Thunder in the news is your one-stop shop for everything OKC Thunder; today we take a look at a couple big men in Oklahoma City.
Here at Thunderous Intentions we cover every aspect of the team, even those old-fashioned back-to-the-basket big men. Today two of our stories has to do with the dying breed; one centered around an established big and the other cheap nba jerseys authentic focusing on a highly-touted G-League prospect in Dakari Johnson. Our third story? I’ll wait for you to read through and find out. Steven Adams calls Melo speculation “fantasizing”
Leave it to the Big Kiwi to drop a one-liner like this one. Not only did Adams compare Carmelo Anthony to Michael Jordan, but he did so with his patented Kiwi charm. Whether Melo will end up in Oklahoma City is doubtful, but it does indicate that Sam Presti is up to something. I mean seriously – when are the Thunder ever in trade rumors unless it’s to target somebody else?
I rest my case.
On Friday, TMZ Sports passed along comments from Adams, who brought up a certain Chicago Bulls legend as part of the Melo conversation.
Dakari Johnson is ready to step up this season
I’ve been on the Dakari bandwagon since he was drafted in the second round back in 2015. Now it looks like he’s finally getting his chance to prove himself to the Big Leaguers. In fact, Dakari didn’t even get invited to training camp last season. But here he is now, a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
You know it’s official when Nick Gallo writes a feature story about you.
The Thunder recently signed Johnson to a contract, clearly impressed by his work in the G League with the Oklahoma City Blue, where he was named to the All-NBA G League First Team and was selected as an NBA G-League All-Star. He’ll have a chance to make the roster and compete for NBA playing time, starting in training camp this fall.
The benefit of keeping Kyle Singler around
This one had to have made you do a double-take. How can Singler, the subject of an infamous Reddit post, be a positive for the Thunder? If you give Joshua Lea’s article a gander you’ll see exactly why.
In the midst of this offseason, the New York Knicks are looking to go into rebuild mode. They finally parted ways with wholesale nba jerseys Phil Jackson, drafted a young point guard in Frank Ntilikina. Now, they are looking to trade Carmelo Anthony. So the time has come to finally build the team around the new face of the Knicks, the 21-year-old Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis is coming off a year where he averaged 18.1 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. He has shown constant improvement during his first two years and is growing more comfortable with being the go to guy. He does need to improve his rebounding; hopefully, Kristaps can get his average to at least nine per game.
Kristaps has also increased his shots per game from 12.3 to 14.9 per game, which shows that he wants to take over more of the offense (all stats provided by basketball-reference.com). Along with his scoring increase, Kristaps also improved his field goal percentage from .421 to .450 and his three point percentage from .333 to .357. As for the defensive end, Porzingis averaged two blocks per game last season, which indicates that he is not afraid to get in the paint and contest shots.
We are near the end of the Carmelo Anthony era in New York. Anthony is only getting older and does not appear to want to stay in New York for the upcoming season. So it’s time to make our young star the face of the Knicks. Porzingis seems comfortable with the New York media and the expectations of what being a Knick brings. He was booed on his draft night, but so far has overcome all his doubters and has shown that he is the next best big in New York since Patrick Ewing. He also seems like he is adapting to the American lifestyle which can be hard for a young man coming from a different country.
So this is the blue print for the Knicks the next few seasons: keep Porzingis happy and bring some help for him. Trade Carmelo for maybe a very good young player to pair with Porzingis as well as some draft picks. Keep developing Kristaps to become a more potent scorer so that we can be looking a superstar in the next year or two. Then maybe the Knicks can finally break the Ewing Curse.
The 2017 NBA offseason has been one of the most hectic in recent memory, what with Paul George dealt to the Thunder, Chris Paul sent to the Rockets, Gordon Hayward signing with the Celtics and more rumors than you can even count. And with the Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving situations still up in the air, there could even be more fireworks to come.
Still, it’s not too early to start thinking about next summer, which could eclipse this one with all the premiere free agents — most notably, LeBron James — hitting the market. One of those big names that will be up for a new contract is Isaiah Thomas, and the Celtics’ All-Star point guard certainly already has next summer on his mind.
He’s said before that whoever wholesale nba jerseys wants to sign him will have to “back up the Brink’s truck” in order to do so, and Monday, he brought that quote to life with a pair of custom made sandals that featured a Brink’s truck on one foot and a pile of money on the other.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are seeking a king’s ransom in exchange for Kyrie Irving, and one league source cheap nba jerseys told Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon he believes the Phoenix Suns have the assets necessary to facilitate a deal.
On Saturday, the source said if the Suns were to offer point guard Eric Bledsoe, No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson and the Miami Heat’s 2018 first-round pick, it would be enough to net Phoenix the four-time All-Star.
