Archive for the ‘ OKC Thunder Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Oklahoman with a report on guard Royal Ivey, whose time with the Thunder will reportedly be followed by basketball work in China:

Royal Ivey likely off to play basketball in China

Royal Ivey’s latest stint in the NBA came with an unblemished record. And it will end that way.

During his recent 10-day contract with the Thunder, which expired on Sunday, Ivey received an offer to play in China.

And because of that, the likable but sporadically used Thunder guard will hop overseas for the final month-and-a-half of the Chinese season, rather than signing another 10-day contract with the Thunder.

During Ivey’s 10 days in OKC, he only appeared in two games, playing five minutes and grabbing one rebound. But his arrival coincided with the team’s sudden turnaround. The Thunder went 7-0 with Ivey.

Kevin Durant going extra wild lately

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who is simply going nuts on the court lately:

Want an idea of how unguardable Kevin Durant has been lately? Just take a look at the postgame quotes from Sixers coach Brett Brown. Durant went off for 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, his fifth career triple-double. And an perplexed Brown had no answers postgame.

Brown: “I thought we did a pretty good job on him. We try, we get small guys chasing him around, denying him and fronting him, and we get everybody scared because he’s Kevin Durant, because he’s so long and scores in such a variety of ways. He is the NBA’s hardest player. He’s always been an incredibly difficult guard. I gameplanned back in my Spur days. How do you guard him? Is it Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Bruce Bowen, whoever. I thought our guys, I thought James (Anderson) was great and you look down and he’s got a triple double.”

- Durant is now averaging 36.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 13 January games.

- In his last five games, Durant has scored 198 points on 70-of-107 shooting (65 percent).

The Oklahoma City Thunder has recalled forward Andre Roberson from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

During his most recent stint with the 66ers, Roberson averaged 17.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 3.0 steals, 2.5 blocks and 40.5 minutes while helping the team to a pair of road wins at Bakersfield and Los Angeles. Over three assignments this season, the forward is averaging 16.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.9 steals and 1.3 blocks in 37.1 minutes in seven games (all starts).

The Oklahoma City Thunder has assigned forward Andre Roberson to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Roberson has appeared in 16 games (four starts) for the Thunder this season, averaging 1.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 8.7 minutes per game.

This will mark Roberson’s third assignment to the 66ers this season. In five previous games (all starts) with Tulsa, he has averaged 15.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.8 steals in 35.8 minutes per game.

He is expected to be in uniform tonight when the Tulsa 66ers take on the Bakersfield Jam at Dignity Health Event Center in Bakersfield, Calif.

OKC signs Royal Ivey for 10 days

The Oklahoma City Thunder have, as expected, been one of the league’s best teams this season. Even with star point guard Russell Westbrook injured, the team is a force.

But the team can still use a bit of help in their backcourt. And so enters Royal Ivey, who is a solid backup to have at the end of a bench for use in limited minutes.

Full news item: Thunder sign Royal Ivey to 10-day contract

Kevin Durant nursing a sore left wrist

Here’s the Oklahoman with a report on Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who is banged up but should be OK soon — perhaps today:

Kevin Durant sore wrist

After a rough fall in Saturday’s win against Milwaukee, Kevin Durant missed practice the past couple of days, nursing his sore left wrist.

Durant did some light shooting, according to coach Scott Brooks, but his status for Tuesday’s game at Memphis remains up in the air.

“We’ll see tomorrow,” Brooks said Monday.

jerryd bayless

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have completed a three team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder in which they acquired guard Jerryd Bayless from Memphis and forward Ryan Gomes from Oklahoma City. The Celtics sent guard Courtney Lee and a 2016 second round draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies. In a related transaction, the Celtics have waived forward Ryan Gomes. Memphis also traded a conditional 2017 second round draft pick to Oklahoma City.

Bayless, a 6’3” guard, has appeared in 30 games for the Grizzlies this season averaging 8.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game. The 11th overall pick in the 2008 Draft by the Indiana Pacers has a season-high of 22 points against the Celtics on November 27 when he was 6-of-10 from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Bayless has posted career averages of 8.2 points, 2.8 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game split between Portland, New Orleans, Toronto and Memphis. An early entry candidate into the 2008 Draft from the University of Arizona, Bayless averaged 19.7 points and 4.0 assists while earning All-Pac 10 Second Team and All-Freshman honors. He was the first freshman in Arizona history to lead the team in scoring as well as being the first freshman to win team MVP since Sean Elliot in the 1985-86 season.

Gomes, a 6’7” forward, has appeared in five games for the Thunder this season totaling six points and four rebounds in 34 minutes played. Playing in his eighth NBA season, Gomes was originally drafted by the Celtics with the 50th pick in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft. The former Providence College Friar has posted career averages of 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 487 games split between Boston, Minnesota, the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City.

