• Thunder considered analytics 'believers' by ESPN

    Published: Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com rated 122 teams on the strength of each franchise's analytics staff, its buy-in from execs and coaches and how much its approach is predicated on analytics. The result? The Thunder come out as one of the NBA's "believers" in analytics and how they can impact the franchise. From ESPN: "The tight-lipped Thunder say little publicly about analytics, but their track record demonstrates they are, on the whole, believers. GM Sam Presti, a panelist at the inaugural MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in 2007 while working in the San Antonio Spurs' front office, established an analytics department when he joined the then-Seattle SuperSonics later that year." Four NBA teams are in ESPN's top 10 teams in the four major pro sports "who have embraced data most." At the top of the list are the Philadelphia 76ers, who are run by Marlow native Sam Hinkie . "When Philly hired Sam Hinkie in May 2013, the team became a test case for the GM's plan: dump overvalued mediocrity, lose (a lot) with cheap role players and load up on picks," ESPN says. "With five staffers devoted to picking apart the CBA, mining player health and minting theories on roster construction, Hinkie has topped his former boss, Rockets GM Daryl Morey, as the NBA's most ardent analytic master."

  • OKC Thunder: Explaining the Thunder on trade deadline day

    Published: Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    Is the Oklahoma City Thunder operating in fear of losing Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook? Not really. "OKC doesn't operate 'like, geez, are these guys gonna leave? Are these guys gonna be happy?,'" an NBA league source told TNT's David Aldridge. Aldridge says of all the NBA teams making moves last Thursday, the Thunder was the big winner at the trade deadline. The Boston Celtics had wanted players and draft picks, as did the Philadelphia 76ers, but "by 3 p.m. ET Thursday, it was Oklahoma City that has done the most good," Aldridge said. And with all the rumors for most of the day centered around the Thunder getting Brook Lopez from the Brooklyn Nets, Aldridge explains how the Thunder flipped at the last minute, which led to the deal which sent Enes Kanter to OKC: "At 2:45 ET, the Thunder texted the Nets, who'd just gotten the okay from (Kevin) Garnett 15 minutes earlier that he'd agree to the trade to Minnesota: 'We're going in another direction', read the message to Brooklyn."

  • Thunder ahead of the curve thanks to trades

    Jon Hamm | Updated: Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    The Thunder made a big trade at the trade deadline to fortify the team today. It also made it with an eye on a rising 2016 salary cap.

  • Kobe Bryant talks Thunder, Russell Westbrook on Grantland show

    Anthony Slater | Published: Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    On Sunday evening, an injured Kobe Bryant co-hosted ESPN’s Grantland Basketball Hour with Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose. And on it, the trio talked a ton about Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. There were some interesting discussions, particularly when Kobe was presented with the idea that the Thunder is now Russell Westbrook’s — and not Kevin Durant’s — team. Bryant […]

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Thunder writer Darnell Mayberry

    staff reports | Updated: Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    How about the new-look Thunder? How long will Kevin Durant be sidelined? Ask Thunder writer Darnell Mayberry on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m.

  • Kevin Durant undergoes second surgery on right foot, will be reevaluated in one week

    Darnell Mayberry | Updated: Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    Kevin Durant underwent a second surgical procedure Sunday on his right foot to alleviate increasing soreness stemming from the Jones fracture he sustained in October, the Thunder has announced. Durant will be reevaluated in one week, which will force him to miss at least five games. “Kevin’s experienced some soreness in his right foot recently, […]

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Nuggets

    staff reports | Updated: Sun, Feb 22, 2015

    The new-look Thunder makes its home debut against the Denver Nuggets at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Follow our live coverage with Darnell Mayberry, Anthony Slater and more from around the web.

  • Report: Cavaliers to sign Kendrick Perkins

    Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    The Cleveland Cavaliers look to have added a major defensive piece -- and former Thunder player. Kendrick Perkins, the former Thunder center who was traded to the Utah Jazz on Thursday, will reportedly sign with the Cavaliers, as his contract buyout has been completed by the Jazz ( Yahoo Sports ). Along with Reggie Jackson, Perkins, 30, was shipped out in the three-team deal which saw the Thunder acquire Enes Kanter and Steve Novak from Utah, and Kyle Singler and D.J. Augustin from Detroit. Perkins  reportedly also considered the Los Angeles Clippers, where he would have reunited with Doc Rivers, who coached him with the Boston Celtics. But ESPN sources said Perkins has  been recruited directly by LeBron James to pick the Cavaliers.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Hornets

    staff reports | Updated: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    The Oklahoma City Thunder introduces its new players, but no Kevin Durant against the Charlotte Hornets. Follow our live coverage with Darnell Mayberry, Anthony Slater and more from around the web.

