Oklahoma City Thunder WiretapOklahoma City Thunder Wiretap

Rex Kalamian: Thunder Lost Personal Bond With Trade Of James Harden

Oct 25, 2016 3:24 PM

Kevin Durant sent a text to former Oklahoma City assistant coach Rex Kalamian, who has spent the past few seasons with the Toronto Raptors. Durant praised the bond that exists between Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, who were his teammates with Team USA in the 2016 Olympics.

“Your two guys are the best. I’m jealous of their relationship, the way they get along with each other and the way they play together. The way they enjoy each other, it’s great,” Kalamian said of that text.

“I think it’s kind of what he wants,” Kalamian continued. “He wants that bond with someone . . . and I think he’s going to find that.

“Early on in OKC, we had that.”

Kalamian said the trade of James Harden in 2012 after the Thunder had reached The Finals went beyond basketball.

“We had that (bond) really with James Harden. He was a connector of everyone. He brought Westbrook, Durant and (Serge) Ibaka and they all kind of connected, they all came together,” Kalamian said.

“James is a big reason and when he left I think Kevin said . . . that trade was the beginning of the end for him and now there wasn’t that connection as much.

“Kevin and Russell, they respect the heck out of each other, no question about it. They played well together, they work well together, they communicate, but I think the connection was lost a little bit for whatever reason.”

Chris O'Leary/Toronto Star

Tags: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Thunder Waive Mitch McGary, Ronnie Price To Keep Semaj Christon

Oct 24, 2016 2:11 PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder will waive Mitch McGary and Ronnie Price to keep Semaj Christon on their final roster.

McGary is due $1.526 million for this season while Price had guaranteed deals worth $2.557 million this season and $2.442 million for 17-18.

McGary received a five-game suspension and a 10-game suspension for the 16-17 season due to drug violations.

Christon averaged 7.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 18.6 minutes per game in the preseason.

The Thunder had just signed Christon to a two-year deal in August.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Tags: Mitch McGary, Ronnie Price, Semaj Christon, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Waiver

Reggie Williams Waived By Thunder

Oct 19, 2016 8:52 PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder have waived Reggie Williams.

Williams, who was originally signed by the club on Oct. 18th, did not appear in a game this preseason.

Williams last played in the NBA in 14-15 with the Spurs.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Reggie Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Waiver

Kings, Thunder Held Serious Rudy Gay For Cameron Payne Talks

Oct 19, 2016 8:47 PM

The Sacramento Kings and Oklahoma City Thunder held serious discussions on a deal centered on Rudy Gay for Cameron Payne earlier in the offseason.

Talks stalled when Payne broke his foot in September.

Payne was a lottery pick in 2015 out of Murray State.

Gay has informed the Kings he plans to decline his player option for the 17-18 season worth $14.3 million and doesn't figure to have interest in re-signing.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Rudy Gay, Cameron Payne, Sacramento Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Russell Westbrook: There's A Sense Of Comfort For Me In OKC

Oct 19, 2016 1:59 PM

Russell Westbrook is often alone and has an uncommonly small circle of friends and associates.

“I know what to do,” Westbrook said. “I don’t need a bunch of people around to give me—whatever those people give you.”

While Westbrook loves fashion and traveling the world attending fashion shows, he lives a relatively uncomplicated life off the court.

“My life is pretty simple,” said Westbrook.

Westbrook lives in the Oklahoma City suburbs with his wife, Nina, whom he met while at UCLA.

When Westbrook was younger, he tried to ingratiate himself with Kevin Durant. But at that time, Durant was surrounded by a big circle of friends and associates. Durant eventually streamlined his entourage and attempted to reciprocate, but Westbrook had settled down by then.

Westbrook loves the atmosphere created by the Thunder.

“This environment is a huge part of how I got to this point,” Westbrook said. “There’s a sense of comfort for me here.” 

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Russell Westbrook Asked Durant How He Could Change During Meeting

Oct 19, 2016 1:07 PM

Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison met with Kevin Durant in West Hollywood shortly before the start of free agency.

Westbrook asked Durant what he could do and how he could change. Durant was set to meet with several teams during the first few days of July.

“He went above and beyond,” Collison said.

Westbrook also offered to fly to the Hamptons where Durant would meet with teams.

Westbrook received a text from Durant on July 4th that he was going to sign with the Golden State Warriors. Westbrook played dominoes with longtime friends like Donnell Beverly that day.

“He didn’t talk much about what happened,” said Beverly.

