Thunder Rumblings

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Were draft rumors bogus?

by Michael Baldwin Modified: April 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm •  Published: June 26, 2009

     Having intently followed the draft the past month there were so many rumors that you just knew Draft night would be full of trades. There can’t be that much smoke without an occasional fire popping up here and there, right?

    Not necessarily.

     Covering an NBA team for the first time from training camp to the end of the season you learn a lot about the nuances of the league. Covering my first NBA Draft once again I learned valuable lessons.

      Thunder general manager Sam Presti said late Thursday night following his press conference he doesn’t put much stock in internet rumors because he said at least nine out of 10 rumors relating to the Thunder are bogus.

       Presti admitted he was involved in trade discussions right up until he made the pick. He said that’s part of the job. Turn over every rock. You never know what you might turn up.

       But rumors are just that, rumors. There were rumors Minnesota might give OKC its No. 5 and 16 picks to move up to No. 3. There were rumors Houston wanted Memphis’ No. 2 pick, a rumor Chicago might trade No. 16 and 26 for No. 11 with New Jersey and on and on.

       There probably was a grain of truth to many rumors. But in the end, both teams have to like what they’re getting for the rumor to actually become a trade. In Presti’s case, he wanted James Harden.

      Some of the rumors were true. Minnesota wanted a second lottery pick and used Mike Miller and Randy Foye to get Washington’s No. 5 pick. The rumor the Wizards wanted veterans not rookies was true. The rumor on Wednesday that Minnesota might keep its No. 5 and 6 picks was true.

      But one general manager admitted sometimes his organization on occasion intentionally gives a reporter a “false” rumor just to create a smoke screen and throw other teams off the scent of what their actual plans are. He’s not alone. It’s not just the internet, and reporters who produce rumors, that are bogus. NBA front office executives also play into the equation.

      And while we’re on rumors, the rumors that Shaq, Vince Carter and other NBA star players might be traded were dead on. If you believe in other rumors Kirk Hinrich will end up in Portland and Amare Stoudemire probably will be traded.

       It’s difficult to separate which rumors have some validity and which ones are bogus. It’s fun for fans and the media to constantly hear what “could” happen. But as we learned on Draft Day a lot of times rumors never come to fruition.

by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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