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Thunder chat: Anthony Slater talks potential deadline deals, NBA schedule and Durant distractions

Join Anthony Slater at 11 a.m. for some Thunder talk on the Power Lunch chat. We're chatting about Kevin Durant's minutes, Team USA, Kevin Love and the Thunder offseason. Get your questions in here.
by Anthony Slater Modified: August 11, 2014 at 9:26 am •  Published: August 11, 2014
NewsOK Sports 10:18 a.m. Good Monday! Welcome to the Power Lunch chat. Anthony Slater will be on at 11 a.m. to answer your Thunder-related questions, so get them in now. Thanks for joining us!
Anthony Slater 11:00 a.m. Ok, I'm here. Let's get started.
Lando C. 11:00 a.m. Set the odds for durant signing with the thunder again when it's time
Anthony Slater 11:03 a.m. There's so many variables that have to play out over the next couple seasons. Do the Thunder win a title? Two titles? None? Do the young players behind Durant develop? Does he get frustrated with a lack of progress? What other unknown storylines emerge? Which teams position themselves as legitimate and appealing suitors for his service? I know everyone wants to talk about it now. And it's a big deal, a major crossroad for this franchise. But at this point, we just don't have all the knowledge to make an educated guess. We can't. Only time will give us that.
Matt 11:04 a.m. Morning Anthony, a while back Royce Young mentioned the Thunder we're under an offensive remodel this summer that was being featured during summer league. Any truth to this? I think more than sexy free agent signings this team would benefit from a more disciplined half court offense with a focus on ball movement.
Anthony Slater 11:07 a.m. Yeah, Darnell reported as much down at summer league. Apparently they are in the early stages of some minor tweaks. And offense was clearly the focus this summer. They drafted Mitch McGary, signed Anthony Morrow and chased Pau Gasol. All three of those guys are far better on the offensive end. So it's a theme. As for the offensive system, we'll see. I agree they need better ball movement and more of a plan. But what we saw in summer league won't tell us anything. We need to see it when the ball-control stars (Westbrook/KD) are on the court.
Matt 11:07 a.m. Do you see the Thunder making any last second free agent signings? I'm ready to roll out with the team we've got now and let the young guns go to work but I would love a savvy vet on the end of the bench who can hit 3s and wouldnt take too many minutes away from the young guys. Ray Allen too much of a pipe dream for this team?
Anthony Slater 11:10 a.m. No, I think this is the team you'll see on opening night. And it's a clear title contender. But you're right: How incredible a fit would Ray Allen be? The ideal veteran locker room presence that the OKC organization loves and the kind of marksman that would take a ton of pressure of Durant and Westbrook. Historically, he's the league's greatest 3-point shooter ever. And he's pretty clutch, too. Just ask the Spurs. But all that said, I think it's doubtful he lands in OKC. Remember, he was once with this franchise. They traded him. And it seemed like he was a bit unhappy at the time. Plus, I'd still label the Cleveland LeBrons as the overwhelming favorite to land him. He's close with LBJ.
??????? 11:10 a.m. Any chance we sign another free agent before the start of the season?
Anthony Slater 11:10 a.m. Doubt it
Guest 11:10 a.m. Who are your top 5 teams and players right now
Anthony Slater 11:14 a.m. Good question. Off the top of my head, in order:

Bulls (but only if Rose can stay healthy)

major dropoff
Blake Griffin
Steph Curry
LaMarcus Aldridge (soon to be Anthony Davis)
Guest 11:14 a.m. Forget what the thunder think, if you were Presti, would you get rid of Perkins. How can the thunder defend him, when the numbers obviously show that for the past few years, they have been MUCH better with him off the court?
Anthony Slater 11:17 a.m. No. Not with the roster set how it is. He costs too much now, but that $9 million salary will open up a needed financial hole next offseason that'll go a long way toward re-signing Reggie Jackson. But this season, I'd play Perkins like a specialist. Start and play Steven Adams 25-plus minutes a night. Go small for stretches with KD at the four and Ibaka at the five. And only play Perk when there is a post scorer on the other team who is having a dominant game. He'll be needed for stretches in the playoffs to guard guys like Zach Randolph (who struggled in last year's series against Perk) and Dwight Howard. But other than that, his usefulness has about run its course. Especially with Adams' future looking so bright.
Guest 11:18 a.m. Say Adams and McGary prove to be solid players this year (making it so Adams isn't needed). Do you see the Thunder potentially making a decent deadline deal this year with Perk's expiring? Afflalo has said he's opting out. Potentially Perk and Lamb or Pleiss or Abrines for Afflalo and whatever filler needed to make the contracts work? I still think Adams is our best starting option this year
Anthony Slater 11:20 a.m. It's certainly possible. Because by the time the deadline rolls around, Perk's expiring deal will suddenly become appealing to some rebuilding teams. And Afflalo would be a great fit. But I think a ton of that depends on how the younger guys develop. By February, we should know more about where Jeremy Lamb stands. Has he established himself as a reliable 20-30 minute a night scorer? Or have his struggles continued? OKC would likely prefer development from its current core, but if it doesn't get it, a deadline deal could be something to look at.
thunderbob 11:20 a.m. when will the schedule come out? are the thunder playing at home on xmas? several newspapers around the country have been able to get the preliminary schedule has the DOK?
Anthony Slater 11:21 a.m. The schedule is likely to be released in the next week or two. I think there are some minor hold-ups because of the discussions to potentially extend the All-Star break to a week and how that would alter the rest of the schedule. At this point, though, I don't know when, if and where OKC will play on Christmas.
Guest 11:22 a.m. Better big man rotation at the end of the year Ibaka/Perk Adams Collison or Ibaka/Adams Collison/McGary?
Anthony Slater 11:22 a.m. I'll go with Door #2: Ibaka/Adams, Collison/McGary. With some Perk sprinkled in only where necessary. I really liked what I saw from McGary in summer league. He should be able to step in right away and at least give OKC some energy.
Justin K 11:22 a.m. When does training camp start?
Anthony Slater 11:23 a.m. Late September, with preseason tipping in early October.
Patrick 11:23 a.m. 1) What is a reasonable expectation for PJ3 as far as 3 point percentage goes? And 2) if he can shoot at that clip, would OKC's line up be Russ-Reggie-KD-PJ3-Ibaka?
Anthony Slater 11:25 a.m. If PJ3 was given a heavier role and a good number of 3-point shots, I'd expect him to shoot around 36 percent, I could see him bumping it up toward 38 percent and it'd be ideal (for OKC) if he could find a way to get that in the 40's.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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