Oklahoma City past time of wishful imagination
Let me say first i apologize in advance to any Oklahoma City Thunder fans whose old wounds might be reopened because of this post, but two days ago I imagined this. What is OKC had kept Jeff Green, James Harden, and Eric Maynor?
You have Kevin Durant who is a blossoming Hall of Fame, megastar. Westbrook is an elite guard with no rival, brings an all or nothing mentality, and believes as long as he is on the court no hole is too much to to overcome. Ibaka is improving year by year with his offense, becoming one of the better shooting power forwards in the league, also blocking shots with the ferocity of an olympic ping pong champion.
With Harden an all star off the bench, putting pressure on the heart of the Defense and well rounded passing to help compensate for Westbrook's controversial facilitating decisions.
You would have Jeff Green who would be that reliable guy to play at both forward positions, takes the back seat most of the time, but when he decides to get up and really play is dominating.
The Thunder should have waited a little longer for Maynor to get 100% but he would have been a responsible point guard, maybe consider starting him at the point.
Maybe keep Thabo from year to year just because he understands his role every play and is good defender.
--Their line ups/ --starting-- pg-Westbrook, sg-Thabo, sf-Durant, pf-Green, center-whoever(anyone that finishes at rim and rebounds at a decent level)
--backups--Maynor, Harden, Ibaka and whoever else
The rest of the Thunker's roster would be filled with rookies and players signed to veteran minimum contracts who they used as role players and roster fillers until their contracts was up.
It would be a modern day dynasty for sure. The only slight detriment i can think of is if they started to play too much one-on-one basketball. If they trusted each other and passed the ball using ball movement to elevate their individual skills I imagine a OKC team that would dominate the NBA on a level that would be so unbelievably silly I would pity the rest of the league.I imagine they would play against the Miami Heat in the finals from last year 2012 finals going on for the next maybe 3 years depending on when the Miami's big 3 splits up.I also see a team that has a realistic shot at breaking the 95-96 Bull's 72-10 record. Sit back and Imagine what could have been.
they wouldn't have the money to keep those guys together, sorry.
that is why (wishful imagination) is in the title fandango. also if thabo takes a little less money and you replace perkin's contract with green's and give some of ibaka's current contract money with Harden combined with Harden accepting less it could work, but still that is why its imaginative and my own not yours positive outlook for their organization if they didnt have to sacrifice so much. You got that?
I know the Perkins trade doesnt look great right now, but I really think he helped create a more defensive culture with the team. I think Ibaka is a better player because of the time he has been with Perk.
i agree perkins did add toughness to the defense of the thunder. not sure how much perkins helped out ibaka, as it seems ibaka has always had innate defensive gifts, but im not in the locker room so i cant say for sure. I do believe that green with ibaka and another decent post player, maybe collison whos already there would be better than perkins, ibaka, and collison.
The Thunder blundered picking Steven Adams. I'm well aware of his potential and physical gifts, but he is 2 or 3 year project. Kelly Olynyk is skilled and ready to produce right away, and this team biggest weakness is in the paint. I guess this team wants to stay strictly perimeter oriented.
You say their biggest weakness is in the paint yet you suggest they take a finesse, stretch big?
Kelly Olynyk is more of a perimeter guy though. Doesn't get a ton of rebounds, he plays a little like Dirk.
Eat your words. Kelly couldn't do what Steven is for the Thunder.
He is better in the paint then people give him credit for. He has some post moves to go with the perimeter shooting. At least he can contribute right away, Adams will likely be kept only in the D league the whole next season.
Again, I'm a well documented non-believer in Steven Adams(Aka Cole Aldrich/Byron Mullens).
I said many times they should have taken Olynyk,
Kelly Olynyk - 25 points, 50% shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 steals
Steven Adams - 2 points, 25% shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks
Game 2: Kelly Olynyk - 13 points, 56% shooting, 6 rebounds, 5 steals
Steven Adams - DNP
Olynyk is thoroughly dominating Adams so far. Offensively and defensively. Yes I said defensively. Sure Adams had 2 blocks but Olynyk has been a stealing machine with 2 and then 5, I'll take 7 steals over 2 blocks any day sorry.
