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Loud Links: Oklahoma City Thunder News for July 9, 2009


Here are your Loud Links for this hot summer day. The OKC Thunder just whipped NJ/76er’s Team Potpourri. I’m sure DoD will have more on that later. I must admit we have some savvy readers here that tend to sniff out the latest news. Great job guys! You make the site more interesting and enjoyable for everyone. Keep it up, because I can't find everything myself.

In this edition of Loud Links: Westbrook really doesn’t kick children. More stories are being written about Livingston (I guess they didn't watch him play last season). Metro International says, "I could see Robert Swift sticking". Well I would imagine Swift could stick to a many number of things, but not to a championship caliber basketball team. The Sporting News calls out PDX and OKC concerning our lack of respect for Millsap. The Grizzlies are in negotiations with Iverson. First the Randolph trade, then they take Stackhouse, and now Iverson? Why don’t The Grizzlies just bring Rodman out of retirement while they are at it?  Oh yeah, mleetch352 wrote something yesterday that you guys should read. Don’t feel bad bro no one commented on my last post either.

Blazers preparing offer for Utah's Paul Millsap - Behind The Blazers Beat
The Blazers figure to exhaust nearly all of their cap space to lock up Millsap. They are $7.7 million under the cap, but can gain an additional $1.65 million by renouncing the rights to Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland. However, in the process, the Blazers would be assessed with a roughly $450,000 cap hold for having less than 11 players, thus giving them $8.9 million in cap space.

Orlando Observations: Day 3 | Thunder Rumblings
The first thing I noticed about Livingston — because I didn’t catch Monday’s first game and he didn’t play Tuesday — is he is no longer wearing the bulky brace that once covered most of his left leg. Now, Livingston is wearing only a sleeve over his rehabilitated left knee. I’m not sure whether this is just something he’s doing for summer league or if he will bring back the brace during the season. But if he’s shed the protective gear, it’s a good sign that his knee is closer to full strength and bodes well for his prospects of regaining some of the explosion that many believe he’s forever lost. I caught the first glimpse of Livingston’s surprising explosion early in the second quarter, when he froze his defender with a backdoor cut from the right corner and finished with a wide open layup. It’s plays like that that I rarely saw out of him during his eight-game stint with the Thunder at the end of last season.

PBN | Thunder's Livingston may provide ray of hope for Yao
On the same day where Yao Ming's professional future is in doubt as the Houston Rockets were granted an injury exception that likely means he'll have surgery and miss the 2009-10 season, reasons to have faith that his career isn't over was visible in an Oklahoma City Thunder uniform. Young Thunder show growth in Summer League
"The reason we're playing in both summer leagues is to take our team chemistry forward, so we can grow as a team," said Harden, who has averaged 15 points in three games. "Russell's getting to know his players. He has a pretty good sense of how Kevin and Jeff play, but he's getting to know the rookies and other guys."

Shaun Livingston: The Oldest 24-Year-Old in the NBA - ESPN
He missed all of 2007-08, but officially made it back to the NBA last season, playing in four games with Miami and eight with the Thunder. Ahead of his 24th birthday in September, Livingston already has enjoyed two more NBA careers than most. That eight-game run with the Thunder included one milestone: Livingston logged 33 minutes in Oklahoma City's 41-point destruction of the Clippers to end the season, coming at Staples Center on the same floor in which Livingston blew out his knee.

Berry Tramel: A falling cap helps Thunder |
"We have needs and things we want to address," general manager Sam Presti said earlier this summer. "We’re not going to address them in one draft or in one summer. We could try to do that, but if we did, we’d be sacrificing value."

NBA Summer League: Thunder trio on the mend |
Shaun Livingston, D.J. White and DeVon Hardin weren’t the stars, and those days might be behind them now, but all started and were instrumental in a victory.

Metro - Allen: The Celtics need more than just 'Sheed
I could see Robert Swift sticking.

An Apology To Russell Westbrook | Thunder Rumblings
I’m told today that Westbrook never made contact with the kid, contrary to the commentary by the broadcast crew of the amiable Dante & Galante. Westbrook, according to other eyewitnesses, unintentionally kicked the goal support and the kid flinched but wasn’t hit.

Moreau: Standouts In Orlando - Basketball News & NBA Rumors - HOOPSWORLD
You can't appreciate Harden's game and talent until you see him up close in an intimate setting such as the Orlando summer league. Even though these are games, to coaches they seem more like controlled scrimmages, played in the Magic's practice facility and without all of the fanfare and hoopla surrounding a typical game. Young Thunder show growth in Summer League
"We take development very serious," said head coach Scott Brooks after watching a convincing 94-82 win Wednesday against the Celtics. "We've been getting after it all summer. ... This is important to all our guys to continue to establish good habits."

THUNDER: Orlando Summer League Coverage
There was Westbrook making a steal, racing down court and getting fouled at the rim. No surprise there. There also was Westbrook flying through and over defenders to slam home a missed shot. How many times did we see that during his rookie season? But then we saw Westbrook confidently nail a pair of long jumpers; he never hesitated in pulling the trigger. And then, on two separate occasions, he ignited a fast break, only to slow it down while in the lane, draw a pair of defenders and then kick out to a cutting teammate for the basket. That goes to show Westbrook’s improved decision-making – he did it on the fly, and he did it without hesitation. - Blazers Overtures to Millsap Reek of Disrespect; OKC, Are You Listening?
There's only one answer to this problem: Oklahoma City, step right up. They have cap room, Millsap is exactly what they need (I think -- it's hard to tell with their line-up), and he can be guaranteed a place in their hierarchy that won't insult his accomplishments, or call last season into question. If Portland is willing to pay bench players like starters, that's their call. That's what Ben Gordon will have to live with in Detroit.

