Oklahoma City Thunder WiretapOklahoma City Thunder Wiretap

Mark Cuban Still Doesn't Put Russell Westbrook In 'Superstar' Category

Dec 10, 2016 1:41 PM

Mark Cuban still isn't convinced Russell Westbrook is a superstar several months after he declared him short of his standard during last year's playoffs.

Westbrook is averaging a triple-double to start the season.

"He's putting up superstar numbers. That's for damn sure," Cuban said of Westbrook. "I'm not taking anything away from what he's been able to accomplish, but I'm not going to change my definition. He's putting up superstar numbers. You can't deny that."

Cuban believes a true superstar can carry a mediocre roster to 50 wins and a postseason series win.

"That's no disrespect to Russell," Cuban said. "He's been a beast. Few have done what he's done, but I'll stick by my definition. I'm not saying that he's not going to prove me wrong and that he [won't be] a superstar by the end of the year. That's fine, but I'll stick by my definition."

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Discuss
RealGM Radio: Royce Young On The Thunder

Dec 7, 2016 4:24 PM

Host Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux) and Royce Young of ESPN (@royceyoung) go in-depth on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The two break down Russell Westbrook’s incredible start to the NBA season, their defensive success (5:43), Cameron Payne’s status (9:47), how they can get better (28:44), Billy Donovan as a tinkerer (32:51), Domantas Sabonis’ rookie season (37:34) and much more.

Sponsored by Shari’s Berries (http://www.berries.com/), Blue Apron (http://blueapron.com/RealGM) and Audible (http://www.audible.com/trynow)

Subscribe to RealGM Radio on iTunes or via the RSS feed

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, RealGM Radio

Discuss
LeBron James, Russell Westbrook Named Players Of The Month

Dec 1, 2016 4:07 PM

LeBron James and Russell Westbrook have been named the NBA's Players of the Month for November.

This past October and November, James averaged 23.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 9.3 assists in 35.9 minutes as the Cavaliers went 13-2 in the 15 contests he appeared in. He also shot .498 from the field, .362 from beyond the arc and .720 from the foul line. The 6-8 forward won the Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice in the opening month (weeks ending October 30 and November 6) and registered nine double-doubles and a conference-best three triple-doubles (Oct. 25 vs. New York, Nov. 23 vs. Portland and Nov. 27 at Philadelphia). Among Eastern Conference leaders, James ranked first in plus/minus (+159), tied for first in assists per game (9.3), fourth in field goals made per game (8.5), sixth in points per game (23.5), tied for sixth in double-doubles (9) and tied for 13th in rebounds per game (8.1).

Westbrook is averaging a triple-double through 20 games for the 12-8 Thunder. Westbrook ranks second in the NBA in scoring (31.2 points), second in assists (11.3 assists) and 11th in rebounds (10.5 rebounds).

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Award

Discuss
Scott Brooks On Durant, Westbrook's Relationship: It Doesn't Make Me Feel Good

Nov 30, 2016 3:14 PM

Scott Brooks was asked a number of questions about Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook during his first trip back to Oklahoma City. Brooks coached Durant and Westbrook through the 14-15 season.

"He made a decision he thought was best for him," Brooks said of Durant. "At that time, it was something that I knew that he earned that right.

"But now, the last couple of days it's been thinking about things differently because I'm here. I've had a lot of great years with all the guys and we had a good run together. Kevin was a big part of it and I still feel we had a lot of great opportunities to win a championship. We were close, but a lot of things happen. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game. We bounced back in a lot of ways but he made the choice that was best for his family."

Brooks was also asked about Durant and Westbrook's currently icy relationship.

"It doesn't make me feel good," Brooks said. "As a coach of the team ... when you're coaching a group of athletic, competitive-minded players, you're gonna have arguments, you're gonna have disagreements, but you have to be able to keep the group together. I thought the staff did a great job of doing that with a lot of people trying to separate them.