The fact Adams was a DNP in game 2 is a joke. When you don't even play your 12th overall pick in a summer league game that really shows a lack of faith.
As I said before, Adams will be a career DLeaguer and be tossed away as soon as his rookie contract is over, like all the other "project" bigs the Sonics/Thunder have drafted in the past decade.
You're taking this summer league thing too seriously.
They're at 2 different places in their development.
Ibaka is already there and he'll be there for a while. He's locked down the 4 spot. Olynyk is NOT a center. He is not an inside presence on either end of the floor unless a switch occurs on offense. He won't help with their lack of o-rebounding and interior defense. An Ibaka/Olynyk front line would be one of the softest front lines in the game. They need an inside physical presence and someone who'll do the dirty work. That is not Olynyk.
My entire point on the situation is that Olynyk is ready NOW, he can come in 10 or so minutes a game and grab a few points and rebounds. Adams? Will probably never hit the floor other than the DLeague.
Would you rather have 10 minutes of Olynyk, or 0 minutes of Adams? It's common sense.
When your big man rotation is Perkins, Thabeet, and Collison, you don't need another post player who provides a "physical presence" you need one that can give you at least a little versatility on offense.
OKC has what it needs to compete for a chip. They have their rotation now. Olynyk isn't the missing piece. He's not the player to put them over the top.
Offense is not the issue for OKC. Rather, offensive firepower is not the issue. Their issues offensively are lack of offensive rebounding.and poor structure. The latter is on the coach and the PG.
I look at that front line and I still see no long term answer for their issues. Perkins would be perfect for what they need if he wasn't so damn limited athletically. Collison would be too if he was 7' tall, had a long wingpsan with the ability to defend C's, but that isn't the case
No reason to go around in a circle, you say Olynyk is not the missing piece, either is Adams. But at least one can produce, the other cannot.
They will most likely never get the inside presence they really need due to lack of funds to obtain it. Neither guy is the answer, I never said Olynyk was the answer. But I'll take 10 minutes of Olynyk over 0 minutes of Adams any day.
Adams could be though. Offensive rebounding, post defense, PnR defense, shot-blocking, sheer size and athleticism in the paint, who can run the floor and allow them to keep up the pace, changing ends quickly. He can provide that... eventually. Eventually being the key word, which you don't like.
Robert Swift could be
Mouhamed Sene could be
Johan Petro could be
Sasha Kaun could be
Steven Hill could be
Cole Aldrich could be
Byron Mullens could be
But they weren't. You'd think by now they'd recognize a pattern, and stop trying to pick up project centers.
"Offensive rebounding, post defense, PnR defense, shot-blocking, sheer size and athleticism in the paint, who can run the floor and allow them to keep up the pace, changing ends quickly. He can provide that... eventually."
I hope you realize you just described pretty much everyone listed above.
No I didn't. The only one who fits the physical profile that Adams has on that list was maybe Sene. That's it. If Sene didn't have his dimensions he wouldn't have been a basketball player.
Swift was slow and injury prone, who got even slower after his injuries.
Petro was a soft, jump shooting C.
Kaun was slow and more of a finished product when he left Kansas.
Steven Hill wasn't even drafted.
Aldrich was slow and lumbering.
Mullens wanted to be Dirk Nowitzki because he's naturally soft.
Every possible physical attribute you would want from a C, Adams has. He is the prototype in terms of athleticism, length and bulk. Plus he WANTS to do the dirty work and play with physicality. He's a sponge, isn't tainted by AAU ball so he has hardly any bad habits and actually does a lot of things fundamentally well. For example, in today's game it wasn't just Reggie Jackson creating his driving opportunities in the 4th. Look who was creating the space in the PnR game. Adams was setting those screens. He sets very wide screens always getting a piece of the defender. He understands the rescreen game and rolls athletically enough to occupy the help defenders.
