Oklahoma City Thunder WiretapOklahoma City Thunder Wiretap

Billy Donovan Appreciated How Kevin Durant Handled Free Agency During Season

Aug 26, 2016 4:22 PM

For the first time, Billy Donovan talked publicly about Kevin Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors this offseason.

Donovan coached Durant for just one season, joining the Thunder from Florida in the 2015 offseason.

"I don't know if I ever felt like he was going to necessarily come back, but I thought our meeting went very, very well," said Donovan. "I think Kevin on the front end was very, very, honest that when the season ended, he was going to go through this process and he was going to take a meeting with us, obviously, first. And then he was going to have some other teams he was going to meet with. And I think a little bit later on, after the season ended, they decided to do it out in The Hamptons.

"But I thought the meeting that we had went very well. I think we talked about basketball, we talked about our team, we talked about direction, we talked about obviously his leadership, his role, all those kind of things. I think leaving the meeting it was very, very positive. I thought it was very, very clear. I think there was direction on both sides.

"But one thing I think with Kevin was going through nine years in the organization, he was at a point of time when he was allowed obviously to be a free agent and go through this process and start to gather some information. We were the first meeting. So obviously, I think being in college for so long and you go through recruiting, you know that during that process, things can change through some of these different meetings. And obviously after meeting with Golden State, things probably in his mind changed in terms of what he was evaluating."

Donovan was asked if getting over Durant's departure was different for him since he had only been there with him for one season.

"One of the things I did when I first came in that I thought was really important; there was so much of a story surrounding the fact that Kevin last year was hurt and he had missed 50-something games. Now he was getting himself back healthy. We had a chance to spend a lot of time last summer together because he was in OKC rehabbing his foot getting himself ready to play. And I talked to him a lot about the fact that I wanted to help him and our team get better and be the best version of ourselves and how could I bring value and help.

"But I didn't want to get involved in the free agency talk at all because, one, it really was not my place. I didn't have a relationship with Kevin at all. I obviously knew him as a player from afar but I didn't have a relationship to inject myself. So I really tried to do every single day is to focus on helping him and our team get better.

"The thing I thought Kevin did a great job of this year was the fact that everywhere we went to a lot of different marketplaces, there was always the question of 'Are you going to consider this team? Are you going to consider that team? Have you given this any thought?'

"I really appreciated for our team we were able to stay focused on our team, the season, the playoffs, without having the distraction. I thought Kevin handled it really, really well and was consistent all the way through."

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

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

Thunder Sign Semaj Christon

Aug 20, 2016 3:29 PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed Semaj Christon.

Originally selected in the second round (No. 55 overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft, Christon (6-3, 190) spent the 2015-16 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.

Christon spent the 2014-15 season with the Oklahoma City Blue where he appeared in 44 games and registered averages of 18.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.6 steals in 35.3 minutes. Christon finished the season as one of only two players in the NBA D-League to average 18+ points, 3+ rebounds, 5.5+ assists and 1.5+ steals.

This past July, Christon helped guide the Thunder’s Summer League entry to a 4-1 record after leading the team in assists (4.3 apg) and finishing second in scoring (16.8 ppg).

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Semaj Christon, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Domantas Sabonis Signs Rookie Deal With Thunder

Aug 13, 2016 11:24 AM

The Oklahoma City Thunder have Domantas Sabonis to a contract.

Sabonis (6-11, 240), was selected with the 11th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft following his sophomore year at Gonzaga. The forward earned All-WCC First Team honors as a sophomore after averaging 17.6 points on .611 shooting from the field (239-of-391), 11.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 31.8 minutes in 36 games with the Bulldogs. The forward was named to the All-WCC Second Team, All-WCC Freshman Team, NIT All-Tournament Team and NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team as a freshman. He played in 35 games in 2013-14 for Unicaja Malaga in the Spanish ACB league.

He was acquired by Oklahoma City on the night of the 2016 NBA Draft along with guard Victor Oladipo and forward Ersan Ilyasova from the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward Serge Ibaka.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Domas Sabonis, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Ronnie Price, Thunder Finalize Two-Year, $5M Deal

Aug 11, 2016 5:02 PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder have finalized a guaranteed two-year, $5 million deal.

