The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry took questions from readers in today's Oklahoma City Thunder Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/sports. Here's a recap of today's Q&A:
Does Scott Brooks just not trust Reggie Jackson? Or is he afraid of sending Eric Maynor's confidence over the cliff if Reggie is the backup point for at least one game?
Brooks is a coach who sticks with what's worked until it's clearly not working any longer. He doesn't make changes swiftly. He doesn't pull the plug at the first, or even second, sign of trouble. While we might see someone is not performing, Brooks looks at the team and it's track record. That's why Maynor is still in the lineup. The Thunder is 14-4 and the second unit has probably only cost the team one game (Boston maybe). In addition to that, it's likely a situation where if he yanks Maynor now the entire league, if it doesn't already, will know he's struggling to recover from the knee injury. That would destroy Maynor's trade value, if it hasn't already plummeted.
If training camp/practice time were equal, who would be more "in future plans" between PJ3 and Lamb? Whose skill set fits better into what the Thunder need over the next few seasons considering how set the roster looks?
PJ3 is more versatile, while Lamb is more of a natural scorer. This team loves versatility, so I think privately the team would say PJ3. But we've all seen the need for a third scorer alongside KD & Russ. Lamb might have the potential to someday develop into that guy.
Which player do you think will end up being the biggest impact player for the Thunder: Perry Jones III, Jeremy Lamb, Hasheem Thabeet, Reggie Jackson or the Toronto pick?
I'm sticking with Reggie Jackson.
Kevin Durant MVP so far this year?
The first 8-10 games it was KD. But in the last six to eight it's been Russ.
Why has Hasheem been serviceable in OKC but nowhere in the league to this point? Is it just a matter of bigs taking some time to develop?
They believe in him here.
You've said Martin might be worth too much to re-sign at the end of the year. What dollar amount do you think the Thunder would be willing to re-sign him at? 11 million?
No. $11 million would be way too much in my opinion. Anything more than, say, $7 million a season and it's time to look elsewhere. That's not an indictment on Martin. It's more about where this team's payroll currently stands.
What do you think about Charles Barkley? He sure loves the Heat.
Barkley is what he is. He gets paid to analyze the game and sometimes spew controversial things. But like it or not, he's right much more than he is wrong. People rarely want to give him credit when he's right and always want to roast him when he's wrong.
Do you see Lamb and PJIII as trade bait or keepers? Any chance the Thunder picks up a name free agent for the playoff run?
Those two, and Reggie Jackson, will not be traded.
What are Serge's All-Star chances? PF is pretty deep in the West.
I think we'd have to wait at least another year before seriously discussing that. His rebounding is still pretty average, and his scoring still streaky.
What is the worst and best road trip for media in your opinion? The Philly airport is a dungeon. That has to be up there.
Ironically, the worst used to be New Jersey. I say this as I'm sitting in a Nets media room in Brooklyn (thank God). The best is probably Oklahoma City, the one that's not a trip for me. Writers always rave about how the airport is easy and close to downtown. And since most traveling media members stay at Marriott properties, the Courtyard Marriott being a stone's throw from The Peake is like beat writer luxury. The nightlife is another story.
Any idea what position the Thunder will target in the draft? Any players you have your eye on?
I don't really have my eye on anyone specifically. I just try to get a feel for the players who might be in the Thunder's range every year. I think the Thunder has to target a big man.
Do you see Thabeet becoming a double-double machine for the second unit? Any ideas on if K-Mart will want to stay after this year?
I can't see that. But I also couldn't see him making an impact at all this year. As for K-Mart, I'm sure he'll say the right things. But where have we heard that before?
Who gets triple doubles this year for the Thunder and who finishes with the most?
Durant, Westbrook and I'll say at least one for Ibaka. My guess is Westbrook will finish with the most.
You see Byron Mullins monster dunk on Aldridge? Can't believe the Thunder traded away that athleticism.
Don't act like you weren't one of the many calling him a bust when he was here.
Durant is a free throw or two away from 50-40-90. Think he'll finally do it this year?
Nope. His free throw shooting might not hold up.
Does Brooklyn have enough defense to stop the Thunder tonight?
Thoughts on the Jordan 28's that Westbrook will debut tonight?
I was at the launch last night and when I first saw them I was like most. I didn't like them. But the more I looked at them, they're not bad. Coincidentally, KD was just asked about it at shootaround and his reply was "different." Tells you all you need to know about his opinion of them.
In a previous chat you gave your opinion that the best chance for the Thunder to beat the Heat in the Finals was to add someone — would you still feel that way if you KNEW that Russ would play the Finals at his current awesome level?
Yes. Something is missing. The Thunder is in the process of trying to patch it up, and OKC is doing a good job of doing that. But Durant and Westbrook still are having to have incredible performances to lead this team to some wins. As we saw in the Finals last year, that's not enough.
Do you see the Thunder signing Kevin Martin to a long-term contract?
It all depends on the price. And I have no idea what Martin's asking price will be. But, again, if it's more than $7 million per I'd shy away.
To beat the Heat I believe we should have Westbrook, Sefolosha, Martin, Durant and Ibaka on the floor together much of the time. What do you think?
It's been a solid lineup so far. It could work against the Heat, as long as Sefolosha's on LeBron and Westbrook is on Wade. You'd have to hide Martin on Chalmers and KD on Battier.
How much has Hasheem Thabeet surprised you so far this year?
Earlier this year I wrote that K-Mart's fast start was my biggest surprise. Now, it's Thabeet. He's been great in his role.
Who do you think will win the PG matchup tonight?
Is Serge at least in the All-Star discussion? It seems that is how the membership goes, you must be in the conversation to make the team for at least one year before finally making it
That's precisely what we've seen in the past.
Any idea who the Thunder might target for the final roster spot for a playoff run?
It's difficult to project since most any move would put the team over the tax threshold, something the Thunder is not willing to do this season.
Footrace from one end of the court to the other. Russ versus the rest of the NBA. Who wins?
Whose interests should the NBA have in mind the most: owners, players or fans? That's what the Spurs deal last Thursday comes down to right?
First and foremost, I'm a fan of the game. I was before this job, and I will be long after this job. So I'm biased. I'm going to say the fans. But that decision was more about the advertisers.