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Oklahoma City Blue center Dakari Johnson today was named the NBA Development League Player of the Month for games played in November. The honor, the first of the 2016-17 season, is also the first of Johnson’s NBA D-League career.

Johnson (7-0, Kentucky) led Oklahoma City to a 6-3 record behind averages of 19.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 blocked shots (tied for fourth in the NBA D-League). He scored at least 20 points in six games and tallied four point-rebound double-doubles.

On Nov. 26, he recorded 20 points (on 7-for-11 shooting from the field) to go with six rebounds and a career-high five blocks in a 107-104 victory over the Canton Charge. Johnson closed the month by scoring a career-high 28 points, grabbing a season-high-tying 11 rebounds and handing out a season-high five assists in a 117-108 loss to the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Nov. 29.

Other players who received consideration for the monthly award were Austin’s Patricio Garino, Fort Wayne’s Julyan Stone, Grand Rapids’ Ray McCallum and Kevin Murphy, Los Angeles’ Justin Harper, Maine’s Jalen Jones, Westchester’s Chasson Randle and Windy City’s Spencer Dinwiddie.

A lot of people in the national celebrity spotlight aren’t looking to discuss politics or election results. Here’s the Norman Transcript reporting on Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook:

Russell Westbrook not looking to discuss election results

Russell Westbrook wasn’t getting in line next to the supporters of President-elect Donald Trump after the GOP nominee won the presidency Tuesday night.

“I didn’t vote for Trump. I can tell you that much,” Westbrook said. “That’s all I’m gonna say.”

A reporter followed up, asking another election-related question. Westbrook didn’t budge.

“I just told you, I didn’t vote for Trump,” he said. “I would prefer not to elaborate on it, but I didn’t vote for him.”

– Oklahoman

The Thunder today assigned forward Josh Huestis to the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA Development League.

During the 2015-16 season, Huestis appeared in five games for the Thunder, averaging 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game. Huestis has not yet appeared in a game with the Thunder during the 2016-17 season.

In two seasons with the Blue, Huestis has appeared in 69 games (68 starts) and posted averages of 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.52 blocks in 32.7 minutes.

Huestis is being assigned in order to participate in today’s Oklahoma City Blue practice.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has acquired forward Jerami Grant and a trade exception from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward Ersan Ilyasova and a protected draft pick, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today.

Oklahoma City will convey its first round pick, in the first allowable draft beginning in 2020, unless that pick falls within the top 20 picks of that year’s draft. If the pick is within the top 20, the Thunder will instead send the 76ers its own second round draft picks in 2022 and 2023.

The 22-year-old Grant (6-8, 210) has appeared in 144 games (63 starts) over three seasons with Philadelphia, averaging 8.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.38 blocks in 24.2 minutes per game. This season, Grant is averaging 8.0 points, 3.5 rebounds 2.00 blocks and 20.5 minutes per contest.

Originally selected by the 76ers with the 39th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Grant spent two seasons at Syracuse where he averaged 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds as a sophomore. He scored in in double-figures in 24 of his 32 games played that season.

The Oklahoma City Thunder exercised its third-year options on forward Josh Huestis and guard Cameron Payne, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

During the 2015-16 season, Huestis appeared in five games for the Thunder, averaging 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game. Originally drafted by Oklahoma City with the 29th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Stanford product spent the 2014-15 season with the Oklahoma City Blue, averaging 10.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.57 blocks in 33.1 minutes per game.

Payne, the 14th overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft, averaged 5.0 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 57 games (one start) during his rookie season. In two seasons at Murray State, the Memphis native averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 assists 3.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 32.4 minutes per contest.

The Oklahoma City Thunder waived forwards Mitch McGary and Chris Wright along with guard Ronnie Price and center Kaleb Tarczewski, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

McGary saw action in 52 games (two starts) during the past two seasons with Oklahoma City while recording averages of 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game.

Wright appeared in one preseason contest with the Thunder.

Price appeared in five preseason games with the Thunder and averaged 1.0 point, 2.0 assists and 1.20 steals in 13.6 minutes per game.

Tarczewski played in two preseason contests with Oklahoma City and registered averages of 2.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.00 block in 10.9 minutes per game.

Oklahoma City’s roster now stands at 15.