Three-team trade sends Jerryd Bayless to Celtics, Courtney Lee to Grizzlies

Lee (6-5, 200) joins the Grizzlies with career averages of 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists on .446 shooting (.387 3FG shooting) in 25.9 minutes in 395 games (174 starts) with the Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics. The 28-year-old has averaged 7.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 16.8 minutes in 30 games (zero starts) with Boston this season, recording career-high shooting percentages both from three-point range (.442) and overall (.492). The Indianapolis, Ind. native scored a career-high 30 points on March 8, 2010 at Memphis as a member of the New Jersey Nets.

The six-year veteran was drafted by Orlando in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft following a successful four-year collegiate career at Western Kentucky University. Lee was named 2007-08 Sun Belt Player of the Year and earned First Team All-Sun Belt honors for three consecutive seasons (2005-08), starting in every game he played with the Hilltoppers.

Russell Westbrook had knee surgery today, back after All-Star break

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier today, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced.

“Russell has been playing pain free, but recently had experienced increased swelling. After consultation and consideration by his surgeon in Los Angeles, a plan was established to monitor the swelling that included a series of scheduled MRIs,” said Presti. “On the most recent MRI it was determined by the surgeon that there was an area of concern that had not previously existed, nor was detectable in the previous procedures, and it was necessary to evaluate Russell further. The consulting physician determined that arthroscopic surgery was necessary to address the swelling that was taking place. We know that Russell’s work ethic and commitment will help him return to the level of play that we have all come to appreciate.”

Westbrook is expected to return post All-Star break, which is February 14-16, 2014.

Now this would have been fun to see video footage of. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on a postgame locker room visit gone wrong:

Joakim Noah visit to Thunder locker room angers Kendrick Perkins

Following the Thunder’s win over Chicago on Thursday night, the starting centers for both teams got into a brief but heated exchange inside the Thunder’s locker room.

Bulls center Joakim Noah accompanied friend and Thunder starter Thabo Sefolosha into Oklahoma City’s dressing room. Perkins immediately took exception.

“They let anybody into the locker room, huh?” Perkins shouted after spotting Noah at the entrance of the dressing room while seated at his locker.

Russell Westbrook, from across the room, soon chimed in.

Noah then addressed Perkins directly, asking if he wanted him to leave and saying if Perkins wanted him out he would leave. Perkins, still seated, responded with an obscenity-laced retort, which he capped by saying “Get yo’ (expletive) up out of here.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder has recalled forward Andre Roberson from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

In three games (all starts) with the 66ers, Roberson averaged 17.3 points while shooting .561 percent from the field, 11.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.0 block in 35.0 minutes per game.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has assigned forward Andre Roberson to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Roberson has appeared in six games (one start) for the Thunder this season, averaging 1.7 rebounds in 6.5 minutes per game.

With star sixth men of the past gone from the Oklahoma City Thunder, there’s been opportunity for supporting cast players to step up. And Jeremy Lamb has been doing just that. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

Jeremy Lamb stepping up for OKC Thunder

On this current five-game run, Lamb is averaging 10.8 points in 22.4 minutes. But more importantly, he has done it efficiently, shooting nearly 55 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point territory.

“He’s getting better,” Kevin Durant said of Lamb. “Experience is the best teacher. He’s going to take his bumps and bruises, but he’s a smart, smart player.”

And a pretty good defensive one, too, if given the right matchup.

He uses his rare athleticism (38-inch vertical) and length (6-foot-11 wingspan) to bother shooters and harass scorers.

Russell Westbrook

The Oklahoma City Thunder are about to get better, and the NBA is about to get even more exciting than it’s already been in this first week of action.

The following statement was issued today by Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding Russell Westbrook’s availability to play in tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns:

“Russell Westbrook has gone through a methodical rehab process jointly created by our medical and performance teams and treating physicians. The process has been instrumental in getting Russell to this point and has included various physical and medical benchmarks. The final benchmark being unrestricted basketball activity. After hitting the necessary marks, all parties, including the team, consulting physicians, Russell’s representatives, and most importantly Russell, jointly determined that returning to play was the correct next step.”

According to the Oklahoman, “Thunder players, coaches and front office executives all said Westbrook looked great in on-court activities in the days leading up to training camp. But the loose stitch in his knee caused swelling that would not subside until Westbrook underwent the second procedure. Thunder general manager Sam Presti, however, said last month that the second surgery, though pushing back Westbrook’s return date, allowed the team an opportunity to see Westbrook’s meniscus and gain confidence that it had properly healed.”

Solomon Jones

Orlando Magic forward/center Solomon Jones has suffered a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Jones will undergo surgery and will be out indefinitely. He suffered the injury during Orlando’s overtime loss on Oct. 30 @ Minnesota.