Price spent last season with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 5.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

Price has played in over 500 career NBA games despite going undrafted in 2005.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Tags: Ronnie Price, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Chris Wright Agrees To Partially Guaranteed Deal With Thunder

Aug 10, 2016 7:48 PM

Chris Wright has agreed to a partially guaranteed deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Wright played for Maccabi Rishon LeZion last season, averaging 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals.

Wright went undrafted out of Dayton in 2011.

David Pick

Tags: Chris Wright, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Kevin Durant's First Game Back In Oklahoma City Scheduled For Feb. 11th

Aug 8, 2016 4:11 PM

Kevin Durant is scheduled to make his first return to Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 11th.

Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors this offseason.

Durant will first play the Thunder on Nov. 3rd in Oakland.

Marc Stein/ESPN

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

Russell Westbrook Listed At 4 To 1 Odds To Win 2017 MVP

Aug 5, 2016 9:01 AM

Russell Westbrook trails only Stephen Curry and LeBron James in terms of Bovada's MVP odds for the 16-17 season.

Curry has won MVP in each of the past two seasons but Westbrook has played at an MVP-level durings parts of the past two season. With Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder in the offseason, Westbrook figures to post improved counting stats.

Stephen Curry 15/4
LeBron James 15/4
Russell Westbrook 4/1
Kevin Durant 8/1
Anthony Davis 14/1
James Harden 16/1
Kawhi Leonard 16/1
Paul George 22/1
Blake Griffin 22/1
Damien Lillard 28/1
Giannis Antetokounmpo 33/1
Carmelo Anthony 33/1
DeMarcus Cousins 33/1
Kyrie Irving 33/1
Chris Paul 33/1
Draymond Green 50/1
Karl Anthony Towns 50/1

Erik Horne/The Oklahoman

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Thunder Expected To Pursue Blake Griffin

Aug 5, 2016 8:43 AM

The Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to pursue Blake Griffin in free agency in 2017.

Griffin is originally from Oklahoma but has played his entire NBA career for the Los Angeles Clippers.

With Russell Westbrook forgoing free agency in 2017, the Thunder could tempt Griffin with the opportunity to join him. Griffin has had some level of tension playing with Chris Paul, who also will be a free agent in 2017.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

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

Russell Westbrook: No Need To Wait If You Know Where You Want To Be

Aug 5, 2016 12:38 AM

Russell Westbrook officially signed a three-year, $85.7 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Westbrook was eligible for free agency in 2017.

"There's nowhere else I would rather be than Oklahoma City," Westbrook said at a news conference to announce the deal. "You guys have basically raised me. I've been here since I was 18, 19 years old. You guys did nothing but great things for me. Through the good and the bad, you guys supported me through it all, and I appreciate it. Definitely when I had the opportunity to be able to be loyal to you guys, that's the No. 1 option. Loyalty is something that I stand by."

Asked why he agreed to the extension now rather than wait until next season, Westbrook was emphatic: "There's no need to wait if you know where you want to be."


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

Kevin Durant Happy For Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City

Aug 4, 2016 7:08 PM

Kevin Durant was happy to see Russell Westbrook decide to sign a three-year, $85 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I’m happy to see any player in this league do whatever they want to do,” Durant said. “As long as he wasn’t pressured to do anything and felt like he did everything he wanted to do. And that’s how I feel about every player in this league. It’s good for him, man. It’s good for his family. It’s good for the people in Oklahoma City that love to watch him play and love to have him on their team.

“I got nothing but positive energy and vibes for everybody. I don’t have no beef with anybody or wish no ill will on anybody. So if he did what he wanted to do, that’s better. That’s great for him.”

Durant hasn’t had a chance to actually sit down with Westbrook to discuss the situation.

“That’s a touchy deal. I don’t know,” Durant said. “It’s easy for someone else to tell me what I should do, but you guys don’t know how that whole thing [went down]. I don’t know, man. I’ll see after this is over and once everything dies down. Like I said before, at some point we’ll sit down and talk. But I don’t know when.”

While he respects Westbrook for staying, Durant has no regrets about joining the Warriors.

