View Full Version : Your Oklahoma City Thunder...

6/25/2010, 10:25 AM
Had one H*LL of a draft night.

- Traded two late first-round picks for the 11th overall pick, KU's Cole Aldrich, and Morris Peterson from the Hornets. Interior defense? Check. Rebounding? Check. Wing athleticism? Check. Outside shooting? Check. Needs? Addressed. In addition, with our backcourt growing more crowded, Mo Pete's $6 million expiring contract looks tasty in trade talks too. (Thank you for that report, Alliteration Man.)

- Traded a "potential" type player in Eric Bledsoe to the Clippers for a future (lottery-protected) first-rounder.

I actually kinda don't like this pick. I mean, if we're going ahead with Westbrook as the point of the future and Maynor as his backup that we'll develop until he gets too good, then trade, then it makes sense... I get that side of it. Bledsoe is a project, and we're sitting on ESTABLISHED young talent at the same position. BUT... Getting a lottery-protected pick from the Clippers? Did Sterling sell the team or something? What's the point of a lottery-protected pick from the Clippers? It's like telling my (non-existent) girlfriend, "Honey, I promise, I'll never cheat on you with anybody except Scarlett Johansson." How often does THAT number get dialed?

But, regardless, it's a Clippers first-rounder, so, even non-lottery, we're looking at something in the high teens, maybe as soon as this season, even, depending on how well their guards hold up out there.

- Tibor Pleiss. This guy has a ridiculous amount of potential. Weight/Strength, Stamina, and Athleticism are all that he's really short on. All of those can be improved upon quickly. He's 7'0", weighs 220, and can fly around the court making bad sh*t happen for the other team's offense. Also, he's only 20, which makes him young... but he grew up in another country, which should help his maturity a bit. And, with our being a young team, and OKC not being as intimidating a foreign city as others, he may very well stay here to develop. He's no B.J. Mullens, guys.

- Ryan Reid. I freaking LOVE this pick.

Take a guy, a well-built (6'8", 232) hard-working guy, and tell him, "If you remain humble, hard-working, and bust your butt to make these guys look good, you're going to have a job where you would have never had one like this before. Don't do those things, and we don't sign you, 'cause you're an unguaranteed second-round pick." What do YOU think is going to happen?

Watch. This guy will become our Kurt Rambis... and just in time for the other one (Collison) to start eying the exit, too. By the time Reid's developed enough of an offensive game (maybe in the D-league) to not be a Sefolosha, (sorry, I misspelled "liability") then it'll be time for Collison to jog on. And yes, they play different positions, Reid and Collison. But, seriously, in Reid's case, he can defend the post and the perimeter, whereas Collison is only good for some limited post defense - limited by his height. With Reid in, we have perimeter defense that can switch off from time to time, something Collison cannot do. This will help all of our rotations as well as Ibaka's penchant for fouling when helping from the weak side. (And yes, it's a LOT of speculation for a guy that may never even make the team, but willing role-players are rare in this "gimme mine" world, and I really like the kid...)

He wasn't SUPER highly-recruited, but he was highly-recruited by some big-time schools, and he went from all of that to being a role player in college. Now, he's got a shot to extend his role-player career in the pros. (And don't think that Leonard Hamilton's influence didn't help this kid get drafted, either...) I think he'll step up and take it. Oh, and good luck trying to get into a fight with Durant with this guy around now. Jus' sayin'.


A Likely Opening Day Roster/Depth Chart:

1 - Westbrook / Maynor / Cook
2 - Harden / Peterson / Sefolosha
3 - Durant / Sefolosha / Reid
4 - Green / Kristic / White
5 - Ibaka / Aldrich / Collison

My Ideal:

1 - Westbrook / Maynor
2 - Harden / Cook
3 - Durant / Reid
4 - Ibaka / Green
5 - Aldrich / Pleiss

Either way, we're not looking at a championship roster. We're still too perimeter-oriented. However, with the potential improvement of Ibaka and Aldrich's post scoring, by next season, we could be a team capable of getting those occasional scores in the "running game," to complement our perimeter game.

