Thunder chat: Darnell Mayberry talks Kevin Durant-to-DC rumors, Grant Long and free agency

Thunder writer Darnell Mayberry was on the Power Lunch chat, answering your questions on Kevin Durant in 2016 rumors, Grant Long and what skills Westbrook, Durant, Jackson and Ibaka need to add in the offseason. Here's the full transcript:
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: July 23, 2014 at 9:36 am •  Published: July 23, 2014
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/span> Why would the Thunder pick Telfair, when I would have been a better pick, and could have been on the cheap? I know it's not guaranteed money, but the Thunder might need a decent 3rd PG. Any word on the street about signing anyone else- or is this it?
Darnell Mayberry 11:12 a.m. Jameer Nelson wants more playing time than the Thunder could offer. Even at this stage of his career, he's better than a third string point guard. Telfair is more suited for that role. As for the second part of your question, it's going to be interesting to see what they do with Thabeet. If they let him go, they could bring in someone else. Whoever that might be isn't likely to move the needle, and I'm sure fans will ask a similar question: why him? But that would be the last thing the Thunder will probably do if it decides to go in that direction.
Jonathan 11:13 a.m. What is your take on the Grant Long resignation? Who are some of your top candidates to replace his spot next to Brian Davis?
Darnell Mayberry 11:17 a.m. I think it was a forced resignation. The old "resign or we'll fire you" pitch. But he did bring negative attention to the organization, which, for this team, is a big no-no. And he allegedly used his position and relationship with the players to broker a personal deal. That obviously is a huge mistake. He denied that claim, but I can see why the Thunder would frown upon that. As for his replacement, I have no idea. I had never heard of Brian Davis before he got the job, and I hadn't heard Grant Long's name in probably 10 years before he was announced as the analyst. So there's a gazillion people who could be candidates. The first name I thought of was Brent Price.
Guest 11:17 a.m. Thunder have a little room under cap left. Anyone else you would like to see them make a run at?
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. Nah. Anybody else at this point is overkill. They won't play anyway on this team, so what exactly would be the point? (Whoever the Thunder might target in my above scenario IF Thabeet is waived would be for the future. Just want you all want to hear, right?)
Robert 11:18 a.m. Any more deals for the Thunder before the season starts? what about Shawn Marion?
Darnell Mayberry 11:19 a.m. It's an issue of playing time. Bring him in and he's either playing over the young guys who need burn at this point, or he's sitting the bench and rotting away. It's a lose-lose proposition with somebody like him.
Guest 11:19 a.m. Russ, Roberson, KD, Ibaka, Perk to start and Reggie, Lamb, Morrow, Collison, Adams off the bench. Does that look like the most probable lineup to you?
Darnell Mayberry 11:20 a.m. Yep. And I'm interested in see where Perry Jones and Mitch McGary fall in that bench group.
John 11:20 a.m. Darnell- Thanks for all the continued coverage of Thunder. What would be one added skill you would predict seeing for RW, KD, Jackson and Serge come next year? Don't have to answer for all of course.
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. Thank, John. I'd like to see Russ just take better shots. There are so many possessions that he gives away by taking quick shots. He's so good that he generally gets away with it. But I think better shot selection could do wonders for him and his teammates when he's running the team. Durant needs to get into the post. I'd like to see Reggie take the next step as a 3-point shooter. He made great strides this past season. He can be even better.
Skidlidoo 11:23 a.m. More pressure to perform this year? Reggie or Lamb?
Darnell Mayberry 11:23 a.m. Jackson. He's the fourth best player, and he's going to get many more opportunities among those two.
tom 11:23 a.m. IF Huestice forgoes his 1st round guaranteed contract and accepts the $30,000 to play in Tulsa, what do you think the percentage chance will be that the union gets involved to stop it?
Darnell Mayberry 11:26 a.m. Yeah, after my piece published, I heard a few people on Twitter debating that. I don't see what the union could do. It's similar to a team selecting an international in the first round and stashing him overseas. The only difference is the player is going to the D-League. So I'm not sure how the NBPA can try to regulate one and turn a blind eye to the other.
Guest 11:27 a.m. If Brooks starts Roberson then Adams will, if Lamb then Perk gets the nod. Do you think thats a likely outcome?
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. I think it's possible. But as I've said before, I just can't see Brooks starting Adams over Perk, even though most everybody agrees it needs to happen. If it does, I'll give Brooks credit. He shocked me last year with how much he played Adams when I didn't think he'd play the rook. Maybe he'll shock me again.
Alberto 11:29 a.m. Darnell, I would like to have you to replace Long, I love to read your articles and hear your podcast. Any chance?
Brian Davis 11:29 a.m. any chance you're replacing grant long next season?