"I think that eventually they're going to (talk) ... I don't think they have. I'll trust you guys that you guys know they haven't spoke(n), and maybe that's probably dangerous on my part to trust you guys. But I don't like to see that. They did so many wonderful things together and they should be proud of that and not be focused on not winning the championship. A lot of things happen in order to win one and (I'm) fortunate we were there and able to (try to) win one."

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Discuss
Westbrook Averaging Triple-Double Later In Season Than Anyone Since Oscar

Nov 29, 2016 11:43 AM

Russell Westbrook is now averaging a triple-double and is doing so later in the season than any player since Oscar Robertson during the 63-64 season.

Westbrook is averaging 30.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 11.3 assists through 19 games.

"Winning is sustainable," Westbrook said of averaging a triple-double for the season. "My job is to go out and find the best way to win games. Right now, we won three straight, and that is the most important to me."

Robertson averaged his triple-double in a faster era when there were around 25 more possessions, 30 more available rebounds and 30 more shot attempts per game. Adjusted for the 63-64 pace, Westbrook would be averaging 46.6 points, 17.0 assists and 15.6 rebounds per game.

"It's amazing what he's doing," Billy Donovan said of Westbrook. "There's also a part of it that he's probably the most unique player in the NBA because you've got great scorers, great assist guys, great rebounders. There are a lot of great players in this league. But he kind of touches it all in every facet of the game. He gets those numbers, but there's so much more to him than that to me, as a coach."

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Discuss
Thunder Retire Navy Blue Alternate Uniforms

Nov 20, 2016 7:28 PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder will no longer wear their navy blue alternate uniforms.

The jersey featured a vertical script of the word "Thunder".

Last postseason, Kevin Durant said Russell Westbrook typically decides which alternates the team wore.

The Thunder last wore the navy blue alternates during their 124-92 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2016 Western Conference semifinals.

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Discuss
Semaj Christon Suffers Concussion, Facial Fracture

Nov 19, 2016 4:08 PM

Semaj Christon suffered a concussion after hitting hit head on the knee of Enes Kanter in the third quarter of Oklahoma City's win over the Nets.

Christon is currently in the concussion protocol and has a non-displaced left facial fracture. Christon can play with the fracture when he returns from concussion protocol as long as he plays with a protective mask.

There is no timetable yet for Christon's return.

The Thunder has been using Victor Oladipo alongside Christon in second-unit lineups, and Oladipo is capable of playing point guard.

Oklahoma City has been without Cameron Payne to start the season.

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Tags: Semaj Christon, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Injury

Discuss
Blake Griffin Exhibiting No Signs Of Interest In Playing For Hometown Thunder

Nov 17, 2016 10:41 AM

Blake Griffin grew up in Oklahoma but there have been no signs that he would have interest in playing for his hometown Oklahoma City Thunder, according to several sources.

Griffin has spent most of his career playing with one of the greatest point guards of all-time in Chris Paul and joining the Thunder would allow him to play with another special point guard in Russell Westbrook.

Griffin has an early termination option in his deal with the Clippers this summer.

Griffin is averaging 20.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 32.3 minutes per game through 12 games this season.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Discuss
Thunder Remain Interested In Trading For Rudy Gay

Nov 17, 2016 10:19 AM

The Oklahoma City Thunder remain interested in trading for Rudy Gay.

Gay can become a free agent in the 2017 offseason and is not expected to have interest in re-signing with the Sacramento Kings.

The Thunder have always had an interest in bigger wings like Gay, who would allow them to slide Victor Oladipo to a 6th man role and Andre Roberson to shooting guard.

Gay is a career 34.5 percent three-point shooter and is shooting 42.4 percent this season.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Discuss
James Harden: Thunder Now A One-Man Show

Nov 15, 2016 11:11 PM

James Harden was asked about the state of the Oklahoma City Thunder this season following the departure of Kevin Durant, which came roughly a week after their trade of Serge Ibaka and almost four years after his own trade from the franchise.

Without Durant to share shots with, Westbrook's usage has increased dramatically.

"It's Russ," said Harden. "It's a one-man show."

The Houston Rockets play Russell Westbrook and the Thunder on Wednesday for the first time this season.