Thunder sign Reggie Williams

Thunder sign Reggie Williams

The OKC Thunder signed guard Reggie Williams today.

Williams (6-6, 205) spent the 2015-16 season in Russia with Avtodor Saratov, appearing in 16 games and averaging 13.6 points on 58.8% shooting from the field including 40.7% from long distance, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 25.0 minutes per contest.

The guard has appeared in 200 career NBA games (32 starts) with Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Charlotte and Golden State. He holds career averages of 7.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 18.3 minutes. The VMI product has also played internationally for San Miguel Beerman of the Philippines (2014), Caja Laboral of Spain (2011) and JDA Dijon of France (2008-09).

In a related move, the Thunder waived guard Alex Caruso who was originally signed by the club on Sept. 23rd.

Steven Adams dealing with ankle sprain

There are always lots of injuries in preseason, but most of them are day-to-day and usually very minor. Hopefully that’s the case with Thunder center Steven Adams. Here’s the Oklahoman with the latest:

Steven Adams dealing with ankle sprain

The Thunder was back at practice on Saturday after a return trip from Spain. But Steven Adams didn’t participate.

Oklahoma City’s starting center sat out Saturday with what the team said is a sprained right ankle. He injured it in the second quarter of last Monday’s loss to Real Madrid and did not return. He missed Wednesday’s win against FC Barcelona Lassa.

It’s just preseason. The law states that needed to be the first sentence here. Because, it’s true. It’s just preseason, and often in preseason the best players on an NBA team play very limited minutes. It’s just a warmup. But when an NBA team plays an international team, preseason or not, the international team takes it seriously. And then anything can happen. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

Thunder lose preseason game to Real Madrid

Game on the line.

Russell Westbrook on the bench.

It’ll be a regular-season rarity for the Thunder, and should the situation arise in a game that counts, Oklahoma City will hope to handle it better than it did in Monday’s preseason debut.

With Westbrook watching — he played only the first and third quarters — multiple Thunder players tried to fill the go-to role down the stretch of Monday’s 142-137 overtime loss to Real Madrid…

Real Madrid made 20 of 37 3-pointers — many of them clean looks as a result of sloppy defensive rotations — in rallying from 22 points down for an upset win…

Victor Oladipo scored 34 points. Enes Kanter added 29 points and 10 rebounds.

Cameron Payne suffers broken bone in foot

Thunder guard Cameron Payne suffered an acute fracture to his fifth metatarsal (long bone in foot) in Tuesday night’s Blue-White Scrimmage, which took place in front of fans at a high school.

According to News9 OKC, “it’s the same bone he had surgery on in late July.”

The 14th overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft averaged 5.0 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 57 games during his rookie season.

Payne will see his attending physician and additional specialists this week to determine the next course of action.

Victor Oladipo has big Thunder goals

The Thunder are a very different team coming into this season. Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka are gone, and Victor Oladipo and a lot of question marks are in their place. Russell Westbrook is a star, and the team has some capable big guys. As for Oladipo, there’s an opportunity for him to do big things, even as he shares the backcourt with Westbrook. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

Victor Oladipo has big Thunder goals

“I don’t just want to be a three-point shooter. I don’t just want to be a defensive stopper,” Oladipo said at Thunder media day. “I want to be one of the best players in this league, and in order to do that, you have to affect the game on both ends and do multiple things.”

For two seasons, Andre Roberson started 135 regular season games for the Thunder as the heir to Thabo Sefolosha at shooting guard. While Roberson provides length and athleticism on defense at 6-foot-7, he’s a below-average perimeter shooter and shot creator, scoring just 22.8 percent of his baskets unassisted last season. In contrast, Oladipo scored 51.5 percent of his baskets unassisted last season, which would have ranked fourth on the Thunder behind Westbrook, Cameron Payne and Dion Waiters.

Defensively, Oladipo could improve simply by playing with better teammates. Roberson and Adams proved to be elite defenders in the postseason. Westbrook, when focused, can be a terror. Westbrook thinks he and Oladipo can be the best defensive backcourt in the league. Oladipo agrees…

Last season, Oladipo’s shooting struggles came mostly as a bench player, a role that saw him shoot 27.1 percent from 3 over 20 games. But in 52 games as a starter, Oladipo shot 36.8 percent from 3-point range.

