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OKC Loud Links: Trade Theories Heating Up

Thankfully, it did not take long for NBA fans to return to their theorizing with gusto, now that the season looks to be mere weeks away. Our leader Zorgon spotted the ludicrous "Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo" proposal (which should all but validate how great the Green/Nenad Krstic for Perkins/Nate Robinson deal really was for OKC), and the big names in play continue to be Rondo and Chris Paul. Hold onto your seats, this is about to get crazy.

Delectable Class of Free Agents Awaits | SB Nation

Ziller breaks down the top free agents who will be looking to capitalize when they can begin courting new suitors. I'd just skip right past the eight figure guys, because none of them are true cornerstone franchise players.

Don't View '99 As Guide to Short Season | Sports Illustrated

Since we have very few templates with which to analyze the NBA's shortened season, 1999 is a natural lens. Lowe writes that there are still some fundamental differences though, and we could see things play out very differently.

Facilities, Player Negotiations to Open | ESPN

Trade talks have commenced, and team facilities have opened. I wonder how early Kevin Durant pulled his conversion van into their practice facility.

Thunder Free Agency Primer | Daily Thunder

Young breaks down his choices for free agents that could actually help the Thunder's jam-packed roster. I agree that Shane Battier would be super sweet, but Young also hones in on another guy that we had mentioned here periodically as well - Tracy McGrady. If his head is in the right place, this acquisition makes so much sense it warms the cockles of my stomach.

New Max Salary: For Fans and Media Only | Wages of Wins

Here is another attempt to understand the intricacies of the NBA's new max salary, and how it is coupled with overachieving rookies. Keep in mind though that the CBA is not finalized, so language in the agreement is subject to change.

NBA to Have Five Christmas Day Games | CBS Sports

You had better start drumming up some excuses to your loved ones now in order to extricate yourself from family duties and make way to the nearest HD television set.

Did the Players Really Lose? | Sheridan Hoops

Hubbard writes that twice before, players came out of a CBA negotiation looking like they had lost. They did not lose. Will this time be different?

The Commissioner After the Lockout | Grantland

This is a good look at the David Stern public persona. At the end of the day, isn't Stern simply a more polished version of Vincent K. McMahon?

Pulling Back the Competitive Balance Curtain | Hardwood Paroxysm

I have a feeling we'll be talking about competitive balance the way we talk about the mystery of unicorns and Ryan Seacrest's career.

Durant Talking DK IV's | NewsOK

Durant talks a bit about his love of the weather and coincidentally, his new shoes.

These Are Moments: Phoenix Suns | Hardwood Hype

The Kevin Johnson dunk is one that will stay in my NBA memory banks forever.

More links and trade rumors after the jump.

Celtics Chasing Both Howard and Paul | CelticsBlog

Can the Celtics beat out the Lakers for either one of these two A-listers? What about just one of them?

Pacers, Celtics Talk Rondo-Rose Swap | CBS Sports

I doubt this would happen, but if it did, is it "Former Celtics helping each other out, Part II?"

Nene Wants Out of Denver | CBS Sports

Nene Hilario is a fine player, but I am firmly convinced that any team that wastes a max contract on him is going to be sorely disappointed. If you recall last season in the playoffs, the Thunder had Nene neutralized by game three.

Nets Are Looking at Dwight Howard | CBS Sports

Cruel, or a ray of hope for the much maligned franchise?

Dude Perfect? Dude, Frisbee.