Westbrook posted a bittersweet photo on Instagram of three plates of cupcakes with a "HAPPY 4th YALL..." caption.

When Kendrick Perkins played for the Thunder he called teammates "cupcake" if he thought they were acting a little soft and the term was playfully adopted by Durant and Westbrook.

“This is professional sports,” Westbrook said. “You have to live with it. I just continued about my day.”

Beverly turned the topic to Oklahoma City as the day went on.

“I like my team,” Westbrook told him. “I still really like my team.”

“I don’t know if Russ was hurt,” said Steven Adams, “because he’d never tell me, and he’d definitely never tell you.” 

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Kevin Durant: Other Teams Would Get Vets, Thunder Kept Getting Younger

Oct 19, 2016 10:44 AM

Kevin Durant expounded upon his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors in an interview before training camp with Rolling Stone.

"All my life, I've been a pleaser, put everyone else ahead of me," said Durant.

Durant spoke of how the Thunder kept taking a longer view instead of doing everything possible to win now. Even before his free agency, the Thunder traded away Serge Ibaka in a deal for a player still on his rookie contract in Victor Oladipo, a rookie in Domantas Sabonis and veteran Ersan Ilyasova.

"Where other teams went out and got that veteran guy, we kept getting younger," said Durant.

During the 14-15 season, the Thunder acquired former high lottery picks Enes Kanter and Dion Waiters, who had each depressed their value with their former teams.

"For nine years, he refused to speak a word against that team – he loved those guys and that city," said his mother Wanda Durant. "But this summer he said, 'Mama, I can't do it anymore. They're not in this thing with me, we're not together like we were – I feel like I need something different.' "

Durant and Russell Westbrook were always more work friends than legitimately close.

"We had our own cliques that we hung with on the road," said Durant. "Russell had his guys, I had mine. It was never a bad thing. Just how it was." 

After the Thunder blew a 3-1 lead to the Warriors, the team Durant decided to join did the same thing against the Cavaliers.

"It felt like that whole thing was set up for me to leave," he says, "especially after they blew a lead in the finals, because I damn sure wasn't going there if they'd won. But after Game Seven, I called up my agent and said, 'Damn, dude, Golden State – what if?' "

Paul Solotaroff/Rolling Stone

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Russell Westbrook Done Responding To Kevin Durant's Comments

Oct 13, 2016 12:27 PM

Russell Westbrook was asked about comments made by Kevin Durant in which he said he feels "really grateful to play for a team like that and play with a bunch of players who are selfless and enjoy the game in its purest form." 

"That's cute man," said Westbrook. "My job is to worry about what's going on here and worry about all of the 'selfish' guys we've got over here apparently."

Westbrook was asked if it's difficult not to take comments by Durant as a criticism of the Thunder.

"I don't care," said Westbrook. "To me it doesn't matter. My job is to worry about here. Honestly, I'm really tired of talking about it. Anytime anybody asks another question, I'm not going to answer it. Just FYI. I'm not talking about it no more."

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Andrew Bogut Believes Kevin Durant To Warriors 'Was Done Long Before Summer'

Oct 12, 2016 2:01 PM

Even as the Golden State Warriors pursued a record regular season and a second straight trip to The Finals, Andrew Bogut knew he could leave the team in the offseason as part of their pursuit of Kevin Durant.

"That's part of the business," said Bogut. "I think the deal was done long before the summer. I think it was done -- obviously, K.D. didn't make his concrete decision, but I think our organization knew for a while what was going to happen. That's just a part of it. Andre [Iguodala] and I knew it was one of us that was going to go, and it was me. That's part of the business. I have no gripes about it. You get a Hall of Famer -- he's going to be a Hall of Famer -- in K.D. If I'm the GM, I do the same deal. That's just the reality of the business."

The Warriors accommodated Bogut by trading him to the Dallas Mavericks.

"I've always liked the city -- first off -- off the court," said Bogut. "It's kind of a big city, but it's spread out, just kind of more suited to me. I'm not a huge metropolitan kind of guy, so that fit in. And then the organization, everybody that fits here speaks very highly of the way they treat their players, the things they do for their players. It's no secret that it's my 12th year, so I need any help I can get."

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Kevin Durant, Andrew Bogut, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Russell Westbrook Doesn't Care If Mark Cuban Says He's Not A Superstar

Oct 11, 2016 4:31 PM

Russell Westbrook had little response when asked about Mark Cuban's comments suggesting he's not a superstar.

"I have no thoughts," Westbrook said. "I don’t care if somebody thinks I’m not a superstar, is a superstar, starter, bench player, role player. It really doesn’t matter what nobody says outside of this team and my teammates."

