Anthony Slater
Sports Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in 2010 and graduating in 2012. He's a hoops fanatic and, this past season, served as a key contributor to The Oklahoman's NBA coverage, consistently blogging about the Thunder and attending nearly every home game.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Silence tells us plenty about the Enes Kanter free agency situation

    BY ANTHONY SLATER | Published: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    A surprising name has been absent from the non-stop rumor mill – Enes Kanter.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Thunder sign undrafted free agent Michal Qualls to deal; expected to play with Blue

    BY ANTHONY SLATER AND ERIK HORNE   | Published: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    By the end of his junior season at Arkansas, Michael Qualls was viewed as a sure-fire second round pick. But during a pre-draft workout in Phoenix earlier this month, Qualls came down awkwardly on a dunk attempt and tore his ACL. He went undrafted. The Thunder might benefit from that unfortunate injury, signing Qualls to an undrafted free agent deal in recent days. Qualls won’t be on the Thunder roster next season. He’ll be around the facility rehabbing and, whenever ready, restart competition with the OKC Blue, the Thunder’s D-League team. Qualls is an athletic 6-foot-6 forward who averaged 15.9 points and 5.3 rebounds last season for one of the SEC’s better teams.

  • NBA Free Agency Primer

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    Check your data plans, set mobile alerts, refresh Twitter whenever possible. NBA free agency is upon us and, like every July, there are some important names in play.

  • Report: Thunder, Enes Kanter plan Wednesday free agency meeting in Chicago

    Anthony Slater | Published: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    Ever since trading for Enes Kanter at the deadline last February, the Thunder has maintained that its biggest offseason priority would be retaining him on the open market. As free agency nears, OKC seems to be serious about that proclamation. Real GM’s Shams Charainia is reporting that Kanter and the Thunder brass will sit down on Wednesday […]

  • OKC Thunder: Five Thunder-related storylines heading into free agency

    Anthony Slater Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    OKC Thunder: Five Thunder-related storylines heading into free agency Open season on the NBA marketplace strikes a minute after midnight on Wednesday with a batch of well-known pieces up for grabs. In the past, while a majority of the league shuffled its decks in July, the Thunder has remained relatively quiet. This season, that trend is a near certainty to continue. OKC has a roster loaded almost completely to the brim and its offseason focus is on retaining restricted free agents Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler. As free agency nears, let’s take a look at five Thunder-related storylines: 1. How much will it cost to bring back

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast: Recapping the draft and previewing NBA free agency

    Anthony Slater | Published: Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio’s highly-acclaimed comedy ‘Ted’, but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder […]

  • OKC Thunder: Meet the family that guided Cameron Payne to this monumental moment

    BY ANTHONY SLATER Staff Writer aslater@opubco.com | Published: Sun, Jun 28, 2015

    During Cameron Payne’s first season at Murray State, his mother, Leshawn, didn’t feel like herself in the stands. All throughout Cam’s formative basketball years, she’d captained his team’s cheer sections, with pom-poms as her weapon of choice. “In high school, when they went to the state, I was the lead parent and we won the cheer section of the tournament,” she recalls. “It was an actual award.” But college hoops provided a different platform and Murray State was an unfamiliar atmosphere. Leshawn and about 20 others would make the two-plus hour trip up from Bartlett, Tenn., for every home game, but as Cam started his college

  • OKC Thunder notebook: Cameron Payne recalls his memorable pre-draft workout in Oklahoma City

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Sat, Jun 27, 2015

    Because Payne had a couple days before his next workout, he decided to stick around OKC for another day. He was introduced to the Thunder staff and toured the lush facility.

  • OKC Thunder: Sam Presti unconcerned about Cameron Payne’s small school background

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Cameron Payne glanced at the list of draft picks in attendance on Thursday night, followed by the college they attended – Kentucky, Duke, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Kentucky again. “It’s kind of funny,” Payne said. “When I looked at the green room list at every single one of those (big conference) teams, and then you had Murray State, the lone mid-major.” When Payne looks at the Thunder’s roster, he’ll have the same realization. Nick Collison went to Kansas. Russell Westbrook, UCLA. Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin, Texas. Of the 15 players expected to be on the team next season, 13 are from major conference programs. Serge Ibaka

  • OKC Thunder: Undrafted Duke guard Quinn Cook expected to play on Thunder summer league team

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Seventeen seniors were selected during Thursday night’s NBA Draft. None of them were named Quinn Cook, the four-year guard who helped lead Duke to a national championship with his steady play. And it looks like the Thunder may benefit. Real GM’s Shams Charania is reporting that Cook has agreed to play for OKC’s summer league team in Orlando, which begins on July 4. During his productive career at Duke, Cook got better each year, averaging double-figures his last three seasons. As a senior on the Blue Devils recent championship team, he was integral, averaging 15.3 points and 2.6 assists, while shooting nearly 40 percent from three.