Also, I think that, with the additions of Aldrich and Reid, and the continued development of Ibaka, our high screen/roll game is going to be even better at producing points in the paint or free throws. Both of those newcomers are scrappy, screen-setting fools, and Aldrich especially can roll off of them towards the basket like a man possessed. Boston got to the Finals with KG and Perkins doing this for Rondo and Pierce. Why can't we as well? Good basketball starts with separation.

Our roster now could start a potential All-Star in Westbrook, the number 3 overall pick last year in Harden, the NBA scoring champion in Durant, a player whose Bp36 would have landed him behind only Dwight Howard last season, and KU's all-time blocks leader.

And NONE of them are over 23 years old. Jus' sayin'.

This will be the year of Sergeballu LaMu Sayonga Loom Walahas Jonas Hugo Ibaka.


Mad Dog Madsen
6/25/2010, 10:46 AM
Wow... Great post!!!

Serge Ibaka
6/25/2010, 01:44 PM
Agreed, great post.

I think that Presti did a great job: interior defense was an issue heading into the draft, and he got Aldrich who is maybe like a more athletically-gifted Nick Collison. I hope that the two work together a lot and that Aldrich can pick up Nick's work ethic. Collison put this on twitter last night, and I think it bears sharing: Congrats @colea45 Im excited to have u on the squad. Even more excited 4you to bring me my newspaper &eggwhite omelete every morning rookie.

At any rate, I think that Aldrich can contribute--this wasn't a sexy draft for the Thunder, by any means, but it was solid, and it was just what the team needed. I grant that the trade with LAC is strange, but we certainly couldn't use all of the 1st rounders that we had--it was best to stash the pick away with a team that sucks. Otherwise, Aldrich can be the defensive guy the team needs; Cook is a solid 3rd SG option, and he can be that knock-down shooter (without the price-tag); Peterson takes over for Ollie and Thomas as this year's nice-veteran and adds depth at the SF. This team is ready to do some damage next season. They're so deep!

Anyway, Pleiss and Mullens seem similar in body and athleticism: great! Both have long ways to go, but they are legit and young 7-footers with lots of potential. We're moving toward a front-court-by-committee, and I think that's perfectly okay given our youth and athleticism across the court.

Maybe in 2011/2012:
PF: Ibaka
C: Aldrich
Bench: Green, Collison, Pleiss, Mullens.

For two years, everybody has lamented our lack-of-depth in the front court. And now, all of sudden, we're going to have lots of size and length and grit. On that list there are slashers, shooters, bangers, shot-blockers, and 7-footers that can fly around the court. Development staff REALLY needs to stress rebounding, but I think this team is sitting pretty.

6/25/2010, 03:17 PM
IF we get good enough to have Green on the bench, then this team could get scary good.

Serge Ibaka
6/25/2010, 03:22 PM
IF we get good enough to have Green on the bench, then this team could get scary good.

I would argue they're already good enough. Green shouldn't be required to go toe-to-toe with starting PFs every night; it's not really fair. Ibaka should get that role sooner than later, and Green should provide leadership and scoring from the bench. He'll win 6th Man of the Year!

6/25/2010, 05:08 PM
Exactly. He's able to play against starters, but he's run-of-the-mill against them. Now, against backups...? Green should dominate, and allow the team to run the offense around him.


6/25/2010, 07:14 PM
As a Lakers fan, this is one of the most intimidating teams. I'm almost to the point that I'm hoping the Thunder to screw up. As Kobe and Pau age, the Lakers' reign over the NBA won't last too much longer, and I think this team will speed up the process. The only things that will stop this from being the best team from 2010-2020 (what do you call that?) will be:

A) Poor management (doubtful)
B) Egos getting in the way (doubtful, but slightly more likely)
C) The world ending in 2012 (the most likely yet)
D) Something happening in free agency this off-season in Miami, Chicago, or New York (could happen, but I still have my doubts)
E) A disastrous injury (very possible)
F) The Lakers. (I'm kinda 50-50 on which team it will be)

6/27/2010, 12:37 AM
I love the Aldrich pick, he gives us exactly what we need yet he doesnt demand the ball which is good. Dont know much about Pleiss or Reid but I trust Skulls opinion. I like the pickup of Cook, he is still young as well and has some game.

