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Loud Links Xtra: 07|02|10

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An interesting article about Thunder Assistant GM Rich Cho. I've never heard of him either. I guess other teams are considering Cho since Presti isn't hopping ship.

Views of a next-generation GM | Ian Thomsen |
Assistant GM Rich Cho, the Swiss army knife of the Thunder's front office. Cho is a lawyer and capologist who also knows a player when he sees one. "He's so smart with numbers and negotiations and the cap," said Hawks GM Rick Sund, who worked with Cho with the old Sonics in Seattle, "and he's an attorney and he's brilliant in finance and he's a good people person."

Most fans (and many NBA owners) have never heard of Cho, but people in the league view him as a prototype for the next NBA era, an executive who draws on a number of backgrounds to come up with solutions. "Rich is incredibly talented," said Presti. "He has great versatility in his approach and skills and is someone that consistently thinks of the long-term interest of the organization."

Slam Online daydreams about USA Soccer being filled with NBA athletes. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant make this make-believe team.

SLAM ONLINE | The NBA’s Starting 11
Westbrook has long been targeted by football giants Manchester United, Real Madrid, and AC Milan, with an offer of a $35 million from Sir Alex arriving at Ben Howland’s office in 2005. Contracts were signed and moneys transferred out of the soon to be indebted United treasury. But, when August’s training camp began, there was no sign of Russ. Thus began a bizarre cross-Atlantic saga. The UCLA administration claimed never to have received the money while lawyers from Manchester furiously prepared for the courtroom, convinced they were being had by some slick Hollywood types. Guns were nearly drawn until John Wooden came in to cool things down and put everyone in their place. Nevertheless, there has been no direct contact between the Scot and Pauley Pavilion since, and Giggsy and co. have been left to wander to what might have been. Murky, he-said-she-said territory to say the least.

I was starting to doubt Dwyane Wade would leave Miami, but now it sounds like he is considering his options.

Wade leaning toward Chicago Bulls - ESPN
Dwyane Wade is leaning toward committing to the Chicago Bulls, a source close to the situation told's Chad Ford on Friday.

According to the source, Wade requested a second meeting with Bulls shortly after the 2006 NBA Finals MVP spent more than two hours getting wooed by the New York Knicks at a downtown Chicago hotel Friday morning. The source stressed that Wade needed the meeting to clarify issues around signing with the Bulls.

Sounds like Amar'e Stoudemire is getting a max. Could D'Antoni and Stoudemire reunite?

Knicks near deal with Stoudemire - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Amar’e Stoudemire and the New York Knicks are making progress in talks on a five-year, $100 million max contract and a deal could be completed as soon as this weekend, league sources told Y! Sports.

While Stoudemire and the Knicks are still on track to consummate a deal, the All-Star forward may wait until he sits down face-to-face with Knicks officials over the weekend in New York before accepting the offer, a source says. Stoudemire wants to hear the Knicks’ clear plan for whom they plan to surround him with on the floor. Between now and then, the dominos of players committing to teams could still shuffle the deck and give another team a chance to make a run at Stoudemire – perhaps even work a sign-and-trade with Phoenix that would get him a sixth guaranteed season.