Yep, the Free Agency Rumor Mill is still turning as fast as ever, and there's some crazy stories floating out there. Here's a few of the more popular ones that are gaining a little bit of traction.
Scott Brooks Officially Signs Back With the Thunder
"The Oklahoma City Thunder announced Monday that head coach Scott Brooks and general manager Sam Presti have agreed to terms and the head coach has been locked up in a multi-year contract.
Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed."
All I have to say is, finally. I hate it when they keep teasing you, and you think that something epic might happen, but then you just end up with the expected. Solid move for a solid coach. How he does over the next couple of years will determine if he's going to go down as one of the NBA greats, or if he'll go down as the guy who wouldn't get it done.
And, as I said earlier, the Thunder have proven they're willing to shell out at least a little bit of cash to keep a contender together. The contract is likely "north of 4 million" a year, which puts him among the league's highest paid coaches. But, of course, the true test comes with Ibaka and Harden up for renewal next year.
Ray Allen Is Not Planning to Visit Oklahoma City
"Ray Allen is beginning to make his visits, but they aren’t including the Oklahoma City Thunder, at this point, despite rumors to the contrary when the NBA free agency period began. Instead the Boston Celtics sharpshooter is taking time to reportedly visit the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers as he searches for his new team. Of course, the Celtics are expected to make every effort to re-sign him."
This one isn't too surprising. The Thunder already had Derek Fisher in a Ray Allen-type role last season, and Allen can't run the point as well as Fisher did. If he were to come, he'd likely have to take Cook out of the rotation and reduce Sefolosha's minutes. Plus, he might ask for a multi-year deal and break the bank next season, when we need to re-sign Harden and Ibaka.
I mean, if we could get him here for a one year deal, we might be reaping the rewards of having another legitimate scoring threat. But, by the same token, he could really kill our offense during his bad nights, and there are other teams out there with just as good of a shot at a title, a bigger role to offer him, and more money to throw on the table for a longer period of time. I honestly don't think there's a chance he comes to Oklahoma City.
Derek Fisher Pursued by Mavericks, Heat
"It was widely assumed that Fisher would quietly re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder after essentially choosing them over several contenders following a midseason trade from the Los Angeles Lakers and buyout from the Houston Rockets.
Fisher, 37, is also on the radar for the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Thunder. All three teams pursued him in March after he negotiated a buyout from the Rockets. Fisher gave up the final year and $3.4 million of his previous contract as part of his buyout from Houston. He signed for the remainder of the Thunder's $2.3 million midlevel exception, essentially a pro-rated $1.9 million."
This should come as no surprise, especially because it's taken so long for the Thunder to make a peep about whether Fisher will be back. He was playing heavy minutes during the playoffs and made some key shots, so some might think he'd be a priority. Are the Thunder waiting for something better, or is Fisher not laying his cards out on the table? It might not matter with Maynor coming back next season, but the Thunder need a shooter off of the bench, and if they're not going to trust Cook deep in the playoffs, then they need to make a move.
Below: Ebanks, Thabeet in OKC?
Devin Ebanks: A Possible Restricted Free Agent Signing?
"Restricted free agent Devin Ebanks has drawn interest from a number of teams including the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, according to sources close to the situation. The Los Angeles Lakers extended a qualifying offer to Ebanks last week, which means they can match any offer sheet that the 22-year-old signs."
Argh, no. I don't doubt that it would be easy to outbid the Lakers, who are over the Luxury Tax as it is. Basically, Ebanks is a restricted free agent, so we can offer him whatever we want, but the Lakers would have three days to match the offer. If they do match, he automatically has to sign with them. The Thunder have tried to sign a Free Agent before, sending an offer sheet to C.J. Miles, but he was matched by the Jazz.
But still, I'd rather have Lazar Hayward. He barely played for the Lakers during the playoffs, and when he did play in a non-blowout situation, his shooting was terrible, and his defense wasn't anything to write home about. In my opinion, the Thunder would be better off just re-signing Ivey. But the Thunder are crazy about young guys, so you never know.
Hasheem Thabeet Was in OKC Yesterday, Could Sign
"Hasheem Thabeet visited the Thunder on Sunday and could end up signing with Oklahoma City, a source said. The 7-3 center has played for Memphis, Houston and Portland since being drafted No. 2 by the Grizzlies in 2009."
Honestly, I think Sam Presti is just obsessed with wingspan. He wants to make the longest armed team in the NBA. Both Ebanks and Thabeet have unnaturally long arms. But seriously, as I said yesterday, he would be a solid replacement for Mohammed if Aldrich were to take the backup center spot. The Thunder were looking at him during the James Harden draft, so I wouldn't be opposed to giving him a fair shake. Still, what he's done in the NBA so far hasn't been very promising, which is why he can be gotten so cheaply.
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