Westbrook was also asked if he considers himself a superstar.

"I consider myself a basketball player," he replied.

Cuban qualified a "superstar" as a player who can guide any team he's on to 50 wins. "There’s only a few guys that you put them on any team and they’ll win 50 games," Cuban said in April. "To me that’s the definition of a superstar."


Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Russell Westbrook: European Offenses 10X Better Than NBA Due To Movement
The Thunder have typically featured little ball movement and passing, relying on the individual talent of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

Fred Katz/Norman Transcript

RealGM Radio: Northwest Division With David Locke, Adam Mares
Host Danny Leroux, David Locke of the Utah Jazz and Locked on Podcast Network and Adam Mares of Denver Stiffs break down the Northwest Division.

RealGM Staff Report

Andre Roberson Leaving Extension Talks With Thunder To Agents
Andre Roberson was asked if he's excited about becoming a free agent this summer of if he'd prefer to sign an extension with the Thunder.

Jorge Sierra/HoopsHype

Nick Collison Received Text From Kevin Durant Before Departure Announcement
Kevin Durant texted Nick Collison about his decision to leave the Thunder for the Warriors shortly before it was announced.

Raul Barrigon/Hoopshype

Cameron Payne Suffers Fracture In Right Foot
Following surgery on his right foot July 25 to repair a Jones fracture, Cameron Payne had been a full participant in preseason practice with no restrictions.

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Thunder Add Alex Caruso, Kaleb Tarczewski, Chris Wright To Camp Roster
As a senior, Alex Caruso was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year in addition to receiving Second-Team All SEC honors.

RealGM Staff Report

Kevin Durant Disagreed With Criticism Of His Character Following Decision
Kevin Durant was asked about a narrative that emerged when he signed with the Warriors that he's impressionable and that he had people pushing him to leave the Thunder.

Bill Simmons/HBO

Thunder Renounce Rights To Tomislav Zubic
Tomislav Zubcic played 36 games for the Blue last season, averaging 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 19.8 minutes per game.

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Sam Presti: We're Uniformly Excited About What Lies Ahead For Thunder
The Thunder rebounded from losing Kevin Durant in free agency by signing Russell Westbrook to an extension.

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Victor Oladipo Expects Some NBA Players To Protest During Anthem
Victor Oladipo expects Colin Kaepernick's decision to protest during the national anthem to spread to the NBA this season.

Russ Bengtson/Complex Sports

Aubrey McClendon's 20 Percent Stake In Thunder Could Soon Be Sold
Lenders to Aubrey McClendon have claimed in court he left behind more debt than his assets could repay as oil prices cratered.

Ben Fenwick, Jessica DiNapoli/Reuters

Mitch McGary Suspended For An Additional 10 Games
Mitch McGary's violation isn't believed to be another positive test, but rather a failure to live up to procedural guidelines set forth in the program.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Kevin Durant On Russell Westbrook: We're Still Cool
Kevin Durant said in early July he and Russell Westbrook's relationship "probably won't ever be the same again."

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Dunc'd On Pod: Season Outlooks On Thunder With Fred Katz, Pistons With Dan Feldman
Nate Duncan previews the Thunder with Fred Katz and the Pistons with Dan Feldman.

RealGM Staff Report

Serge Ibaka 'Never Asked To Be Traded' But 'Thrilled To Be In Orlando'
Serge Ibaka was traded by the Thunder to the Magic on draft night while he was sleeping in Paris.

The Cauldron

Nuggets Trade Joffrey Lauvergne To Thunder For Two 2nd Rounders
The Nuggets have traded Joffrey Lauvergne to the Thunder for two future second-round picks.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Russell Westbrook In 'Some Run, Some Make Runways' Ad For Air Jordan
Russell Westbrook stars in a new ad that could be referring to Kevin Durant.

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Billy Donovan Appreciated How Kevin Durant Handled Free Agency During Season
Billy Donovan coached Durant for just one season, joining the Thunder from Florida in the 2015 offseason.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Thunder Sign Semaj Christon
Semaj Christon spent the 15-16 season playing in Italy with VL Pesaro where he appeared in 30 games and averaged 14.3 points, 3.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 33.2 minutes.

RealGM Staff Report

Domantas Sabonis Signs Rookie Deal With Thunder
Domantas Sabonis was acquired by Oklahoma City on the night of the 2016 NBA Draft in a deal involving Serge Ibaka.

RealGM Staff Report