“If that deal (Bledsoe, Miami first-rounder and Jackson) for Irving was there, it’d be done by now,” he said, per Vardon.
It’s not a surprise Cleveland would be enticed by that collection of assets.
ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on Friday the Cavaliers are seeking a package similar to the one the Denver Nuggets extracted from the New York Knicks for Carmelo Anthony in 2011, while his colleague Zach Lowe first reported Cleveland wanted to build a deal around “a blue-chip young player.”
However, that deal appears unlikely, barring a change in the Suns’ thinking.
According to Arizona Sports 98.7’s John Gambadoro and ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, the Suns have made Jackson off limits in trade talks.
For now, the Cavs will continue to scour the market for a deal that’s to their liking after Wojnarowski reported six teams, including the Suns, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers, have submitted offers.
The moment of truth has arrived for Carmelo Anthony.
Tuesday night, Anthony will be in a place he cherishes. Not Houston, but Baltimore, where he will host The Basketball Tournament — a month-long event that is down to its final four.
Keeping a low profile lately, Anthony will be front and center Tuesday at Coppin State, watching a Syracuse alumni team face Overseas Elite in one semifinal.
In the other, Ohio State alumni, which features Nets target Jared Sullinger, play Team Challenge ALS, a Boston College squad fighting to raise money to support alumnus Pete Frates who is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The Knicks’ 33-year-old recent recluse has yet to give an interview since the regular-season finale April 12, when he saw “the writing on the wall.’’ The indication was he knew the club wanted to rebuild without him.
In the next few days, Anthony will have a chance to speak his piece.
Phil Jackson is out as president, but the franchise’s strategy hasn’t changed much. A stalemate has ensued as sources indicate Anthony only wishes to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Rockets. Not even Cleveland, which is in turmoil, is good enough for Anthony as the Cavaliers are dealing with Kyrie Irving’s trade demand.
The Knicks’ management tandem of Steve Mills-Scott Perry claim it won’t trade Anthony to Houston unless it cobbles together a solid deal that makes sense for the Knicks’ future. Nothing has materialized.
In fact, a source told cheap nba jerseys authentic The Post the signing of veteran point guard Ramon Sessions partly was due to him connecting better with Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis than did Derrick Rose, who left for Cleveland via free agency.
Anthony has also dealt with the very public separation from his wife, La La.
All those issues swirl about as Anthony hosts The Basketball Tournament that concludes Thursday. Anthony also will attend a charity event Wednesday with Catherine Pugh, the mayor of Baltimore.
The $2 million winner-take-all competition featuring former NBA and Division I players is in its fourth year. Anthony, ironically, engineered its move from New York to Baltimore for the semifinals and finals, which will be televised by ESPN. Anthony lived in Brooklyn until age 10 before moving to Baltimore.
“After years of watching TBT, I decided to get involved,’’ Anthony stated in a release. “It’s a tournament for people to live out their basketball dreams and that’s exciting to me. I’m a believer in chasing after your dreams no matter what. And that’s what this tournament symbolizes to me.
“Baltimore will always have a special place in my heart, and I’m excited to bring a tournament like this to this city. Basketball and Baltimore go hand in hand. The perfect match. A city that is all about determination. A city that helped build me.”
The nearby Wizards would seem an attractive destination for Anthony, but they just matched an offer sheet to small forward Otto Porter Jr. (four years, $106 million). The Post has reported the Knicks want Anthony to expand his wish list and Oklahoma City and Portland reportedly are interested.
Hooking up with his buddies Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston has become Anthony’s priority. Even the prospect of playing again for former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni has not deterred Anthony, who rebelled against his speed-ball offense and reliance on Jeremy Lin, leading to the coach’s resignation in 2012.
Dan D’Antoni, the former Knicks assistant, told The Post on Monday his brother will be able to move on from the rancor in New York.
“There were a lot of things that went wrong, but Carmelo is a heckuva player,’’ Dan D’Antoni said. “All I’m saying is Mike’s a good person. He understands people change, things change. Two things you can’t deny: Mike’s a helluva coach. Carmelo is a very good player. If those two see eye-to-eye, Mike and I are always optimistic things are meant to be. The next day is going to be better than the day before.”
The Rockets dangled Ryan Anderson’s contract in multi-team packages but found no takers.
General manager Daryl Morey stockpiled a handful of non-guaranteed pacts to apply to an Anthony trade for mathematical purposes but Sunday released one of those players, Jarrod Uthoff, who had $200,000 due this week if he remained on the roster. Shawn Long, Tim Quarterman and Isaiah Taylor are still non-guaranteed chips on Houston’s roster.
Anthony can only hope those guys will be on the move soon.