6/27/2010, 09:25 AM
The only thing about Cook that really bothers me is, he's basically starting over this season. He had a deece year a couple of years ago, and was a three-point champ. Then he had an, "eh," year this past year, and wasn't sh*t. Wherever he's going to go with this whole "NBA career" thing, he's got to start heading there this year, or we won't even bother re-signing him.

Cook at his salary or Maynor at his? Exactly...


6/27/2010, 01:35 PM
If its between them, I love Maynor. Absolutely LOVE

6/27/2010, 07:02 PM
Ditto. I just don't see Cook being able to get a lot of backcourt minutes on this team. We've got Westbrook and Maynor at the point, and Harden and Sefolosha on the wing. In additon, there are rumblings that we may try to sign Ray Allen to a one-year deal. He's familiar with the organization. (Yeah Seattle, that's a b*tchslap to you. Soak it in...) He fills a need, and he's an experienced veteran that could help a young backcourt (especially Harden) develop, and he wouldn't be too expensive. Plus, there's Kyle Weaver if he's back around and in the mix. (Although if we sign Allen, he probably won't be, and may not be anyway... who knows with him...?)


6/27/2010, 09:26 PM
Problem is, if we sign Allen doesnt that cut into Hardens PT?

6/27/2010, 10:28 PM
It may, but I would love to have Jesus Shuttlesworth for a year. I know he is streaky, but I love watching him play.

Serge Ibaka
6/28/2010, 01:12 PM
There's a zero-percent chance that we sign Allen (or anybody else, really, that will be a significant factor within the rotation).

The roster is pretty full. Weaver's money is not guaranteed because he was a 2nd round pick, but I like him, and I hope he gets more chances before he is shown the door.

If I'm not mistaken, Cook has 1 more year left on his contract. He looks like a solid 3rd option, and I imagine the staff will try to fit him into a Shooting-Specialist-role. If he works out as the team's knock-down-shooter next season, then maybe he'll be resigned.

6/28/2010, 02:12 PM
With Allen's age, and experience, he's a one-year signing. A year that we can afford. It's long-term deals that we need to be weary of, at least until we have our core players locked into long-term deals. But, one year of Ray Allen could go a long way towards making all of our guys better, too. And, he's still more than capable of winning games. (Especially with an off-season to rest, and in limited minutes on a team he doesn't have to carry...)

I've heard rumblings. That's all.


Serge Ibaka
6/28/2010, 03:30 PM
True. The problem is that I can just tell that he's going to score a 3 or 4 year deal from somebody. If he was content with 1 year, couldn't he just take that from Boston?

6/28/2010, 05:34 PM
Nope. With Allen on the floor, they're not allowing Marquis Daniels to develop into the player that...

...sorry, I tried. I couldn't even keep a straight face over the internet.

The truth is, I don't know what the sh*t they're doing or thinking up there in Boston right now other than the obvious business aspect of things... "We don't want to re-sign a 34 year-old shooting guard to a long-term deal, or pay him what we'd have to pay him to re-sign him."

If he stays, it'll be more a lot closer to the veteran's minimum than he'd like it to be.

And, while I'm harping on Boston, you want to see the ugly side of a divorce...? Start reading the Boston boards in around October, once Celtics fans realize they've got two more years, at around 20 million per, of KG's knees - unless they can talk him into a buyout.

And, the other question... Does the fact that they won it all, and fell all the way apart within three seasons taint their title at all? I mean, congrats to the 1997 Marlins and all, but "Who?"