HoopsHype Oklahoma City Thunder + Trade rumors

Oklahoma City Thunder VIDEOS

March 21, 2015 Updates

They traded future first-round picks for Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter in separate deals, and though those players are young and the picks protected, those are the sort of win-now moves the Thunder hadn’t engaged in until this season. They are the mark of a team that knows time is precious — that failure today carries a scary downside that is no longer so far in the distance. And as rival executives note, those moves — especially the acquisition of a low-post scorer like Kanter who has a nice pick-and-pop chemistry with Westbrook — provide the road map for a post-Durant team in the worst-case scenario of his departure. Grantland

March 11, 2015 Updates
March 10, 2015 Updates

But what you might not be aware of is that NBA analyst and former NBA executive Tom Penn thinks Westbrook's hot streak could have Oklahoma City Thunder management thinking about moving Durant next season: "I think this burst from Westbrook makes it much more likely that Durant ultimately gets traded next year. ... Sam Presti has proven that he does not ever want to lose anybody for nothing. So he traded James Harden a year early to avoid a potential luxury tax problem a year later. ESPN.com

"The Kevin Durant drumbeat next year is going to be so loud because he will not commit early to Oklahoma City contractually because the rules are against that. He can't get the same contract if he signs early as if he just goes to free agency and resigns. So if Sam Presti doesn't get that commitment, he'll look to to trade Kevin Durant. And looking at the performance of Westbrook and the team around Westbrook will make it easier for him to do that potentially." ESPN.com

March 4, 2015 Updates
February 27, 2015 Updates
February 26, 2015 Updates

Daryl Morey: Charles is right, it is all about getting high-end talents. It's about recognizing them, which not any idiot can recognize... The Harden trade was about 60-40 in favor of our side at the time. Even we had doubts. You need to prepare yourself to be ready for those opportunities when they come. It's not like anyone's giving away these good players. You have to maneuver your way into them....The notion that people in analytics don't think talent wins is ludicrous. Bleacher Report

February 23, 2015 Updates

Vincent Ellis: Some tidbits: #Pistons reluctant to trade Singler. Impending RFA played a factor - although Jackson talent main factor. If Singler were a rookie or in second season ... get the sense #Pistons might have just worried about it in off-season. #Pistons Twitter @Vincent_Ellis56

Did OKC feel any pressure to make moves to keep Kevin Durant happy as the clock ticks toward his free agency in 2016? Well, sort of. Durant and Russell Westbrook are the unmistakable faces of the franchise. Certainly, every move OKC makes is to put the best players around their two superstars. But the moves aren't made out of fear. OKC doesn't operate "like, geez, are these guys gonna leave? Are these guys gonna be happy?," a league source said. NBA.com

February 21, 2015 Updates

Here’s the rest of Kanter’s first interview as a member of the Thunder and a Vine of him shooting around: How’d you first hear of the trade? On social media. Just went from there. Any idea it might be the the Thunder? I didn’t have any idea where I might be going. I’m happy it’s Thunder. Oklahoman

Did you have any idea around deadline time you’d be thrown in a trade? Steve Novak: Honestly, no. I hadn’t heard anything about the possibilities to be honest. It’s the trade deadline, so I know it’s possible for everyone, but I didn’t think it at all. I just got a text, was playing Legos with my son and practice was supposed to be at 2 and it got bumped back to 6, so I thought great I’ll just play with my kids. Was playing Legos and got a text from my friend that said ‘Congrats on your new team.’ And I looked and it was literally two minutes before the trade deadline. Typed my name into Twitter and saw the deal. Oklahoman

February 20, 2015 Updates

If there were any questions in the aftermath of Thursday's deal that sent Kyle Singler and D.J. Augustin to Oklahoma City and also cost the Pistons second-round draft choices in 2017 and '19 about the Pistons' interest in Jackson beyond this season, Van Gundy buried them emphatically. "We wouldn't have made the move we did if we didn't feel ready to make it a long-term commitment," Van Gundy said Friday. "There's no guarantees. He's a (restricted free agent). We know we can keep him through next year no matter what he does, but we feel good about making a long-term commitment to him and hopefully he'll feel real comfortable making a long-term commitment here and we'll get it done. We've got a chance to put together a really solid young core and continue to develop them. You've got to have some patience, but I'm not all that patient, so hopefully it will come together sooner. But you do see a window there and it's not a short window. It's not a two- or three-year window." NBA.com

"The whole time, I was honest," he said. "I wanted to start. And then, I became the problem in the locker room to people who have never been in our locker room. …I mean, come on. Coming here, this is such a weight off my shoulders, a new beginning. To come play with a new group of guys, to start to change this perception of me, I can't wait to get to the arena tonight and meet them all." Yahoo! Sports

Two days before the Thunder's season opener in Portland, Jackson sprained his ankle and missed the team's first two games. In their third game, the Nov. 1 home opener against the Nuggets, Jackson was cleared to play, but according to a source, refused to because of disappointment that he wasn't traded before the Oct. 31 extension deadline for first-round picks entering their fourth season, like Harden before him. Jackson spoke at shootaround that morning, coyly saying he probably wouldn't play that night. Immediately after finishing his session, he grabbed a ball and threw down an impressive drop-step windmill dunk -- in front of reporters and his teammates. Remember: This was when the Thunder were piecing together a roster without Durant and Westbrook, and only had eight active players available. ESPN.com

On the surface, it seems as though the trade request Jackson's agent made on Wednesday -- first reported by Yahoo and confirmed by a source -- was what frayed his relationship with Durant and some teammates. But his standing with teammates, primarily the leaders of the locker room, had been deteriorating throughout the season. The request simply hammered home what everyone in the organization knew since October: Reggie Jackson didn't want to be there. ESPN.com

In the locker room, the divide was growing. Injuries to Durant were keeping the team from finding a rhythm, and without the band-aid of winning to heal wounds, the Thunder's chemistry was suffering. The cliquish aspect was impossible not to notice. Jackson, Perry Jones and Jeremy Lamb all had lockers together on one side; Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka were on the other. Jackson, Lamb and Jones are close, shooting pregame together and often leaving the arena together. All three had also fallen out of favor with Brooks. ESPN.com

 

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