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  1. #101

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by SoonersFan12 View Post
    Suns signed Rubio a few days ago so Suns do not have any interest in Westbrook

    Plus, we missed out on Westbrook's replacement (#13 pick, Devin Booker) in the 2015 NBA draft; Thunder had the #14 pick that year, Dakari Johnson.


    Dakari Johnson

    & Luguentz Dort

    By the way, Dakari Johnson is the guy who looks like Luguentz Dort

  2. #102

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    I guess Miami is a serious suitor for Westbrook.

    One of the few teams with the flexibility to absorb the contract.

  3. #103

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by dcsooner View Post
    Agree with this. OKC was tapped out facing a huge tax bill. This was simply unsustainable for the franchise. The current team was not going to win a championship with the movement already happening in FA. We had no financial flexibility and not picks to parlay into another Star. For me this was a great out for the organization going forward. Looking out 3-4 years I can see the Thunder once again competing for championships. Several current Stars will be far past their primes ( including RW). I am talking the long view here. I wish PG-13 the best, he was a net positive in every way while in OKC. I am not butt hurt about the move, I'm optimistic. with all these moves still only one of these super teams not can win it all, who will be second take your pick but OKC was slated as a 6 or lower seed before the Kawhi news.
    the thunder has some of the richest ownership in the league

  4. #104

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    the thunder has some of the richest ownership in the league
    Only ONE owner is mega rich. George Kaiser, Tulsa at about $7.6B.Owns about 19% of the team. The other guys are rich but all indications are they are not mega rich enough to continue to sustain huge luxury tax bills. As you see below Ballmer is worth $44 B

    10. James Dolan – $1.9 billion
    James Dolan is the owner of the New York Knicks.

    9. Mark Cuban – $3.2 billion
    Mark Cuban is the ninth richest NBA owner and his team is the Dallas Mavericks.

    8. Tom Gores – $3.9 billion
    Tom Gores is the owner of the Detroit Pistons.

    7. Richard Devos – $4.7 billion
    Richard Devos is the owner of the Orlando Magic.


    6. Dan Gilbert – $4.9 billion
    Dan Gilbert is the founder and the Chairman of the huge financial institution Quicken Loans. He is the current chairman of the Cleveland Cavaliers. T

    5. Micky Arison – $7.1 billion
    Micky Arison was appointed as the chair of the largest global cruise operations. He is also an owner of the Miami heat

    4. Mikhail Prokhorov – $7.6 billion
    Mikhail Prokhorov is the owner of the Brooklyn Nets team.

    3. Stanley Kroenke $7.7 billion
    Stanley Kroenke is the owner of the Denver Nuggets.

    *2. Paul Allen – $17.5 billion
    Paul Allen was the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers as well as the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders. He’s one of the wealthiest men in America.

    1. Steve Ballmer $44.5 billion
    Steve is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. He is the Wealthiest NBA team owner currently. His estimated net wealth is $44.5 billion making him the richest in our list.



    How Kawhi has warped the league and the NBA title chase
    By Zach Lowe
    ESPN.com

    Pat Riley taught us, or maybe Kevin Garnett did first: If you are wooing a superstar -- a true superstar, not a lower-level All-Star who happens to head some weak free-agency class -- you'd better have another in house already. Maybe two.

    The guys who swing championships don't care about picks you've gathered, that 20-year-old point guard who looks like a future All-Star, the pristine cap sheet, how artfully you've manipulated Rodney McGruder's cap hold. The Clippers had all of that to sell Kawhi Leonard as they stalked him across the NBA for a year. It didn't matter. Leonard wanted Paul George.

    As my head was spinning with news of two intertwined deals -- the trade for George and signing of Leonard -- that reshape at least three franchises, my brain lingered briefly on two forgotten side plots: Blake Griffin and the Indiana Pacers.

    Leonard wanted a star. Didn't the Clippers still have one after trading Chris Paul to Houston? They re-signed Griffin amid much fanfare. Had they stood pat, they could have entered this summer with Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Jerome Robinson, Griffin, and about $40 million in cap space -- enough to fit Leonard. In that scenario, there is no need for the Clippers to trade the Oklahoma City Thunder their unprotected first-round picks in 2022, 2024, and 2026 -- and give Oklahoma City the right to swap first-rounders in the intervening years.

