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Loud Links: Oklahoma City Thunder News for July 3, 2009


4D here, waiting patiently to hear news from the Thunder - Paul Millsap talks. According to ESPN, Presti could be buying time by waiting closer to the signing date of July 8 to offer a contract. The Salt Lake Tribune speculates if the Jazz could become the most expensive payroll in the NBA. Given that possibility the Jazz still seem pretty determined to bring Millsap back for next season. BlueBlitz take a look at the Thunder Summer League roster. Durant bowls for charity in Houston. In others parts of the NBA, Turkoglu and Portland have reached an agreement.

Deseret News | Jazz plan to re-sign Millsap — unless offer's 'crazy'
One NBA agent said the Jazz will match unless Millsap's deal is "crazy money." Asked if a contract starting at $10 million per season is just that, the agent dubbed it "borderline crazy." Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor on Tuesday told that "we're going to re-sign Paul Millsap unless the number is outrageous," which is a departure from the franchise's initial unequivocal commitment to match.

NBA free agency - ESPN
It's possible that the Thunder are seeing what the market for Millsap is and waiting until next week to make a move, thereby giving the Jazz less time to prepare to match their offer. Contracts can be signed on July 8, and a team has seven days to match the offer. If OKC were to make an agreement with Millsap before July 8, it would be giving the Jazz more time to potentially move players around to create room to re-sign Millsap.

NBA free agents: Hedo Turkoglu, Portland Trail Blazers have agreement in principle - ESPN
Hedo Turkoglu has reached an agreement in principle to join the Portland Trail Blazers, according to sources. Although a verbal commitment may be announced sooner, the terms of the contract cannot be finalized until Wednesday when the NBA informs teams what the 2009-10 salary cap will be.

Seattle transplants mark 1st year in Oklahoma City - nba -
A full year after the NBA franchise announced it would be relocating, Winemiller is among a handful of employees who are still making a 2,000-mile commute - from home with the family in the Pacific Northwest to work at the Thunder's downtown office.

Thunder Summer League Roster Released!
We now have our official roster! Among them you can see this years draft picks, James Harden, B.J. Mullens, and Robert Vaden. For a detailed explanation of who they are, see my article entitled, "So, Who Did We Get?" In any case, here's a break down of what to expect from each guy in the Summer League and going forward.

Tahlequah Daily Press - Frontcourt is No.1 need for Thunder
The Thunder are one of only three teams, Detroit and Memphis are the other two, who have over $10 million in cap room to spare. Despite the large amount of cap space, it seems unlikely with the young talent already in place that the team will pursue any of the marquee free agents.

Say It Ain't So: Is The "R" Word In Store For The Bulls? - Bull Riding
So if we rebuild, what does that mean? Well, the two best examples from recent memory are the Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both teams began with one star player (Paul Pierce and Kevin Durant, respectively), and they had to wait to slowly gather the right pieces to complement their stars. In the meantime, they cleared cap space, gutted their rosters, and collected a combination of expiring contracts and young players on rookie contracts. They then let the kids play, keeping the ones who thrived and letting go of those that didn't.

It's easier for the Jazz to blow cash than to get their money's worth - Salt Lake Tribune
Still the Jazz rolled in at over $73 million. And one of the most notable things about that number is it does not include a full roster of players. Most significantly, it doesn't include whatever it will take to re-sign Paul Millsap. Add that in, and the Jazz could find themselves at the head of the big-spenders club, or near it, if the Lakers, as expected, roll out some major bones to re-sign all their guys.

Gerald Green eager to prove he belongs in the NBA |
It’s low-risk, high-reward players like Green that Thunder general manager Sam Presti has become known for targeting. Green turned only 23 in January and figures to be four years from entering into the prime of his career. For now, he’s seemingly a cost-effective option that potentially could provide Oklahoma City with another perimeter shooter and rangy defender on the wing.

One Year Anniversary of Thunder Announcement | KSBI-TV | Sports
After completing the season the Thunder have now begun its first off season including an NBA draft where the team selected James Harden out of Arizona State third overall. Now the team begins its first free agency period as the Thunder and will look to make more moves to make its second season in OKC more successful then the first.

Durant Bowling For Charity | Thunder Rumblings
Kevin Durant will be a part of T.J. Ford’s charity bowling event in Houston on July 11 (via the Houston Chronicle). Not sure how bowling has taken off in NBA circles, but it definitely has as a means for fund raising and a fun free-time activity.

Peace, Love and Thunderstanding: The Myth of Presti | The Lost Ogle
When the Supersonics fired their former general manager, Rick Sund, I remember being very excited about the prospect of SamPresti being the guy in charge of basketball operations when the team moved here. The guy, who graduated high school only one year before I did, was a wunderkind who was credited with convincing the San Antonio Spurs to take a chance on Tony Parker. It indicated to me that he was a young guy, who thinks outside the box, and does a great job of evaluating talent.


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July 2009

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