HoopsHype Oklahoma City Thunder + Trade rumors

Oklahoma City Thunder VIDEOS

February 20, 2015 Updates

"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

And hours before general manager Sam Presti pulled the trigger, Russell Westbrook – one of the franchise’s two cornerstone – said he and Kevin Durant had no desire to be consulted on the decision. “Not my job,” Westbrook said. “My job is to come out and play. We have a great general manager, great owner and great coach who have done a great job thus far putting this team together. So I’m pretty sure they know what’s best for us.” When asked if Presti ever comes to them to gather their opinion, Westbrook reiterated his previous answer in the most Westbrook way possible. “I don’t want to repeat the same answer, so whatever I just said last time use it as that answer,” he said. Oklahoman

Kevin Durant summarized the Oklahoma City Thunder trading Reggie Jackson simply: "He got what he wanted. You can't really --," Durant said, before pausing to think for a moment. "He got what he wanted." The Thunder traded Jackson on Thursday to the Detroit Pistons in a three-team deal that including center Kendrick Perkins going to the Utah Jazz with Enes Kanter, DJ Augustin, Kyle Singler and Steve Novak headed back to Oklahoma City. "Made some great moves," Durant said. "It's tough, losing Perk. And other guys." ESPN.com

"It was pretty easy," Durant said. "We felt like everybody wanted to be here except for one guy. So it wasn't like everybody was going crazy at shootaround. I went to sleep and woke up and we had new players. It goes like that sometimes. Everybody that wants to be here is here, we're excited about our new guys, and it hurts to see [ Perkins] leave, but we're still going to remain brothers until we're both gone. It was definitely a tough day, but a good day as well. " ESPN.com

"You have to have guys that want to be here," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "You have to have guys that are committed. Reggie is obviously a very good player, and he did a lot of good things for us over the years. But he wanted to start. He wanted to be a starting point guard. I don't know if you know this ... but [Russell Westbrook] is pretty good. So it just didn't happen if he wanted to start at the point. But Reggie was good for us, and I have nothing but a lot of good things to say. He's still a young and developing player and we wish him the best." ESPN.com

Perkins spent the last four-plus seasons with the Thunder after being acquired at the 2011 trade deadline from the Celtics in a deal that sent Jeff Green to Boston. He started 225 games for the Thunder (appeared in 273) and became a fixture in their locker room as a vocal veteran leader. "I talked to him as soon as it went down," Durant said. "Obviously it was emotional for us, because we're so attached to Perk, and he brought such a different swagger to our team. It's tough to see him go, but everybody understands, he understood the nature of the beast, and we understand, so it was tough losing him." ESPN.com

Durant said he favors the trade despite losing Perkins, whom he singled out for his late-night motivational phone calls during his infamous MVP speech. "I like the pickup of those guys," Durant said. "Me as a leader, I've got to make sure they feel comfortable the second they walk through that door. "I like what everybody brings to the table. It's just a matter of us building the chemistry up." USA Today Sports

February 19, 2015 Updates
 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN SUPERSONICS HISTORY

Kevin Durant may end up claiming the No. 1 spot, but for now it belongs to Gary Payton.

   

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