Jones (6-10, 235, 7/16/84) was signed as a free agent on Sep. 27. He has played in two games this season, averaging 2.0 ppg. and 5.0 rpg. in 13.7 minpg. Jones also appeared in seven preseason outings, averaging 4.6 ppg., 4.3 rpg. and 1.29 stlpg. in 16.0 minpg.

A graduate of nearby Mount Dora High School, Jones was originally selected in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft by Atlanta. He has appeared in 272 career NBA games with Atlanta, Indiana, New Orleans, the Los Angeles Clippers, New York and Orlando, averaging 3.1 ppg. and 2.4 rpg. in 11.1 minpg. Collegiately, Jones played two years at Daytona Beach Community College, then two years at the University of South Florida.

OKC Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder exercised its fourth-year option on guard Reggie Jackson and third-year options on guard Jeremy Lamb and forward Perry Jones, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

In two seasons with the Thunder, Jackson has appeared in 115 games and averaged 4.5 points, 1.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game. Most recently, Jackson appeared in 11 games (nine starts) with Oklahoma City during the 2013 playoffs and posted averages of 13.9 points, 3.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per contest.

In one season with the Thunder, Lamb appeared in 23 games while recording averages of 3.1 points in 6.4 minutes per contest.

During his rookie season with Oklahoma City, Jones saw action in 38 games (one start) and averaged 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 7.4 minutes per game.

Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder waived guards Diante Garrett and Rodney McGruder, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Garrett appeared in six preseason contests for the Thunder and recorded averages of 3.2 points and 1.5 assists in 10.2 minutes per game.

McGruder saw action in two exhibition games and averaged 1.0 point and 0.5 assists in 10.2 minutes per contest.

Oklahoma City’s roster now stands at 14.

NBA preseason ends tonight (Friday) with four games. All teams have to trim their rosters to 15 players or less by the start of the regular season, which kicks off Tuesday. Many more players around the league will be let go in the next few days. Most of those players were likely signed to non-guaranteed deals that merely brought them onto training camp/preseason rosters.

Hasheem Thabeet suspended for headbutt

Oklahoma City Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet has been suspended one game without pay for head butting New Orleans Pelicans center Greg Stiemsma, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 26 seconds remaining in the second quarter of Oklahoma City’s 105-102 loss to the Pelicans on Thursday, Oct. 17, at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Thabeet will be suspended for the Thunder’s first 2013-14 regular season game in which he is eligible and physically able to play.

To view the play, click on this link.

Ryan Gomes hoping to stick with Thunder

Ryan Gomes

At 31, Gomes might have thought he was past the point of proving himself. But that’s precisely what he must now do to make the Thunder and cash in on his partially guaranteed contract.

“It’s a challenge that I’ve got to be ready for,” Gomes said. “I know it’s a performance league and you’ve got to go out there and perform and play well.”

Gomes finally got the chance to perform in the Thunder’s fourth preseason game Thursday night against New Orleans. He scored 11 points in 12 minutes, making all three of his 3-point attempts while displaying a good defensive disposition.

“I think I can provide that on a daily basis,” Gomes said.

Reported by Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman

The mother of an Oklahoma City NBA star said today’s society is so over-sexualized that very young children are contemplating sexual matters.

“They should be dreaming about being an artist or a dancer. They should be dreaming of being the president or a doctor. Instead they’re thinking of sexual things. It really hurts my heart,” said Wanda Pratt, mother of Oklahoma City Thunder star forward Kevin Durant.

Pratt spoke Tuesday to about 150 people who attended the “Shine the Light” event Tuesday at Wheeler Park, 1120 S Western. The event was part of “She’s Somebody’s Daughter,” an anti-pornography campaign launched Oct. 1 in Oklahoma City.

Reported by Carla Hinton of the Oklahoman

Perry Jones must fight to crack Thunder rotation

[As] Jones prepares to enter Year 2, the buzz around his potential has quieted. And, still stuck behind a frontcourt logjam of Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison, Jones has become somewhat of a forgotten man.

Will he ever crack the rotation? Does the Thunder even expect or need him to?

“Perry is in a tough position,” coach Scott Brooks said. “This is not a league where everybody shares minutes. It’s a league where you have to be patient if you aren’t getting minutes and if you get minutes, you have to continue to earn those minutes. We won a lot of games, and there are a lot of guys ahead of him.”

But regardless of how deep he’s buried on the depth chart, Jones’ rare physical tools will always make him intriguing.

At a legit 6-foot-11, he’s taller than the Thunder’s entire starting lineup and a handful of NBA centers, listed as the tallest small forward in the league, tied with Washington’s Jan Vesely.

Reported by Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman

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