  • Q&A: Kyle Singler always knew he'd end up playing in Oklahoma City

    Darnell Mayberry | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    Kyle Singler has long been linked to the Thunder, going back to the 2012 NBA Draft, when many projected Oklahoma City to select the 6-foot-8 forward out of Duke. As it turns out, it wasn’t just prognosticators. “Yeah, there was a moment when I thought it was going to happen,” Singler said. Nearly three years […]

  • Q&A: New Thunder point guard D.J. Augustin excited about joining OKC

    Anthony Slater | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    D.J. Augustin has an established and well-known relationship with one Thunder player. He was a college teammate of Kevin Durant at Texas and remains a close friend. But KD isn’t the only OKC player Augustin knows well. In his first four seasons in the NBA, Augustin played for the Charlotte Bobcats. In the offseason, Charlotte native […]

  • Q&A: Enes Kanter appreciative of the Thunder's interest in Turkey

    Anthony Slater | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    When the Thunder traveled overseas last preseason — for games in Istanbul and Manchester — it was a great chance for the team to mesh and the individuals to get more cultured. Nearly two years later, that brief overseas trip is still proving beneficial. When Enes Kanter arrived in OKC on Friday afternoon, he was […]

  • Q&A: New Thunder sharpshooter Steve Novak ready to take leadership role in OKC

    Anthony Slater | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    As Enes Kanter battled big man coach Mark Bryant in a post-shootaround tussle in the post on Saturday morning, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant cheered their new center on from the sideline. But across the court, new Thunder sharpshooter Steve Novak was taking Bryant’s side, chiding Kanter, Durant and Westbrook in the process. “Let’s go $100 […]

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant out against Hornets with foot soreness

    staff reports | Published: Sat, Feb 21, 2015

    Thunder forward Kevin Durant (foot soreness) will not play against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night, according to The Oklahoman's Anthony Slater . Thunder general manager Sam Presti  said Friday that Durant isn't at risk, but he is sore, and the team will continue to look at ways "to best manage the situation." Durant was noticably limping and was taken out of the Thunder's home win against Dallas on Thursday with 2:24 remaining. In that game, he played in three different pairs of shoes for reasons not specified by the team. He finished the game whith just 12 points in 37 minutes. Durant didn't participate in on-court portions of practice on Friday, according to Thunder coach Scott Brooks. Durant has played in just 27 of the Thunder's 54 games this season.

  • Reggie Jackson on trade to Pistons: 'This is such a weight off my shoulders'

    Updated: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    Now that Reggie Jackson is in Detroit, he's letting his emotions flow. The former Thunder guard tells Yahoo Sports that he's "always imagined having a coach like this, an opportunity like this in the NBA," and that coming to Detroit "is such a weight off my shoulders." Jackson was traded to the Detroit Pistons on Thursday in a multi-player deal that also saw Kendrick Perkins shipped to Utah and the Thunder acquire four players. From Adrian Wojnarowski's story : "The whole time, I was honest," he said. "I wanted to start. And then, I became the problem in the locker room to people who have never been in our locker room. …I mean, come on. "Coming here, this is such a weight off my shoulders, a new beginning. To come play with a new group of guys, to start to change this perception of me, I can't wait to get to the arena tonight and meet them all."

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: How would you grade the Reggie Jackson trade?

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Fri, Feb 20, 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 OKC’s only professional team. 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 […]

  • D.J. Augustin was a beast in high school and I was there

    Erik Horne | Published: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    The prettiest jump shot I’ve ever seen. Ever. Well, until I got to Oklahoma City and saw Kevin Durant. But before that, it was D.J. Augustin. I was a senior at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans in 2002-2003 and everyone was buzzing about this freshman that was supposed to be next level. We […]

  • TNT's Charles Barkley praises Thunder for acquiring inside scoring threat

    Mel Bracht | Published: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    TNT analyst Charles Barkley, who regularly has criticized the Oklahoma City Thunder for its lack of an inside scoring threat, heartily endorsed the Thunder’s trade Thursday that brought Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter to the Thunder. Barkley spoke on the pregame show before TNT’s telecast of the Mavericks-Thunder game Thursday night Barkley on acquiring center […]

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Thunder writer Darnell Mayberry

    staff reports | Updated: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    Thunder changes up and down the roster. Did the Thunder get better with the deadline deals? Talk about them with Darnell Mayberry on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m.

  • Heat's Chris Bosh could miss rest of season with blood clot

    Published: Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    The Heat could announce Friday whether Chris Bosh will be forced to miss the remainder of the season following tests on his lungs. Bosh was admitted to a Miami-area hospital on Thursday after meeting with a doctor, with fear he could have blood clots on his lungs. If there are multiple clots, then Bosh would be out for the remainder of the season. The Heat (22-30) are currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings with 30 games left in the regular season.