  • Thunder notebook: Sam Presti calls Cameron Payne's injury a 'short-term situation'

    BY ANTHONY SLATER Staff Writer aslater@opubco.com | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Because of a finger fracture suffered during a pre-draft workout, Thunder first round pick Cameron Payne is not expected to participate in summer league.

  • OKC Thunder: Former Oklahoma State center Mike Cobbins to play for Thunder's summer league team

    Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Mike Cobbins recently completed a solid career at Oklahoma State, serving as the Cowboys’ lanky rim protector and occasional scorer the past few seasons. The first stop in his professional career? Just an hour down the road. Cobbins went undrafted on Thursday night, but will join the Thunder’s summer league team, which will begin practice […]

  • OKC Thunder: Sam Presti acknowledges passing of Bob Barry Jr. with lengthy opening statement

    Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    As Thursday night turned into Friday morning, Sam Presti finally emerged from his draft night war room, a touch after midnight, to discuss the newest members of the Thunder. But before fielding questions, Presti wanted to acknowledge the recent passing of KFOR sports anchor Bob Barry Jr. His full statement: “One thing before we get started,” Presti […]

  • OKC Thunder notebook: Cameron Payne unlikely to play in summer league with fractured finger

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    During a recent pre-draft workout with the Denver Nuggets, new Thunder guard Cameron Payne fractured the ring finger on his right (non-shooting) hand. The injury is not considered serious. Surgery isn’t needed. But the expected three-week recovery time means it is unlikely Payne will be able to play in summer league, which, for the Thunder, begins on the weekend of July 4. OKC’s injury curse has drifted into the offseason. Durant back on the court While the rest of the NBA world zeroed in on the draft, Kevin Durant has been out in California the past few days promoting his latest signature KD sneakers. And as part of that promotion, he went on a brief Snapchat binge, sending out photos and videos of his

  • OKC Thunder: Confident Cameron Payne excited to join the Thunder

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    From the fitted navy blue suit jacket to the white dress pants to the floral pocket pin to the blindingly shiny watch, Cameron Payne’s draft night outfit screamed confidence. Much like the Thunder’s established star point guard, its newest point guard fancies himself as a stylish dude. “I can be a bit spiffy,” Payne said. But his outfit wasn’t the only thing doing the talking on Thursday night. Payne was, too. Moments after the Thunder selected him 14th overall, Payne stepped off the stage, strolled into a nationally televised interview and referred to himself in third person, the universal sign of an athlete

  • Q&A: Thunder draft pick Cameron Payne talks draft night, his fit in OKC and more

    Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Moments after he was selected 14th overall by the Thunder on Thursday night, Cameron Payne stepped off the stage, stared at a national TV audience and confidently referred to himself in third person. “I can be the next success because I’m coming in with a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “There is no ceiling […]

  • Live Coverage: 2015 NBA Draft

    staff reports | Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Who will the Thunder take at No. 14? Follow live coverage of the NBA Draft with The Oklahoman and more writers from around the nation

  • VIDEO: Kevin Durant back on the court taking flat-footed shots

    Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    While the rest of the NBA world is preparing for the draft, Kevin Durant has been out in California the past few days promoting his latest signature KD sneakers. And as part of that promotion, he went on a brief snapchat binge, sending out photos and videos of his travels and workouts in the shoes. For […]

  • OKC Thunder: Why drafting a point guard could make more sense than selecting a wing

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Sam Presti and the Thunder front office have never operated with just next season in mind. They take a long-term approach. Because of that, it seems far more likely OKC either snags a point guard or trades out of the 14th pick to net a future asset.

