for OKC. Today was also a busy day in NBA trading. More to read as always so please read on…


Source: Deal sends Minnesota Timberwolves' Randy Foye, Mike Miller to Washington Wizards - ESPN
The Washington Wizards are close to a deal that would send the No. 5 pick in Thursday's draft, Oleksiy Pecherov, Etan Thomas and Darius Songaila to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller, a league source told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher on Tuesday.

Source: Spurs acquire Jefferson for 3 players - ESPN
The Milwaukee Bucks agreed to trade Richard Jefferson to the San Antonio Spurs for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto, a Bucks source told In a simultaneous deal, the Spurs will send Fabricio Oberto to the Detroit Pistons for Amir Johnson who then goes to the Bucks.

Thunder hire Spanish law firm - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
The Oklahoma City Thunder have hired a prestigious Barcelona law firm to assist them should they draft Spanish guard Ricky Rubio. Rubio has a large buyout with Spanish team DKV Joventut Badalona, and Thunder officials are using the firm to brief them on the country’s contract law and procedures. Thunder GM Sam Presti met with Rubio and his agent this past weekend.

Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, and Hasheem Thabeet: Inside the Numbers - ESPN
Would you be surprised to learn that Thabeet was more efficient in the post than Blake Griffin? It's true. Thabeet's points per possession number down on the block, 1.02, was a hair better than Griffin. Post-ups accounted for 36% of Thabeet's offensive possessions.

Budinger, Anderson scheduled for Thunder workout -
Dwayne Anderson of Villanova, Dionte Christmas of Temple and Garrett Temple of LSU were also slated to work out for the Thunder on Tuesday.

The Real Reason Thabeet Canceled His Memphis Workout | Dime Magazine (
The official explanation was a sore shoulder. The unofficial explanation? Thabeet doesn’t want to play in Memphis and wanted to stay in Los Angeles to talk Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti into drafting him at No. 3.

Who will Thunder take? Not even Bennett knows | Berry Tramel
I chatted with Thunder chairman Clay Bennett on Monday. And yes, I asked him the big question. Who will the Thunder draft Thursday? Bennett said he doesn’t know. And he did say he knew last year that Russell Westbrook would be the choice. No one figured Westbrook would go early in 2008, so general manager Sam Presti was fairly certain Westbrook would be available at No. 4, and sure enough, that’s who the then-Sonics drafted.

Economy eating into funds for Oklahoma City Thunder's arena |
OKLAHOMA CITY — The sagging economy is forcing Oklahoma City officials to reassess an ongoing $100 million renovation of the Ford Center, as a sales tax that was supposed to fund the overhaul has brought in less money than expected.

NBA Draft rumors: Utah might have interest in Taylor Griffin |
The Jazz might have interest in drafting Oklahoma forward Taylor Griffin in the second round. Griffin already has been "drafted" by the Harlem Globetrotters. Either way, Blake Griffin’s older brother should have a good job next season. Draft preview: Closer look at the power forwards
KEEP AN EYE ON: Brandon Costner, N.C. State. The junior was up and down throughout his career in Raleigh, but never blossomed as the Wolfpack had hoped. He can pass and shoot, with three-point range, but occasionally fell too much in love with the dribble, and it hurt him. He can guard people in the post--"he's not starting any fights in there but he's not backing off, either," said a coach who's worked extensively with Costner in the past two years. Costner isn't a great athlete, but he can get things done in the paint--if he'll just stay in the paint. One of those guys that may not get drafted, but may be a huge free agent surprise if it all ever comes together for him. Draft preview: Closer look at the small forwards
The crop of potential small forwards in this year's NBA Draft has great potential, but more than a few of those considered the best prospects occasionally underwhelmed in college last year. Consistency was a big issue; great games would be followed by lackluster ones. And inconsistency, more than lack of talent, is what drives NBA types crazier than anything.

Blake Griffin has hectic day at ESPN headquarters |
Griffin, the expected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday, was interviewed live on ESPN Radio’s "The Herd with Coin Cowherd" in the morning and "Tirico & Van Pelt" in the afternoon. He had taped interviews for ESPN’s "NBA Draft Preview Show," "SportsCenter" and "Outside the Lines." He appeared on ESPNEWS’ "Hot List" and worked in other media, including an "NBA Today" podcast.

Tramel: Thunder shouldn't break up Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant |
A 20-year-old star in Durant whose future literally has no limit. A 20-year-old in Westbrook whose athletic ability suggests lockdown defensive skills but who averaged 15.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists as a rookie point guard. And a 22-year-old glue guy in Green who plays both forward positions well, averaged 16.5 points in Year 2 and is loved by Durant. Every Batman needs a Robin.

Rumors persist about Thunder’s plans |
According to, Hasheem Thabeet’s camp feels good about being drafted by the Thunder, quoting a source who said it’s 100 percent that Presti will select the 7-foot-3 Connecticut center if he’s available.

DraftExpress: NBA Team Needs: Northwest Division
The Thunder’s most significant need lies in the post, where the previous regime drafted unsuccessfully in the past. They are due for an upgrade at either the power forward or center positions. With the third pick in the draft, they can take their pick of this year’s top, draft-eligible big men, particularly a more defensively oriented player. They may opt to shore up their backcourt somewhat, though, adding another playmaker and perimeter shooter who is willing to play unselfishly within the team’s existing pieces. With their late first round pick, they can find another solid player to bring off of their bench and deepen their frontcourt rotation.

DraftExpress: Just By the Numbers: This Year's Center Crop
With only two sure-fire first round picks and a couple of potential second-rounders, this group of centers leaves a lot to be desired on multiple levels. Despite its lack of merit, this is an interesting group to look at on paper, since we can see each prospect’s deficiencies pretty clearly and begin to understand the value of true centers on the NCAA level. Our sample features two international players, both from Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Ulker. We also find a surprise declaration in Chinemelu Elonu. Unfortunately, we don’t have Slava Kravstov’s numbers from the EuroChallenge or the Ukrainian League.




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