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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
He'd suddenly become an incredibly appealing '3 and D' guy. But he's unproven. And he's on a team where playing time at the forward position is hard to come by. It'll be interesting to see what Brooks does with the rotation this season.
Phoenix 11:26 a.m. What's going to be different about this year's thunder team, compared to past thunder teams?
Anthony Slater 11:28 a.m. Too early to know for sure. Training camp is still more than a month away. But at this point, you'd expect a full season of Westbrook will help. Does KD or Ibaka develop a more consistent post game? Can Adams blossom into a nightly interior force? Can Anthony Morrow provide the outside shooting this team desperately lacked during stretches last season? All important questions, but none that can be answered at this time.
Guest 11:28 a.m. Is Durant free agency talk going to distract KD and the thunder this season?
Anthony Slater 11:28 a.m. Wouldn't expect it to be much of a distraction this season. Because he's guaranteed at least one more year in OKC. Remember, two years left on the deal. But ask me this again next offseason and you may get a different answer.
Garrett 11:28 a.m. Anthony Morrow start at the 2?
Anthony Slater 11:30 a.m. Doubt it. Seems like Presti brought him in to be instant offense off the bench, a role in which he has excelled at during most of his career. He's the kind of streaky shooter that you toss in mid-game, let him fire up some threes and, if he's hitting, keep him in. If he's off, take him out. Not ideal for the starting unit, but perfect when you're trying to find a spark off the bench.
Cole 11:30 a.m. Why do people make an argument that Durant will leave to go home like LeBron when he has done everything different that LeBron in this reguard? Also the same people use the "if he doesn't win a title argument" when that didn't stop LeBron from leaving Miami.
Anthony Slater 11:35 a.m. The LeBron and KD situations, in my mind, are completely different. LeBron not only grew up in the Akron/Cleveland area, but played the first seven years of his career there. He was 25 when he left. And he did it so unceremoniously. Everyone back home basically hated him the past four years. So much of this was about redemption. But with Durant, the DC area doesn't hate him. They love and respect him. They rep him as one of there own and will continue to even if he stays in OKC or goes somewhere else in 2016. Plus, Durant left when he was 18. He lived in Austin for a year, then Seattle for a year and now OKC for six (going to be eight by the time he hits free agency). Not near the history or redemption aspect of LeBron's journey home.
Jordan 11:35 a.m. Do you think Andre Roberson is the starting 2? Obviously his shooting is abysmal (that might be to kind) but it looks like he has potential to be a premiere defensive stopper and I really like his rebounding ability. But is his shooting to much of a limitation to be inserted into starting line up?
Anthony Slater 11:41 a.m. Yep. I think it'll be Roberson on opening night. He's in that Thabo mold, a perimeter defensive specialist that'll take pressure off Westbrook (on that end) at the start of games. Scott Brooks seems to prefer that. Plus, as you mentioned, he has a unique ability to snare hard-to-reach rebounds and he's an underrated cutter. But that shot. Oof. It's tough to have a starting shooting guard in the NBA with zero outside threat. It could disrupt the offensive flow, allow defenses to pack the paint and swarm the superstars. This summer, for him, is about reworking that long ball into something near respectable.
Alberto 11:42 a.m. Hey Anthony thanks for the great job. Question: Do you know when the schedule will be release for the new season? I am planning my trip from Europe to OKC so I can't wait to know. Thanks.
Anthony Slater 11:42 a.m. Rumor is the schedule could be released as soon as Wednesday.
carney 11:42 a.m. Slater, what do you think's more likely to see this season: A carousel of players rotating through the starting two-guard spot or one guy who holds it down, barring injury?
Anthony Slater 11:44 a.m. Good question. My guess is Roberson plays well enough (and OKC wins enough) where he'll maintain the starting job. Lamb and Morrow will get plenty of minutes off the bench and Reggie Jackson will likely be manning the off-guard spot on most nights in crunch time. So it'll be an in-game carousel. But OKC prefers night-to-night consistency. I'd expect them to find a starting lineup and keep it.
Mike 11:45 a.m. Why didn't the thunder go after Gortat instead of keeping Perkins ??
Anthony Slater 11:45 a.m. Gortat ended up far out of OKC's price range.
Vic F 11:45 a.m. We all know the playoffs are about matchups. How well do the Thunder match up with the Cleveland Lebrons when Kevin Love is added
Anthony Slater 11:46 a.m. That remains to be seen. Would be an intriguing matchup. But we have to see how Cleveland develops as a team. That group of players is yet to even hold a practice together. Basically an entirely new roster.
Guest 11:46 a.m. How is Ibaka doing in Spain? Do you think he is 100% yet?
Anthony Slater 11:47 a.m. He's just going through pre-World Cup training. But it sounds as if he's basically 100 percent. And that shouldn't be a surprise. He was looking pretty healthy by the end of the Spurs series. He played 49 minutes in Game 6.
BA 11:47 a.m. Will Kd play less mins per game next season ?
Anthony Slater 11:48 a.m. I'd think you'll see a dip, especially considering his recent admission of fatigue. Darnell wrote a well-researched piece about this exact subject for Sunday's paper. So I'll let him answer this one:
Guest 11:49 a.m. Think Ibaka finally gets recognized as an All-Star this season?
Anthony Slater 11:49 a.m. Yep. Kevin Love in the East, Dirk/Duncan a year older, Ibaka coming off an eye-opening playoffs where his worth has never been more valued. I think this is his year for the All-Star team.
Guest 11:50 a.m. Why didn't we keep Thabo?!
Anthony Slater 11:50 a.m. First time I've heard that one.
Thunder Mob 11:50 a.m. Who gets more minutes early on this season: Roberson or Lamb?
Anthony Slater 11:51 a.m. I'll guess Lamb (around 20). Because even if Roberson starts, that doesn't mean he'll play a ton. Thabo averaged 26 in the regular season, but saw that dip to only 15.7 by the playoffs last season.
Dustyn 11:51 a.m. Do you think the Thunder overthinks the defensive 2-guard? Meaning, even if Harden had stayed on this team, do you think a guy like Thabo or Roberson would still start over him? Sometimes I think they should just let the best 2-guard play, if that's Lamb, then put him out there and good things will happen...
Anthony Slater 11:52 a.m. I tend to agree with that point. But I'm not running the show.
Guest 11:52 a.m. Is Nick Collison single?
Anthony Slater 11:52 a.m. We'll end on that one.
Anthony Slater 11:53 a.m. Thanks for all your great questions today and sorry to those I didn't get to. It was fun. Talk to you all again soon.
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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