    In that scenario, the Clippers never acquire the rest of the motherlode (and it is a freaking motherlode) they sent the Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and two Miami Heat picks -- the first acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for Tobias Harris (who was acquired in exchange for Griffin), the second as incentive for absorbing Maurice Harkless this week.

    Paragraph deleted

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    George works best as a second option on offense -- he fit well with Russell Westbrook, which is not all that easy to do -- and he can play that role in different ways, out of different actions, around Leonard's jab-stepping and shoulder-checking and pitter-pat dribbles.

    They are an ideal match. They have been tied together from the start of Leonard's NBA career in the 2011 draft. On that night, Indiana and the San Antonio Spurs had agreed on a deal sending George Hill to the Pacers for the 15th pick -- provided a certain player the Spurs wanted was still on the board. San Antonio would not tell the Pacers who it was. When Indiana discovered it was Leonard, they contemplated backing out of the deal; they had Leonard around No. 5 on their own draft board.

    "When Kawhi ended up being there, we had to think about taking him," David Morway, a key member of the Pacers' front office at the time told me in 2013. "But we already had Danny Granger and Paul George. That's what made it a little easier for us."

    We already had Paul George. Eight years later, the Clippers have both square in their primes. (Side note: Boston had a shot to get both too, but that is a complicated story.) They probably enter next season as favorites in the West -- and perhaps title favorites.

    Their age gives the Clippers a little more insurance against injury, and the doomsday Brooklyn Nets-style downside of coughing up multiple high picks to the Thunder. But that downside still exists. We cannot highlight the risk the Los Angeles Lakers took on in forking over a half-decade's worth of draft equity to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis deal without acknowledging that the Clippers did the same here.

    The Clippers' star duo is younger on average than Davis and LeBron James. The Clippers' recent history of relative front-office competence gives you faith they would be more nimble handling unfavorable twists. And those twists will happen. Nothing goes according to plan in the NBA anymore. The move in 2011 to reduce the length of player contracts has revolutionized the league. Stars are always close enough to free agency to flex their power. The extra year incumbent teams can offer means less and less. No one is immune to injury. Projecting five years ahead is folly.

    This was the cost of nabbing Leonard and George, and it was worth it if the alternative was nabbing neither -- as it appeared to be. The Clippers had built a nice safety net for such a blow. They could run back a plucky, likable playoff-level team and seek other ways to use cap space and extra picks. But this summer has hammered home the lesson (again) that cap space and extra picks don't mean all that much until you turn some of them into Star No. 1. Who were the Clippers' next reasonable candidates for that designation? You won't find them in the 2020 free-agency class.

    Meanwhile, the draft of my free-agency winners and losers column (coming soon) contains this line about the Thunder: I am weirdly worried about Oklahoma City, considering they won 48 games with the league's ninth-best point differential. It felt as if they were trapped into a roster that had peaked. Any uptick in shooting from Westbrook would probably balance out a slight downturn from George's MVP-level performance. They were in salary-cap prison, a notch below the best teams in the West -- a more crowded group today than it was a month ago.

    It seems obvious now, but the Thunder had to know their only way out was to trade George. Steven Adams has limited trade value on his near-max contract. Westbrook's supermax, which will pay him $47 million in 2022-23, is a straight-up albatross. They might mind-trick some dumb team into taking it at some point, but the Thunder have to assume Westbrook carries negative trade value.

    (Sam Presti, Oklahoma City's GM, "pursued a package" of Westbrook and George to the Raptors late Friday as he attempted to leverage Toronto and the Clippers against each other -- and, in the case of the Clippers, against the threat of a superteam in the same building -- knowing that Leonard wanted George and George wanted out, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. It is unclear how interested the Raptors were in taking on Westbrook if it were to cost them Pascal Siakam. Toronto "couldn't keep up" with the Clippers' outlay of picks anyway, Wojnarowski reported.)

    They don't escape from cap jail with this trade, though they get some relief from the luxury tax -- and a good player on a movable contract in Danilo Gallinari. They do get a road map for a post-Westbrook future.

    Gilgeous-Alexander is a stud. I'd bet on him making multiple All-Star teams. The Thunder now almost draft on behalf of three teams -- themselves, the Heat, and the Clippers. Miami has more downside than the revamped Clips, though they insulated themselves some by acquiring their own Star No. 1 in Jimmy Butler. They are set up to chase Stars No. 2 and 3 in the summer of 2021 -- as is much of the league. A Miami team with one star and massive cap space is scary.