Peace, Love and Thunderstanding: Summer Serge | The Lost Ogle
The thing is, during his first two games in Orlando, on the heal of news that he would join the team during the 2009/10 season, Ibaka actually lived up to some of the hype. Personally, I expected an extremely raw, but athletic, kid who would look lost on the floor but occasionally do something spectacular athletically…kind of like Saer Sene used to do. Instead, he looked somewhat polished. Starting for the Summer League team, he took a nice entry pass from Shaun Livingston, drop stepped his defender and spun nicely for a quick lay up within the first minute of the game.

NBA AM: 4-Team Deal Coming - Basketball News & NBA Rumors - HOOPSWORLD
Russell Westbrook: Russell was a man among boys all week, and there is little doubt he was the best player of the League. He really could go anywhere he wanted to go, he drew fouls on virtually every player who guarded him and with James Harden on the wing with him, those two just picked teams apart. Russell has added a decent mid-range game, but his biggest knock is still the lack of a dependable deep ball; once he figures that one out he's rounding into an impressive player.

HoopsHype - Articles - OKC has a gem in Westbrook
The Orlando Pro Summer League is three days old and this much has become blatantly obvious to all the coaches, scouts and players involved: Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook is the best player here. | The Best Perimeter Defenders Left on the Board
Desmond Mason: An OSU standout, and big fan favorite in OKC, Mason has publicly stated that he’d like to stay with the Thunder. For a guy best known for dunkage, Mason’s greatest asset on the court is on the other end of the floor, where he’s your protoypical "long and quick" guy who stays in front of his man effectively.

Orlando: Meet Robert Vaden - Basketball News & NBA Rumors - HOOPSWORLD
While the play of the Thunder's first-round draft picks, James Harden and Byron Mullens, are being carefully monitored this week, their second-round pick, former UAB 6'5" shooting guard Robert Vaden, hasn't garnered much attention. Old Man Vaden (at age 24) was selected 54th overall by the Charlotte Bobcats and immediately traded to OKC for cash. Known primarily as a pure shooter with a strong three-point ability, his pre-draft rankings were all over the place.

Orlando Summer League Recap: Day 3 - Ridiculous Upside
This whole week, Russell Westbrook has looked a cut above pretty much everyone else who's been in the court with him, and that's not really a surprise. As much immediate success as he had in the NBA last year, playing against someone like Jimmy Baron isn't much of a challenge. Still, despite his overall impressive numbers yesterday (22 points on 16 shots, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 5 steals), he's still turning the ball over more than I'm sure the Thunder would like. Kyle Weaver had a better game, shooting 4-5 with two blocks, though he had five fouls in a little over 20 minutes. Gabe Pruitt had a rough game, shooting 3-11 with some foul trouble besides. JR Giddens had a better shooting day than he's had so far, going 7-13 and picking up 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, but he also turned the ball over 6 times.

MAGIC: Westbrook Thrives, Thunder Cruise
It’s becoming more and more evident why the Oklahoma City Thunder didn’t draft a point guard like some thought they would with their third pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Thunder Summer League Notebook: Westbrook's highlight reel |
That’s where things got hazy. Westbrook lost Pruitt with a move so quick that it was actually difficult to decipher how he managed to get so wide open. The end result wound up being a nasty, uncontested reverse dunk that drew a reaction from the mainly reserved contingent of roughly 400 team personnel and media covering the event. Memphis Grizzlies warming up to Iverson deal
Free agent Allen Iverson is in talks with the Memphis Grizzlies about a new contract, but owner Michael Heisley said Wednesday that talks between the team and the 10-time All-Star are only in the preliminary stages. Aldridge: Shawn Marion headed to Dallas Mavericks
Toronto's Shawn Marion will go to the Dallas Mavericks for a five-year, $40 million contract in part of a sign-and-trade deal that the two teams have been working on, reports TNT's David Aldridge. The deal came after the Memphis Grizzlies agreed to take Dallas guard Jerry Stackhouse from the Mavericks to help facilitate the deal, Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley said Wednesday night... Oklahoma City was approached. But the Thunder had little interest in taking on salary, even for a year, for a player that they knew wouldn't be part of their future plans. Oklahoma City would only be involved in such a trade, a source said, if the Thunder got a young, up and coming player on his rookie contract. The Thunder's priority is to keep its cap room, either to hold until the trade deadline next February or to use it in future years to re-sign their own young stars--Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook.

NBA Memo on Salary Cap for 2010-11. - Welcome to Loud City
I did a workup last night on our basic salary cap situation going into the 2010-11 season which puts the Thunder at 21.16 million dollars for KD, Green, RW0, Harden, White, Weaver and Mullens. If Nenad picks up his option at 5.8, Ibaka comes over for his salary of approx 1 million that would put us at approx 28 million. Having the PHX pick and our pick i presume we will have two lottery picks next year and the cheapest outcome of that is another 3 mil but more realistically like 5 million. If we can trade Nick's salary then we are at 31-33 million with a decision to make on Thabo. I like Thabo, think he is a great defender but i wouldnt sign him to a long term deal at more than his qualifying offer of 3.8 mil a year. If a player like Ariza only gets the MLE and imo is a significantly better all around player then i think the market on Thabo is about right at that price point. That would leave the thunder at 35-37 million in contracts which gives us 13-18 million depending on where the actual cap is. If Nick is still here we have 6.75 million less and while i know he is very well liked by the community and a lot of people here i will admit to not knowing him as well so having less allegiance to him.


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