When I said Adams sounds like all the players mentioned above, I meant what was being said about them as draft prospects, not what we seen after they came in the league. As for Steven Hill, no he was not drafted but he was picked up by the Thunder after the draft. Now, let's take a look at their prospect profiles shall we?
• Robert Swift - He's quick, relatively athletic and knows how to score and rebound in the paint. He has great hands and footwork for someone his age, plays aggressively and, believe it or not, is a decent passer from the post. Good shot blocker.
• Mouhamed Sene - An absolutely jaw dropping physical specimen with his combination of size, length, strength, athleticism and mobility Very disruptive defensively and rebounds the ball well Has a 7'8" wingspan making him a force as a shot blocker Already getting playing time at the Senior level for Pepinster and getting decent minutes and stats Runs the floor well. Great hands, has no problems catching the ball or rebounding. Extremely agile, he can fall down on the court like a cat, not heavily like most big man Very coach-able and a hard working kid.
• Johan Petro - Tall, long, and extremely well built. Moves well for a center. Possesses decent vertical explosiveness. Relies on his athleticism to be effective at this point in his career. Has some unpolished offensive tools to work with, but does not know his limitations in the least bit. Shows decent touch around the rim on occasion. Shoots a very poor percentage from the field. Good shot blocker, with the potential to be great.
• Sasha Kaun - Good size and hustle for a big man. Has shown significant improvement considering he only started playing basketball a few years ago. Shows solid agility for a bigman. Fights for rebounds; its refreshing to see his level of energy on the floor, especially from the post ... Led the team in offensive rebounds.
• Steven Hill - Bigman with excellent leaping and shot blocking ability. Really patrols the lane and focuses on the defensive end where he erases a lot of the oppositions post scoring. A solid athlete, runs the floor pretty well and a solid rebounder with nice strength.
• Cole Aldrich - His long arms (7'4 wingspan) allows him to play a few inches bigger than his 6'11 height and patrol the paint ... Has good agility for a player his size and is beginning to develop good body control and offensive moves ... His overall feel for the game has begun to come around. A bigman who runs the floor well and can finish on the break ... Shows excellent coordination with the ability to convert plays in both the half court and on the break ... Defensively he has become a real presence as a shot blocker using his huge wingspan to inhale close to 3 blocks per game.
• Byron Mullens - Mullens is a talented big man with good athleticism and upside ... Possesses excellent NBA size, with a big wingspan and good length for his position. Takes advantage of his athleticism and long arms to rebound the ball on both ends of the floor.
Now let's see Steven Adams profile;
• Steven Adams - Great length (7'5" wingspan) makes him a terror on the defensive end and boards. Averaged 2 BPG last season in only 23 minutes per game. Very fluid for a man his size. He runs the floor well and just seems to be comfortable in his own body...Uses his body to get good position in the lane...Very good rebounder thanks to his size and length...
Is it just me or are these profiles starting to sound like a broken record?
You mentioned these categories about Steven Adams: Athleticism, length/bulk. Well if you read the profiles above, they all are said to have athleticism & length.
Furthermore Steven Adams' main attributes coming in was his blocking/defense and rebounding. Well again according to all of those profiles they're all good at defense & rebounding.
I'm done with this discussion as it has reached a ridiculous level, I do highly respect you as a poster, but you're starting to sound like my daughter when she doesn't get her way.
Swift wasn't quick though, he had cinder block feet that didn't allow him to leap or change direction quickly. He bulked up, lost agility, then got injured and lost even more agility.
That description of Sene was very accurate though. He was a freak in terms of dimension and he had the frame to put on weight, which he eventually did, but he just didn't know how to play. Stiff legs and didn't even look like he could get in a stance.
Petro was scouted very early. I remember reading about him when he was 16-17, touted to be a future lotto. Even when he was coming up and had the size advantage vs his age group, he was not mistaken for a physical player who was good defensively at any level. What are your memories of Petro when he first came to the league? I know what mine were and they didn't consist of him being a presence in the paint at all. Turns out he was what he looked like.
