The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry took questions from readers in today's OKC Thunder Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports.
With James Harden’s contract situation going on, what happens to Maynor? And do you feel that one will sign, or both, or neither?
If Harden signs, Maynor is gone. If Harden doesn't sign, Maynor has a great shot at staying. But even then it depends on his price tag. The Thunder isn't going to overpay for Maynor when Reggie Jackson is waiting in the wings.
In training camp can you tell who the favorite is to be the backup point guard, small forward, and center?
My guess is Maynor, Cook and Aldrich.
Darnell, welcome back! Who will the Thunder choose to take up the final roster spot when they kick off the season?
Thanks. I'd say it's between Daniel Orton and Hollis Thompson. It's possible Orton surprises us all and gets it. He's a cheap big man who still has potential. That's hard to find.
Who gets more playing time this season: Reggie, Perry, or Thabeet?
That's a great question. A really great question. They all could be third string players. But if they all perform well they could each fight to crack the rotation, at least sparingly. It's obviously between Reggie and Perry. I'd give the edge to Perry just because of how loaded the team is in the backcourt.
Sebastian Pruiti is amazing, but will Brooks cancel out Pruiti's awesomeness?
That was sort of a misleading story of his hire. SP isn't working with the coaches. He's working with the front office, editing film and getting it to the front office folk. Seems like a waste in my opinion, but this organization isn't going to give anyone anything. He has to start from the bottom and work his way up.
If I wear a 37 Fisher jersey and pay for behind the bench tickets this year ... think Brooks will accidently put me in?
You 6-foot-2, bald and light skinned?
Harden's value is set -- he is a max player because he will get that in free agency. So isn't this season about the big men? If anyone other than Perk can guard Dwight Howard, Perk is probably amnestied and Harden signed, right?
I don't think there's any chance they amnesty Perk. None. He has his flaws, sure. But what will this team look like without Perk in the middle? Scary, right? I know. In my opinion, the Thunder thinks Perk is more valuable to this team's long term future than Harden given the money. It might sounds crazy, but it's really not.
Most of the preseason nuggets have been about hyping up PJIII. Do you think the squad really believe in his potential to be a rotation player before playoff? Or will he be sent down to Tulsa? How does Hollis Thompson look so far?
I doubt PJIII goes to Tulsa. Highly doubt it. He seems to have value just as a practice player if nothing else. But I don't see him playing a ton, not with Cook, and Collison behind Durant and Ibaka.
Thompson has looked good as a catch and shoot type. Haven't really seen much more than that, and frankly I haven't seen it with defenders running at him.
Which of the camp invitees is most likely going to snag that 15th roster slot? And what do you expect to happen to those who don't make the cut?
Orton or Thompson. Whoever doesn't make it has the choice to go play in Tulsa and try to develop under close supervision of the Thunder organization or hunt for opportunities elsewhere.
There's been some images of alternate jerseys available on NBA 2K13. Do they bear any resemblance to the Thunder's planned alternate this year?
Nah. They're keeping it pretty quiet. All I know is it's not black.
Why the secrecy over the alternate uniforms? Wouldn't they want to get them into the team store ASAP?
That's just how this organization likes to do things.
What game will the alternate jerseys be unveiled?
Something tells me they'll be out in time for you to make somebody's day on Christmas morning.
What offensive system changes is the Thunder planning for this year (with training camp giving them time to do so, unlike last season)?
There's been a ton of talk about playing Durant and Westbrook in the post more. That alone should open up a lot of options. Brooks also has talked about getting Ibaka more involved, and Collison says he wants to be more aggressive with his shot. Now, all of those things are goals rather than plans. It remains to be seen how the Thunder will actually implement those things.
Yay, Darnell is back. The season is finally right around the corner.
Feels good, don't it?
Have the Thunder talked about what role blogger Sebastian Pruiti will play within the organization?
Sort of answered that.
If Presti wanted to trade Harden for a bargain, who are the options? I am thinking somebody that was highly regarded, but their production has slipped and they need a change of scenery to hopefully get back to playing well. This may be a reach, but has Tyreke Evans fallen out of favor in Sacramento? How much is he going to resign for? But if Presti was offering Harden for a hidden gem and is willing to look under rocks, what could he find?
It won't be a player like Evans. Just using him as an example, he needs the ball in his hands to be effective, he's had chemistry issues with teammates in the past and he'll be too expensive going forward. I see the Thunder going after role player types. There's no way for the Thunder to get equal value for Harden. Whoever they might trade for can't be another high-dollar player. That's the reason they probably going to lose Harden in the first place. But if OKC can get some cheaper role players and a few future picks, it could be a good deal down the line.
Any word on a new sideline reporter?
Haven't heard anything new.
Surely Hayward's option is not going to get picked up. He is due to make over $2 million. I would rather the Thunder keep Orton and one of those other guys like Thompson if they shoot well.
I agree with you. I don't see that being done.
What do you see PJIII's role on the team this year being?
Practice player mostly. But I wouldn't be surprised if he got spot minutes, not many though.
What have you seen so far from the Bigs? Who has proved the most out of Aldrich, Orton or Thabeet?
Everyone is said to have had a good week. Whether that's all talk or not, I don't know. That's why I'm excited for this week. Starting Wednesday, all the talk goes out of the window. The players have to take the court and show what they're capable of doing. We'll know much more this time next week.
Who will win the backup point guard spot? What happens to the other?
I say Maynor. But I could see Jackson getting a few minutes in certain situations in a lineup that includes Maynor, Harden, Collison and Aldrich...or Maynor, Jackson, Harden, Durant and Collison.
Any word about James Harden and his contract situation?
Nothing to report.
You still think about PJIII the same? You said he is not going to play a lot, I think he may have reach a role in summer. (And what do you think of NBA not allowing roman numbers on his shirt?)
I can't understand why roman numerals aren't allowed. It's not like 100 guys have roman numerals in their names. It's the guys name and he can't have it on the back of his jersey. Makes no sense to me. Yet the league allows something bizarre like World Peace?
Trying my best to come up with something not about James' contract situation here: what are the chances PJIII plays a significant role this season? I think they he could actually make a difference for us
I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. Keep in mind he's a rookie. It would be expecting a lot for him to be able to come in and be a "difference maker" from the start.
A lot has been made at how much Reggie Jackson has grown in terms of his game this summer...is it hype that he's challenging Maynor for backup PG minutes or is he legitimately challenging one of the best backup PGs in the league?
Maynor is indeed one of the best backup PGs in the league, and he has skills nobody else on the team has. But Jackson also does things that Maynor can't do. So it's not out of the question to think he can challenge Maynor. From what I've seen Jackson is much more confident and comfortable in his second year. All year last season it was clear that was his biggest problem. He never settled down and just played his game. If he can do that this year I think he's ready to show why the Thunder was so high on him.
Sorry ladies and gents. I've got to run. I'll post answers to all the questions I couldn't get to on the blog. We'll do it again next week.