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OKC Loud Links: Better or Worse?

After the most recent round of negotiations, it seems like sentiments are split; are things moving in the right direction, or do they still stagnate? Also, Joe Johnson owns many leather bound shoes and his shoe vault smells of rich mahogany.

NBA, NBPA Close to Resolving the Money Issue | CBS Sports

There is the economic issue, and then there is the systematic issue. Berger argues that the former is closer to repair than each side lets on.

Thunder's Post-Lockout Plans | Daily Thunder

Young's post underscores that the one thing the Thunder were missing last season is ironically enough the last thing that the Mavericks gave them in the Western Finals: heartache to go further.

Six Thoughts on the Labor Talks | Sports Illustrated

Lowe provides six thoughtful points on where things stand after the most recent meeting. Lowe states that if the negotiations break down, the only thing left will be the courts. Good thing that everybody loves lawyers.

Blood Issue is Wholly Twisted | SB Nation

Ziller writes that with the money part of the negotiation heading in the write direction, it would be tragic if the league ended up canceling the season over the presence of a hard cap.

Top 99 of 2015: 45-37 | SB Nation

Serge Ibaka and James Harden show up on the list, which underscores my season-long running question - if a decision has to be made and it is either Ibaka or Harden who gets the long-term deal extension, which player gets the gold?

Stern: Goal Still to Start Season on Time | SB Nation

I'm confused; I thought the first objective was to do a hard reset?

Magette Says the NBPA Took Eight Steps Back | SB Nation

To which Corey Magette speaks of a euphemism that I am not familiar. 

More links after the jump.

How Salary Hard Cap Could Hurt Team Play | ProBasketballTalk

This argument presented may seem reasonable on the surface, but I think it once again falls into the a priori fallacy; everything is interconnected, and coaches will have control as to what players are allowed to do.

10 Most Reckless NBA Franchises | Wages of Wins

Not surprisingly, New York tops the list. The spectre of Isiah Thomas lives on.

Q&A With Thaddeus Young | Sports Illustrated

76ers Guard Thaddeus Young sat down with Zach Lowe to cover a wide array of topics, including his thoughts on how Doug Collins seeks to deploy him. I love interviews like this one, because it instinctively makes me want to root for guys like Thaddeus Young, and the more players like Young the NBA has, the better the league does overall.

It's All About the W's: Bill Russell | Behind the Basket

Blott goes retro today, examining the impact of Bill Russell on his team's performance. In looking at how the numbers break down, it is hard to argue against Blott's contention that Russell is the GOAT.

Chris Bosh Meets Skip Bayless | ProBasketballTalk

Chris Bosh has had no shortage of detractors over his career, but he does seem to come across as thoughtful, well-spoken, and considerate whenever I see him on air or in print. So it should not be surprising that this is how he acted when confronting Skip Bayless, and Skip kept being Skip. Sadly, it was no "Rome-Everett II."

Jerry Buss: SuperVillain | Hardwood Paroxysm

This is a good question - is it truly good business for an owner with leverage to help out his competitors in a closed economic system?

Joe Johnson: Owner of Shoes, Vault | Ball Don't Lie

You give a man $100 million and free time, he will inevitably buy a lot of shoes. And ridiculous trucks. If I were Billy Hunter, I might start thinking about sending Joe Johnson on an extended holiday to any place where people don't own cameras or microphones.

Learn To Play John Tesh's Magnum Opus | Ball Don't Lie

This here is what you might call, "value added blogging."