Thunder sign Alex Caruso, Kaleb Tarczewski, Chris Wright

The Thunder today signed guard Alex Caruso, center Kaleb Tarczewski and forward Chris Wright. These were likely all non-guaranteed deals that merely bring the three players to training camp.

Caruso (6-5, 186), enjoyed a four-year collegiate career at Texas A&M where he finished as the school’s all-time leader in assists (649) and steals (276). As a senior, Caruso was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year in addition to receiving Second-Team All SEC honors. During his Aggie career, Caruso appeared in a total of 137 games and averaged 8.0 points, 4.7 assists and 2.02 steals.

Tarczewski (7-0, 250), concluded his four seasons at the University of Arizona with 110 victories, tied for the most in school history. After his senior campaign, Tarczewski was named to the Pac-12 All-Conference 2nd Team and the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. Tarczewski concluded his Wildcat career having appeared in 135 games and registering averages of 8.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 0.87 blocks.

Wright (6-9, 226), spent the 2015-16 season playing overseas in Israel with Maccabi Rishon LeZion where he helped lead his club to the Israeli National Championship. Wright had previously appeared in 32 NBA games with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors, averaging 3.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per contest. Additionally, Wright has appeared is 93 career D-League games where he holds career averages of 18.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.45 blocks.

2016 Thunder Blue and White Scrimmage info

Fans will have the first opportunity to see the 2016-17 Thunder squad in action as the team brings its annual Blue and White Scrimmage to John Marshall Mid-High School on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The Thunder team will take the court at 7 p.m. for an open practice that also includes several Thunder game-night features such as Rumble the Bison, the Thunder Girls, Thunder Drummers and Storm Chasers. Prior to the scrimmage, the team will hold Thunder Alley starting at 4 p.m. outside the school, where fans will be able to enjoy the OG&E ThunderBolt, pop-a-shot, sport court, the Thunder merchandise trailer, appearances by Thunder entertainers, and interactive games and sweepstakes at the U.S. Cellular tent.

“We are thrilled to bring the Thunder experience to John Marshall Mid-High,” said Brian Byrnes, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing. “Our tradition of the Blue and White Scrimmage gives us an outstanding opportunity to connect with communities across the state and show them how deeply we appreciate their support.”

Tickets for the scrimmage are being distributed by the John Marshall Mid-High School administration in order to best serve the school community.

You probably don’t know forward Tomislav Zubcic, and if you’re a Thunder fan, you still won’t know him. OKC gave up the rights to him today, according to the Oklahoman:

The Thunder has renounced the rights to Tomislav Zubcic on Sunday, making the 6-foot-10 forward a free agent.

In June 2015, Zubcic, 26, was acquired along with a $2.85 million trade exception by the Thunder from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Luke Ridnour and cash.

Mitch McGary gets more suspension time

Mitch McGary gets more suspension time

The NBA announced today that Thunder forward Mitch McGary has been suspended without pay for a minimum of ten games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.

His ten-game suspension will begin when he has completed serving his five-game suspension under the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program, which was announced on July 8, 2016.

According to the Vertical, the reason for the 10 games were added to the original five-game suspension is “non-compliance with the league’s drug policy, league sources said.”

According to ESPN.com, “McGary’s contract is guaranteed for next season ($1.52 million), but the Thunder could trade him, or buy him out of his remaining deal.”

NBA: Thunder sign Ronnie Price

Thunder sign Ronnie Price

The Thunder today signed guard Ronnie Price.

He’ll serve as a backup to guard Russell Westbrook, who will have an even bigger role on the team this season than usual now that Kevin Durant left to sign with the Warriors.

Offensively, the Thunder will be a more guard-heavy team than ever next season since they traded power forward Serge Ibaka and landed SG Victor Oladipo.

According to the Oklahoman, “Price and rookie Domantas Sabonis had their contracts finalized in a span of three days, setting the Thunder roster at 15 players – the maximum a team can have on its active roster at any time – but, more importantly, 15 guaranteed contracts for 2016-17. The reported signing of bouncy 6-foot-8 forward Chris Wright to a partially-guaranteed deal will likely place him on the D-League Oklahoma City Blue.”

