Thunder may be willing to pay a “modest price” for Thabeet

6 Comments

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, the Oklahoma City Thunder are taking a “careful” look at Memphis Grizzlies center Hasheem Thabeet, but are only willing to pay a “modest” price for him.

Let’s take a look at why it may make sense for the Thunder to take a flyer on Thabeet:

– Thabeet is only 24 years old, and hasn’t even finished his second year in the NBA yet.

– It wasn’t long ago that Thabeet was named the NCAA defensive player of the year and averaged 4.2 blocks per game.

– Thabeet is still 7-2 with a 7-6 wingspan.

– The Thunder desperately need somebody capable of defending the rim — according Hoopdata.com, only the Raptors allow more made baskets at the rim per game.

That’s the case for Thabeet. The case against Thabeet is that he has been a terrible, terrible, terrible NBA player. Thabeet is shooting just over 40% from the field, is a 50% free throw shooter, and commits 7.7 fouls per 40 minutes. Thabeet is young, but he has yet to show any glimpses of competence. That’s not good, and that’s why the Thunder are only willing to pay a “modest price” for a player who was the #2 overall draft pick just last year.

There’s a chance that Thabeet will become the kind of shot-blocker he was in college in the right system, but right now he may be on his way to being the biggest draft bust in history — Kwame Brown has at least been a rotation player for the better part of a decade. We’ll see if any team is willing to try and save him from that kind of infamy.

Bulls claim PG Kay Felder off waivers

Jason Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Bulls’ point-guard position is a quagmire.

Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne are both injured (and not necessarily good). Jerian Grant is maybe an adequate backup pressed into starting. Ryan Arcidiacono is on a two-way contract.

Enter Kay Felder.

Bulls release:

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived forward Jarell Eddie and center Diamond Stone, and claimed guard Kay Felder off waivers.

Felder was waived by the Hawks, who acquired him in a salary-dump trade from the Cavaliers. Cleveland drafted Felder No. 54 last year, but ran out of roster spots this year.

Felder is only a moderate prospect. He impressed in the D-League, but at 5-foot-9, he has significant limitations. (His size also makes him incredibly fun to watch when he gets rolling.)

For Chicago, he’s a quite-noteworthy addition.

LeBron James: ‘I still got Pandora with commercials’

1 Comment

Dwyane Wade revealed last year that LeBron James refuses to use his phone internationally unless he’s on Wi-Fi.

LeBron’s friend and new Cavaliers teammate again brought up that claim, and LeBron confirmed – then went even further about his own cheapness.

LeBron in a joint interview with Wade on ESPN:

No. I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming. I’m not buying no apps. I still got Pandora with commercials.

LeBron – he’s just like us!

As funny as that line is, keep watching to see LeBron hilariously explain how his hairline affects his interviews.

PBT Extra: LeBron as MVP and other NBA postseason award predictions

Leave a comment

Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.

In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).

Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.

Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
2 Comments

Jazz point guard Dante Exum hurt his shoulder in a preseason game – an injury that immediately looked like it could be season-ending.

Though Utah doesn’t outright say Exum is done for the year, this doesn’t engender much hope.

Jazz release:

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.

After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).

The Jazz will start Ricky Rubio, and Raul Neto will be the primary point guard behind him. Wings Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles can all share facilitating duties.

Utah will probably be just fine without Exum this season, which speaks to his marginal place long-term.