Thunder general manager Sam Presti sat down with the media on Wednesday to talk about the upcoming season, his love of music documentaries (seriously, he loves things like VH1’s Classic Albums show), James Harden’s contract and team expectations. On all of it, he pretty much stuck to the expected script.
But there was one thing of note — don’t expect to see a lot of Kendrick Perkins this preseason. Maybe not any. From Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman.
Remember that Perkins had both wrist and groin surgeries back in July. He clearly is not fully recovered and the team is going to bring him along slowly rather than risk re-injury.
Really, this is not that big a deal. The systems and what the Thunder are doing this season are not changing — Perkins knows his role and can walk right back into it no problem.
Second, this will give Scott Brooks a good look at Cole Aldrich, Hasheem Thabeet and Daniel Orton to see who should get the bulk of the backup minutes, to see who blends well with other units.
But we may have to wait until Halloween or later to see the NBA’s best scowl.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.
Argentina isn’t considered a medal contender heading into the Rio Olympics. Their golden generation — led by Manu Ginobili — has picked up a lot of speed on the downhill side of their careers at this point.
They didn’t provide much of a challenge for Team USA in an exhibition game Friday night in Las Vegas, one won by the USA 111-74. Kevin Durant impressed playing with his new teammates in dropping 23 points, Paul George had 18, and the Americans had their way in the game.
Which is what we’re going to see a lot of in Rio — the USA’s talent level is just steps above any other team in the tournament.