Harden and Westbrook are each posting more than 30 points, eight rebounds and nearly 10 assists per game so far this season.

Jenny Dial Creech/Houston Chronicle

Tags: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Discuss
Kevin Durant Defends Greg Oden On 'Biggest NBA Bust' Comments
Greg Oden said he was "one of the biggest busts in NBA history" and that "it would only get worse as Kevin Durant continues doing big things."

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Victor Oladipo On Trade To Thunder: I'm Glad Where I Am
Victor Oladipo will play the Magic on Sunday for the first time since his trade to the Thunder.

Josh Robins/Orlando Sentinel

Andrew Bogut: Thunder Exposed Warriors Little Bit With Their Big Lineup In WCF
Andrew Bogut spoke about his exit from the Warriors ahead of his first return to Oracle Arena as a member of the Mavericks.

Sam Amick/USA Today

Thunder Trying To Get Russell Westbrook To See Different Ways Of Impacting Teammates
Russell Westbrook has a usage rate of 42.4 through six games this season, up from 31.3 last season as he's taking on a bigger role without Kevin Durant.

Brett Dawson/Oklahoman

Steven Adams Has 7.5 Percent Trade Kicker In Extension
If Steven Adams is traded during the contract, he gets a 7.5 percent bonus from his existing salary if he's dealt during the course of the next deal.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Warriors' Durant Recruitment May Have Began Super Bowl Weekend
Russell Westbrook arrived to play Kevin Durant and the Warriors dressed as a field photographer, which was interpreted as a dig at Durant.

Royce Young/ESPN

Durant, Westbrook Don't Acknowledge Each Other In First Game
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook never spoke or physically acknowledged each other during the evening, including the 10-minute chapel session they each attended.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Dunc'd On: Thunder/Warriors + Which Players Added New Skills
Kevin Durant's first game against his old team, then a look at some players who may have added skills to their game over the offseason.

RealGM Staff Report

Kevin Durant Doesn't Shake Hands Before Games, Won't Break Tradition For Westbrook
Kevin Durant said he continues to be a "fan of (Russell Westbrook's) game."

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Russell Westbrook: I Play Every Game The Same, Always
Russell Westbrook said Thursday's game when the Thunder visit Kevin Durant and the Warriors will be just another game.

Royce Young/ESPN

Kevin Durant Candidly Talks About Relationship With Russell Westbrook
Kevin Durant believes he and Russell Westbrook will be lifelong friends.

Anthony Slater/Oklahoman

Thunder Acquire Jerami Grant From 76ers For Ersan Ilyasova, Future First Rounder
The Thunder have acquired Jerami Grant from the 76ers for Ersan Ilyasova and a protected first round pick.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

RealGM Radio: Extension/Option Deadline With Dan Feldman
Host Danny Leroux and Dan Feldman of NBC's Pro Basketball Talk break down the NBA's rookie scale extension and option deadline.

RealGM Staff Report

Andre Roberson, Thunder Held Extension Talks But Unable To Agree On Deal
Andre Roberson has emerged over the past year as a versatile defensive player for the Thunder.

Royce Young/ESPN

LeBron James, Russell Westbrook Named Players Of The Week
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder to a 3-0 week behind a league-leading 38.7 points and 11.7 assists to go with 12.3 rebounds.

RealGM Staff Report

Steven Adams, Thunder Agree Upon Four-Year, $100M Extension
Steven Adams will avoid restricted free agency in the 2017 offseason.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Victor Oladipo Agrees To Four-Year, $84M Deal With Thunder
Victor Oladipo has committed his future to the Thunder just a few months after he was traded to the franchise.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Thunder Holding Extension Talks With Steven Adams, Victor Oladipo
Steven Adams and the Thunder are holding talks on a $100 million deal.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Thunder Exercise 17-18 Options On Josh Huestis, Cameron Payne
Cameron Payne averaged 5.0 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 57 games during his rookie season.

RealGM Staff Report

Russell Westbrook Scores 51 With Triple Double
Russell Westbrook recorded the third-highest point total ever in a triple double.

Royce Young/ESPN