“I felt good when I made the decision. It’s just the outside noise that I just kept hearing, kept getting louder and louder. It was hard to ignore it. And it’s hard to shut it off,” Durant said. “But as time goes on, things get better. It’s still a little different to me. … I haven’t settled down in the Bay yet. I haven’t been around my teammates yet. So all that stuff, I’m still trying to figure out how to make it work and how new it’s going to be. It’s basketball at the end of the day. I can mesh with anybody. And I can play any game. And I can fit into any system. So it’s just a matter of me going out there and getting used to it.”

Michael Lee/The Vertical

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

Russell Westbrook Agrees Upon Three-Year, $85M Extension With Thunder
Russell Westbrook is no longer a free agent in the summer of 2017 and can instead enter free agency as early as 2018.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Russell Westbrook, Thunder Make Progress On Three-Year, $85M Extension
Russell Westbrook would have a player option for the 18-19 season.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Ronnie Price Agrees To Deal With Thunder
Ronnie Price played for the Suns last season, his seventh stop in 11 years.

Eric Pincus/BasketballInsiders (via Anthony Slater/Oklahoman)

Monty Williams Expected To Take Job With Spurs
San Antonio has opened the door to Monty Williams to either a coaching and player-development role or a front-office position, or possibly a hybrid job.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Kevin Durant Dismisses Speculation He Changed Course Once Free Agency Started
Kevin Durant refuted a report that was later clarified about telling Russell Westbrook or giving him the impression he planned to re-sign with the Thunder.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Video: Russell Westbrook Sarcastically Laughs When Asked About Durant
Russell Westbrook has been silent so far this offseason following the departure of Kevin Durant.

Up The Thunder

Clippers Were Told They Were In Top-3 On Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant was reportedly "blown away" by the presentation of the Clippers.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

ESPN Clarifies Report Of Durant Telling Westbrook He'd Re-Sign With Thunder
Royce Young has clarified a remark made in a podcast on Tuesday about what Kevin Durant supposedly said to Russell Westbrook during their dinner before the start of free agency.

Royce Young/ESPN

RealGM Radio: Royce Young On The Thunder
Host Danny Leroux and ESPN's Royce Young discuss Oklahoma City's present, past and future, including Russell Westbrook's future with the team, the impact of the Serge Ibaka trade and the legacy of the Durant/Westbrook era.

RealGM Staff Report

Draymond Green Didn't Recruit Kevin Durant During Playoffs
Draymond Green admitted there would have been no chance of Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors had the Thunder won the Western Conference Finals.

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Report: Kevin Durant Told Russell Westbrook He'd Re-Sign With Thunder
Russell Westbrook reportedly feels betrayed by the departure of Kevin Durant.

Royce Young/ESPN

Victor Oladipo Looking For Max Extension From Thunder
Victor Oladipo was traded by the Magic to the Thunder this offseason just as he became eligible for an extension from his rookie deal.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Russell Westbrook 'Angry, Hurt' By Kevin Durant's Departure
Russell Westbrook thought Kevin Durant was going to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder and found out his decision online as did everyone else.

Royce Young/ESPN

Kevin Durant Was Looking For New Home In OKC One Week Before Free Agency
Kevin Durant reportedly "assured people he was coming back."

Royce Young/ESPN

Russell Westbrook Not Seeking Trade From Thunder
Russell Westbrook wants to play this coming season with the Thunder but he is unsure about his future beyond that in 2017 when he becomes a free agent.

Royce Young/ESPN

Cameron Payne Undergoes Surgery On Broken Foot
Cameron Payne is expected to be ready for the start of 2016-17 season.

RealGM Staff Report

Dion Waiters Agrees To Two-Year, $6M Deal With Heat
The Heat can sign Dion Waiters with their Room MLE.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Westbrook's Own Free Agency Wasn't Discussed During Durant Meeting
Kevin Durant insists Russell Westbrook wasn't a factor in his decision to leave the Thunder.

Sam Amick/USA Today

Kevin Durant Didn't Leave His Bed For Two Days After His Decision
Kevin Durant is currently preparing for the Olympics with his Team USA teammates.

Al Iannazzone/Newsday

Dion Waiters Met With Nets Before Becoming UFA
The Nets appear unwilling to change their stance on signing him since Dion Waiters became unrestricted.

Marc Stein/ESPN