Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch chat. Read the entire chat recap here.
Participate in our Power Lunch chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at NewsOK.com/sports
On which players are hurt most by the NBA lockout:
The late first round picks. Those are the guys who don't have millions of millions of dollars. Most people think of all NBA players as filthy rich but that's not the case. Guys like Ibaka, Mullens and Maynor who haven't been in the league long and aren't making much more than $1.5 million annually might not have truckloads of money to rely on. It's guys like that who need checks.
On rookie center Cole Aldrich's ceiling:
Tough to say at this point. He's played in less than 20 games as a pro. I think he's going to be a good defensive player. But I'd like to see some sort of body of work before I go making crazy predictions. The name Joel Przybilla comes to mind, though.
On what the Thunder needs to do to improve:
The late-game offense needs to tweaked. The droughts that the Thunder had will get you bounced from the postseason. If they can find a way to get buckets when it matters most and not allow teams to go on 20-5 runs in the fourth quarter, they'll be much better off.
On Serge Ibaka becoming nationalized in Spain:
Because it's a much better idea than trying to play internationally for Congo. But seriously, Serge loves Spain. He started his professional career there. He lives there in the offseason. And the national team is one of the best in the world.
Chat Recap: Darnell Mayberry