Price (6-2, 190), spent last season with Phoenix appearing in 62 games (18 starts), averaging career-bests in points (5.3), assists (2.4), rebounds (1.6), steals (1.19) and minutes played (19.5). An 11-year NBA veteran, undrafted out Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University), Price has appeared in 530 games (73 starts) with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix, Portland, Orlando and L.A. Lakers, averaging 3.8 points, 1.8 assists 1.2 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game.

An eye on the Thunder trade front

Will the OKC Thunder make moves? With Kevin Durant gone, it’s a team built the backcourt of Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo, with help up front from Enes Kanter and Steven Adams. Nice squad, but on paper they aren’t the powerhouse they used to be. Yes, even if they did play well without Durant for stretches in the past when Durant was hurt. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

The Thunder’s history says there’s still a trade coming. The question: Will it be big or small?

In seven of its eight seasons, the Thunder has made a trade during the period between the end of the July free agent moratorium and the start of the regular season. Some have been minor, like the Thunder dealing Perry Jones to Boston for a second-rounder last year. Some have been major, like sending Thabo Sefolosha to Atlanta in a sign-and-trade in 2014, or James Harden to Houston in 2012.

Antsy for a move? It’s getting late, you say? There’s still more than two months before the Thunder tips off on Oct. 26 at Philadelphia. Harden was traded to Houston four days before the Thunder opened the 2012-13 season, so there’s precedent for the team waiting until much closer to the season to make a deal.

Thunder sign rookie Domantas Sabonis

Thunder sign rookie Domantas Sabonis

The Thunder have signed rookie forward Domantas Sabonis.

Sabonis (6-11, 240), was selected with the 11th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft following his sophomore year at Gonzaga. The forward earned All-WCC First Team honors as a sophomore after averaging 17.6 points on .611 shooting from the field (239-of-391), 11.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 31.8 minutes in 36 games with the Bulldogs. The forward was named to the All-WCC Second Team, All-WCC Freshman Team, NIT All-Tournament Team and NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team as a freshman. He played in 35 games in 2013-14 for Unicaja Malaga in the Spanish ACB league.

He was acquired by Oklahoma City on the night of the 2016 NBA Draft along with guard Victor Oladipo and forward Ersan Ilyasova from the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward Serge Ibaka.

The 20-year old is currently competing in the 2016 Summer Olympics with the Lithuania men’s national basketball team.

We don’t talk politics, but we’re happy to make observations about the world of political discussion. And that world seems to just… be pulling everyone to one extreme or the other. The result appears to be… more and more division. And, it’s sad. On that front, here’s the Norman Transcript reporting:

Enes Kanter disowned by parents for political disagreement

Enes Kanter has always been outspoken about his opinions opposing the Turkish government. Now, after a recent coup in Turkey, his parents are making their disapproval official.

The father of the Thunder power forward, Mehmet Kanter, published a letter in multiple Turkish publications Monday saying that he and his family have disowned their son.

“I apologize to the Turkish people and the president for having such a son,” he wrote, according to Daily Sabah, a pro-government, anti-Gulen, English-speaking Turkish publication.

The Warriors won 73 games last season, reached the NBA Finals, and then this offseason added superstar Kevin Durant as a free agent. Durant joined the team that beat his Thunder squad in the Western Conference Finals. Here’s ESPN.com reporting Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s words:

Steve Kerr says Kevin Durant is no villain

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says it’s “absurd” to cast Kevin Durant as a villain because he left the Oklahoma City Thunder as a free agent and joined the Warriors this summer.

“To think of Kevin Durant or Steph Curry or any of our guys as villains, it’s kind of absurd. Especially Kevin,” Kerr said Sunday in an interview on ESPN Radio’s TMI with Michelle Beadle and Ramona Shelburne. “This is one of the most likeable people in this league. He’s just an awesome human being. What he did in Oklahoma City was just amazing for that community.

Kerr added: “Circumstances kind of dictate, I guess, that some people are going to see him as a villain. But it’s only because he decided to go elsewhere to play. He wanted to change his scenery, he wanted a new challenge. More than anything he wanted to play with our guys. He loves Draymond [Green] and Steph and Klay [Thompson] and Andre [Iguodala]. Seeing those guys in New York, he loved seeing the chemistry that exists and he wanted to be a part of it.”

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