The Thunder have two first round picks in Thursday’s draft, but the team is shooting much higher than that if you believe the latest reports.
From Andy Katz of ESPN.com (via Daily Thunder):
Elsewhere, a source said Oklahoma City was interested in packaging its two first-round picks (Nos. 12 and 29) and Kendrick Perkins for a top-five pick. But the Thunder have had no takers either.
The offer isn’t a surprise, as the Thunder are trying to bolster their roster to compete for a championship. But neither is the fact that no one’s biting.
Cleveland has the top pick in the draft, and they are seeking the world in return for giving it up. The asking price may drop in the hours or minutes leading up to the draft, but for now, they’re offering it up in a package to get players who are essentially untouchable — like Minnesota’s Kevin Love, for example.
The other teams near the top of the draft — Orlando, Washington, Charlotte, and Phoenix — aren’t looking to trade out of their spots necessarily, as they’re all teams that need a young building block for the future.
The contract of Perkins is the bigger issue here, even beyond trading one high pick for two lower ones. He’s on the books for over $8 million next season and $9 million the year after, and for teams in the rebuilding stages of NBA life, it wouldn’t make any sense at all to take on a player with Perkins’ limited skill set at that price.
In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.
DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.
Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.
Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.
“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?
In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.
I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.
Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.
The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:
The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.
Clean, simple, cool — I like it.
That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)