    Regardless, this is a haul for Oklahoma City. In five or six years, the Thunder might come out of this as the biggest winners. Think about it like this: In a roundabout way, they turned Serge Ibaka (starting with the 2017 deal sending Ibaka to Orlando for Victor Oladipo and the pick that became Domantas Sabonis) into everything they got in this deal. Even if Presti got roped into the proceedings late, he did a remarkable job making the best of it.

    The Thunder might try to flip Westbrook and Adams, and enter a full-on rebuild. Even if they can't, they have already snared a lot of the proceeds of a full-on rebuild. They could even go the other way. They have enough ammo to make a real offer for Bradley Beal -- Billy Donovan coached Beal in college -- and still have extra assets leftover. Their tolerance for luxury-tax pain looms large in pursuing any such deals. [Update: Wojnarowski reports that both Westbrook and the Thunder "understand that the time has likely come to explore trade possibilities for Westbrook."]

    As is, they might still contend for one of the last two playoff spots in the West, though at first blush I would probably pick them to (barely) miss the postseason. Gallinari was a borderline All-Star last season and can work as the stretch power forward the Thunder haven't had since Ibaka kinda, sorta became one. Oklahoma City can play Gallinari and Jerami Grant together at power forward and center, or even steal some minutes with Gallinari as a wing. Andre Roberson is presumably coming back. But their present-day ceiling is obviously lower.

    NOTE: Deleted rest of the article to save space and not relevant to Thunder discussion

  5. #105

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    per that list the thunder collective owner ship is the 3rd richest in the league ..

  6. #106

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Its more of a question of should they pay the tax. Financially it may make more sense to have a mediocre team for a few years while waiting for new opportunities to open up. They would probably doing Westbrook a favor, he won't play at his best if knows the Thunder doesn't really have a decent shot to make far in the playoffs, if they make it at all.

  7. #107

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by jn1780 View Post
    Its more of a question of should they pay the tax. Financially it may make more sense to have a mediocre team for a few years while waiting for new opportunities to open up. They would probably doing Westbrook a favor, he won't play at his best if knows the Thunder doesn't really have a decent shot to make far in the playoffs, if they make it at all.
    the spurs (maybe the best run org in the leage and for sure the best run small market team) seem to think making the playoffs is important ..

    i dont' think we really know what the fan base reaction will be in the thunder are not competitive ..

  8. #108

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Thunder trade Jerami grant to the nuggets for a 1st round pick.
    saving the thunder $39 million in salary and tax.

    guessing there will be several more trades soon

  9. #109

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Should be seeing Westbrook and Adams anytime now. On to the rebuilding era!

    Interesting to see if the games are as attended as in the past. OKC doesn't really know a team that doesn't play in the playoffs.

  10. Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by OKCretro View Post
    Thunder trade Jerami grant to the nuggets for a 1st round pick.
    saving the thunder $39 million in salary and tax.

    guessing there will be several more trades soon
    Yeah I think that removes any lingering doubt that we weren't going into full on rebuilding mode. No way they trade Grant for a 1st round pick straight up if they were going to attempt to make one last attempt at retooling around Westbrook.

  11. #111

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    the spurs (maybe the best run org in the leage and for sure the best run small market team) seem to think making the playoffs is important ..

    i dont' think we really know what the fan base reaction will be in the thunder are not competitive ..
    Agreed, its always better if the team is competitive. Is there an immediate path towards being competitive? I guess that's the question.

  12. #112

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by FighttheGoodFight View Post
    Should be seeing Westbrook and Adams anytime now. On to the rebuilding era!

    Interesting to see if the games are as attended as in the past. OKC doesn't really know a team that doesn't play in the playoffs.
    I would guess the ticket market might be a bit softer, but we're still talking about December and January in OKC. Ain't much else to do of an evening.

  13. #113

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Should also hear soon that Thunder games next season will be shown on The Hallmark Channel instead of Fox Sports.

  14. #114

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by SoonersFan12 View Post
    Do not hold your breath on it, they will have to give up an asset or a player like Adams (Westbrook said he wants Adams to come with him) to take Westbrook's contract
    Where did Westbrook say this? I haven't seen this reported anywhere.

  15. Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    Where did Westbrook say this? I haven't seen this reported anywhere.
    Lol, I wondered the same thing. Why would Westbrook care if anyone went with him?