  • The arrival of Billy Donovan gives the Thunder a unique voice during draft preparation

    Published: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    Ninth-ranked Kansas was battling 15th-ranked Oklahoma right down the road and it fell on a Thunder off-day. So Scott Brooks decided to go to one of the weekend’s premier college basketball games. He reported back pleased, pumped about the raucous environment and thrilling finish. The lefty freshman from Kansas, Brooks said, was one of a few players who caught his eye. But he couldn’t remember his name. It was Kelly Oubre, one of the nation’s biggest prospects and a possible Thunder draft target should he fall to 14 on Thursday night. That was a microcosm of the relationship between Brooks and college basketball.




Anthony Slater Today at 3:43 PM Thunder to face Turkish team Fenerbahçe Ülker in Oklahoma City on October 9th: http://t.co/oAKoeBZUyg
Anthony Slater Today at 3:25 PM Enes Kanter's former Turkish team to play the Thunder in OKC on October 9th https://t.co/yQdt8ijGC7
Anthony Slater Mon, Jul. 27 2015 11:04:58 AM CST Serge and Bill Clinton https://t.co/aTXUAra7AA
Anthony Slater Mon, Jul. 27 2015 10:49:53 AM CST @EmanStacks1 He will be with the Blue next season rehabbing
Anthony Slater Mon, Jul. 27 2015 10:35:30 AM CST RT @JenniCarlson_OK: Hey, Thunder fans. Need your feedback! http://t.co/KQgrWgpjD8
Anthony Slater Mon, Jul. 27 2015 10:13:34 AM CST NBA schedule expected out sometime in August https://t.co/tjuxlEozsD
Anthony Slater Mon, Jul. 27 2015 10:10:55 AM CST Steven Adams will not compete with the New Zealand national team this summer: http://t.co/vJXv0d3FBg
Anthony Slater Mon, Jul. 27 2015 08:47:45 AM CST Could Mike Miller land with the Thunder? Why it sounds intriguing but doesn't really make sense-> http://t.co/jCF4vpVloT
Anthony Slater Sun, Jul. 26 2015 09:36:41 PM CST Could Mike Miller land with the Thunder? Why it sounds intriguing but doesn't really make sense -> http://t.co/jCF4vpVloT
Anthony Slater Sun, Jul. 26 2015 08:27:30 PM CST Here's a Q&A with Mike Miller from last month on his relationship with Billy Donovan: http://t.co/0zcAGyyqiV
Anthony Slater Sun, Jul. 26 2015 08:25:34 PM CST Roster spot may not be there, but Miller is extremely close with Billy Donovan and friendly with KD https://t.co/yBntXVBTV5
Anthony Slater Sun, Jul. 26 2015 04:16:49 PM CST RT @sam_amick: The OKC star is still recovering from the foot surgery that ended his season, but he clearly wants to be part of program for…
Anthony Slater Sun, Jul. 26 2015 04:16:46 PM CST RT @sam_amick: On Team USA front, I'm told Kevin Durant - who pulled out last summer before the FIBA World Cup - will visit Vegas minicamp …
Anthony Slater Sun, Jul. 26 2015 11:11:59 AM CST Thunder offseason roundtable: http://t.co/PODnnKzCTp
Anthony Slater Thu, Jul. 23 2015 05:59:17 PM CST Beach workout out in LA for the Thunder: https://t.co/KZntTdArVH
Anthony Slater Thu, Jul. 23 2015 04:47:03 PM CST @jgg512 Probably late next week
Anthony Slater Thu, Jul. 23 2015 04:38:11 PM CST Pair of short Thunder videos -Orange jerseys?: http://t.co/bJSwrIvHsk -UCLA workouts: http://t.co/7xtYDFi52l
Anthony Slater Thu, Jul. 23 2015 12:57:06 AM CST RT @RealStevenAdams: I love my friends... http://t.co/qBY8lFCYNn
Anthony Slater Wed, Jul. 22 2015 10:56:25 PM CST RT @PeabodyJ: @royceyoung @anthonyVslater I created this 2 months ago based on rumors I heard. Looks close: http://t.co/Lv7yJpP2zt http://t
Anthony Slater Wed, Jul. 22 2015 10:26:10 PM CST Is the Thunder getting orange jerseys: http://t.co/CVVbH1iHZz (h/t @AndrewMLind) http://t.co/6JxfqNOSWg

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