Kaun was a 4 yr player and wasn't a good athlete, hence why he was one of the last picks in his draft. I mean as a senior, he was a back up center. There weren't many expectations for him as an NBA player for good reason. He would've been nothing but big body and 6 fouls.
Again, Steven Hill wasn't even drafted. There's a reason for that.
Aldrich is slow. Like Swift, hes got those cinder block feet that inhibited his agility. He's like the white Kendrick Perkins because he does have long arms and a big body, but wasn't given the opportunity like Perk. If given a chance to play I think he could be similarly unproductive like Perk.
Mullens was a very good athlete with good upside, but he didn't have the temperament. Ever since he left HS he decided that he didn't want the contact and would rather try to become a finesse player. He was never going to be a grinder because he didn't want to be one.
It's perfectly OK to disagree with reports. I saw Swift and Aldrich in HS and I would not have classified them as agile or quick especially when projecting and comparing them to NBA athleticism. Yes, Adams main attributes are rebounding and defense, but he also has the physical attributes and temperament to back that up. You go down the list of attributes you want from a big man: quickness, bulk, length, strength, quick leaping ability, speed changing ends, etc, he checks virtually all boxes. Plus he embraces physical contact and wants to do the dirty work.
I sound like your daughter now? Why, because I disagree with you and don't waver? You sound like the typical draft.net poster who doesn't like it when people disagree with you. There are a number of ways that a team can go in the draft, short term or long term. Adams was picked with an eye beyond this yr, while also filling a need.
Adams didn't play because the Thunder are rotating their players
Reggie Jackson and Andrew Smith sat out the first game, Adams and Liggins sat out the second, and Orton and Lamb sat out today
Yes, but the difference is Jackson, Liggins, Orton, & Lamb have little to prove because they've already played in the NBA.
Adams is your 12th pick, you should be playing him every single summer league game.
Im not saying I agree with it but that is what the Thunder are doing
So what does the Jazz giving Trey Burke a day off say about the 9th overall pick?
If my point guard was shooting 22% from the field and 10% from 3 and has as many turnovers & fouls as assists I'd probably sit him too.
I'm sorry, but if Burke is your 9th pick, you should be playing him every single summer league game.
Any comment on Adams last 2 games by the way?
About on par with his first game in rebounds. Points & FG% are climbing a bit, but so are his fouls and turnovers.
Adams has by no means been great, but he's been consistently decent, and if there's one thing I love it's consistency. I'm more worried about Jerrett, he went from beast-mode the first couple games to an absolute non-factor against the Pistons, that lack of consistency scares me a bit.
Today OKC is sitting Jackson, Orton, Roberson, and Jarrett and are still up 13 at this point
I dont know why Kaun is lumped in some 1st round bust category. Sasha Kaun is good enough to play a major role in the NBA, he just chooses to play in his home country of Russia. He looked good during Russia's bronze medal run in the 2012 Olympics. He shouldn't be mentioned in the slew of Sea/OKC busts, he was a mid second rounder who's draft rights were traded to Cleveland on draft night in 2008.
Adams is very raw, but I'm a believer. The DNP the other day was strategy rather than him not being good enough to play SL. Coaches sit out guys every now and again, and it means nothing. Adams held his own against Drummond the other day and today put up a 13/5/2/2 line on 4/5 and 5/8. He's not going to start for Perk on opening day, but he's a quick study and I think people are going to be surprised.
Nice start by him. Doesnt look like a 2-3yr project to me, he can already play.
8.2pts on 37.5%FG, 0% (from 9) on 3s, 100.0%FT, 4.7rebs, 0.7asts, 2.7TOs, 0.5stl, 0.0blk
7.0pts on 59.1%FG, 69.2%FT, 6.8rebs, 1.0ast, 0.2TOs, 0.6stl, 1.2blk
made only 1 turnover so far after 100minutes on a debatable offensive foul