  16. #116

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    I think this gets the Thunder much closer to keeping Westbrook and staying under the tax line. move Dennis Schroeder and his $17 million this year and they're in the clear.

  17. #117

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    I had more feels about losing Grant than PG. It reminds of the Thunder's first big trade of Jeff Green. Uncle Jeff was on of the Broington's on such a fun team and OKC fans were in the honeymoon stage. I remember pulling up ESPN.com in between my high school classes and feeling disoriented and sad to see Green traded for Perk. Anyway, some people can say that players are assets, but I'll never view them that way. I get that it's a business for players and owners, but it's not just a business. The players become people you know who are often active in the community.

    Anyway, on the business side, the Grant trade actually gives Presti leverage in making other deals. OKC has basically cut enough salary to be a small move away from getting under the luxury tax. That means they don't have to feel desperate about moving anyone else, including Russ. If the right deal isn't there, they can roll into the season with this team and make a move later. I do think they're still looking to make deals, but some of that pressure is off now. I think Presti will take any good deals, but he's not likely going to have to use any of his assets to unload Patterson, Schroeder, Roberson, or even Russ or Adams.

  18. Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dob Hooligan View Post
    I think this gets the Thunder much closer to keeping Westbrook and staying under the tax line. move Dennis Schroeder and his $17 million this year and they're in the clear.
    But the question is why would the Thunder do that? What sense does keeping Westbrook make at this point if we’re now voluntarily trading valuable pieces away for future picks? How does it make any sense for Westbrook's sake to keep him on a team that at the very best, might sneak into the 8th seed and get eliminated in the first round?

    It seems that if we were trying to keep Westbrook and stay in “win now” mode, they would’ve packaged Grant with some of the picks we got for PG and trade for another player (or kept him), not just shed salary to get under the tax.

  19. #119

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    My prediction is Westbrook will be gone this week.

  20. #120

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    I don't think Russ has positive trade value. His contracts means they would have to give up assets to move him. If the Thunder can get under the cap and still be a first round team (both of which I think they are close to now) the what is the need?

    What if Russ doesn't want to move? Where is he going to go that will give him a realistic chance to win a title?

  21. #121

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dob Hooligan View Post
    I don't think Russ has positive trade value. His contracts means they would have to give up assets to move him. If the Thunder can get under the cap and still be a first round team (both of which I think they are close to now) the what is the need?

    What if Russ doesn't want to move? Where is he going to go that will give him a realistic chance to win a title?
    I think if he went somewhere like Miami, he'd have a decent shot of winning the East or at least getting to the Eastern Conference finals. That conference is straight garbage with the exception of Milwaukee and Phila.

  22. #122

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dob Hooligan View Post
    I think this gets the Thunder much closer to keeping Westbrook and staying under the tax line. move Dennis Schroeder and his $17 million this year and they're in the clear.
    I wonder though if Westbrook might want out at this point. He had no chance now of being around long enough to win a championship with the Thunder.

  23. #123

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck5815 View Post
    I think if he went somewhere like Miami, he'd have a decent shot of winning the East or at least getting to the Eastern Conference finals. That conference is straight garbage with the exception of Milwaukee and Phila.
    boston and indy disagree as does toronto and the nets

  24. #124

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck5815 View Post
    I think if he went somewhere like Miami, he'd have a decent shot of winning the East or at least getting to the Eastern Conference finals. That conference is straight garbage with the exception of Milwaukee and Phila.
    If he wants out, there is PR value in trying to trade him. Thunder doesnt want to be known as the team that keeps players against their will during their good years when hopes of being competitive are slim. That could scare off free agents.

  25. #125

    Default Re: 2019-20 OKC Thunder

    Quote Originally Posted by Dob Hooligan View Post
    I think this gets the Thunder much closer to keeping Westbrook and staying under the tax line. move Dennis Schroeder and his $17 million this year and they're in the clear.
    I think the Thunder would love to move Schroeder at this point, but I don't think they'll want to attach assets to get it done. Despite Russ' massive contract, there *might* be a team that'll provide something of value in return. I definitely would accept Winslow and their recent pick Herro (who hasn't signed his deal yet, which means he can be moved). Again, I think the reason Grant was moved is because he cut salary and brought back an asset. I think that's going to continue to be the Thunder's plan going forward.

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