It only took a week for the rumor mill to wind back up after being silent for the better part of Mid-July.
Let’s jump in, shall we?
Carmelo to OKC?
Leave it to Bill Simmons, ex-ESPN basketball luminary turned firebrand, to get the ball rolling again:
Have a scoop – OKC and Carmelo are officially circling each other. OKC’s Troy Weaver recruited Melo to Cuse + has known him since DMV days.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 24, 2017
I have questions. For example: if this even is substantial, how does ‘Melo fit within the roster the Thunder currently have assembled? The Thunder would likely have to give up Enes Kanter and a young asset (Terrance Ferguson? Alex Abrines? Jerami Grant? All three?) to swing the trade, which would certainly hamstring their bench unit. Would he be able to co-exist with Russell Westbrook and Paul George? Does it even make sense to mess with an already established chemistry?
This is to be taken with a large grain of salt since Simmons is reporting it. He’s not necessarily a go-to NBA reporter. If this has any legs whatsoever, this is a fascinating development.
I just don’t see a scenario in which a trade for Carmelo Anthony makes sense for OKC. There is only one ball, after all. For all of Anthony’s talents, his brand of basketball may not mesh with Westbrook and George’s.
Hardwood Paroxysm on Twitter makes a great point:
Please Lord someone stop the Knicks from negotiating with Presti for their own sake.
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) July 24, 2017
If anybody could make it work in their team’s favor, it’s Thunder GM Mr. Presti. Stay tuned just in case he pulls another rabbit out of his hat.
A peek a new Thunder duds?
We know that Nike will be outfitting teams with slightly updated uniforms this season. NBA 2K18 could be giving us a peek at the Thunder’s 2017/2018 uniforms:
Maybe a first look at new Nike uniforms? That OKC on the belt area looks new pic.twitter.com/8Zp2wRLiHf
— Matt Ravis (@mattravis) July 24, 2017
It appears that the only differences are the Nike swoosh logo and the belt-level block letter ‘OKC.’ This would right in line with the company’s conservative approach to the uniforms that have been unveiled so far.
Ronnie Price: paid to stay away
Sam Presti has, for the most part, made the correct decision. Drafting is incredibly difficult, but he’s managed to chalk up one of the league’s best résumés as far as talent evaluation goes.
When it comes to money, though, Presti has been criticized quite a bit. Mainly, his choice to effectively pay Serge Ibaka rather than James Harden quite obviously backfired despite seeming a sane decision at the time.
Since then, Presti has been more or less shrewd in his financial decisions — aside from paying Ronnie Price. Frequent guest of The Franchise Fred Katz writes that by signing veteran point guard Ronnie Price to a two-year, $5 million contract last summer — and then immediately releasing him — the Thunder will now effectively pay $6.6 million next season to not have Ronnie Price.
Presti is often lauded as the league’s shrewdest executives, but this move continues to be puzzling.