Darnell Mayberry 11:30 a.m. Thanks, Alberto. But, c'mon guys, I've got no shot. Zero!
dooby 11:30 a.m. anyone interesting you would like to see take grant long's old seat? will the thunder make just one more move before summers end?
Darnell Mayberry 11:32 a.m. Not to me. A lot of people have said Desmond Mason. Meh. Maybe. I don't know. But I don't think it matters. I honestly don't. I get the sense that whoever gets the gig will be forced to abide by the same strict rules as Grant was. Toe the company line, keep it positive, don't criticize the players or the coach. I'm sure a really good analyst knows how to do that and still be insightful. But it's got to be awfully tough. We'll see.
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. As a heads up, be on the look out for a big package, tentatively scheduled for Monday's paper, on who the new color analyst could be.
Russ W 11:35 a.m. What do you think of my new clothing line? Have you bought anything yet?
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. Happy for you. But of course not. I probably can't afford, and I definitely can't pull it off. (Not sure anybody can actually).
Guest 11:35 a.m. What is the status of Russ' knee? Will he be able to play on back-to-back games next season or not?
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. Yes. He's good to go. But that doesn't mean the team won't rest him occasionally next year. It's the same reason he pulled out of the World Cup, to rest his knee and be as prudent as possible.
tom 11:36 a.m. Is McGary best served getting garbage time with the Thunder or getting big minutes with the 66'ers?
Darnell Mayberry 11:37 a.m. Garbage time. McGary's taking Ibaka's job, didn't you hear?
Robert 11:37 a.m. What do you think of Roberson as a starter?
Darnell Mayberry 11:40 a.m. He wouldn't be my first choice. Lamb would be. But I'm warming up to the idea of Roberson. He can't shoot. But he does other things really well, including some things offensively (cutting, offensive rebounds and putbacks, finishing in transition, improving driving the ball) that can keep him from being a complete liability on that end. Again, though, I do think Steven Adams in the starting lineup is a big key to being able to get away with Roberson starting.
Mike 11:40 a.m. Is Perry Jones knee a concern??? I remember him being "red flagged" before the draft because of a knee issue
Darnell Mayberry 11:41 a.m. From what I hear, it's not. Maybe the team always will have to be mindful of it and monitor it. But it doesn't sound like a serious concern.
BangBangThunder 11:41 a.m. PJones shot over 45% on 3points in summer league
BangBangThunder 11:41 a.m. Do you think PJone can replicate the very strong 3point shooting he showcased in summer league ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:44 a.m. The first step toward doing so is transferring the confidence he had in Orlando back to OKC. He was awfully impressive with the ball in his hands, aggressive, assertive, in attack mode and always decisive. No hesitation. If he does that, he should be confident in taking those 3s. What I liked best is the improvement he showed from the top of the arc. He was good from the corners last year, but he showed a nice touch from the top, too, this summer.
CR 11:44 a.m. Is this 66ers move to OKC most likely a permanent one...or will the team look to another market (IE Wichita) that's close and is in the geographic fan base?
Darnell Mayberry 11:46 a.m. That's a good question. I don't know what they're thinking there. I would imagine there's an in-house tug-of-war, with the marketing and business side probably interested in branching out and building the brand, and the basketball folks loving the idea of keeping the team here with the parent club. It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out beyond next year.
C for Chicago 11:46 a.m. Would you like to see Ibaka get 14-15 shots per game this season? He seems so accurate, but also so under-utilized in the Thunder "system".
Darnell Mayberry 11:47 a.m. I'd like to see everyone get more shots. But because of the "system" they don't.
Ken M 11:47 a.m. What do you think about signing Shawn Marion as a backup for KD and or Ramon Sessions as a backup point guard? We seem to be grossly inadequate at those positions since we lost Caron and D-Fish.
Darnell Mayberry 11:48 a.m. Morrow will help on the wing. And Fisher was really a shooting guard. Jackson and Lamb will combine to replace him. I'm not worried about filling those guys' shoes, not on the court, anyway.
Cross Timber 11:48 a.m. Any chance Stacey King leaves Chicago for the Thunder TV job?
Darnell Mayberry 11:49 a.m. Not sure why he'd want to leave Chicago. I doubt he would.
Robert 11:49 a.m. How do you put up with Traber ripping you on air?
Darnell Mayberry 11:51 a.m. He has no idea what he's talking about. So it's insignificant in my eyes.
BangBangThunder 11:51 a.m. Do you believe Scotty gives him massive minutes since he is a good passing big man and offers a skill set that is scarce with our big man ?
BangBangThunder 11:51 a.m. Thank u for the answer, mys last question would be about Mitch Mc Hustle.
Darnell Mayberry 11:52 a.m. As much as I like to joke about McGary, I still have a hard time seeing him cracking the rotation.
Clint 11:52 a.m. Where do you think Kevin Love ends up?
Darnell Mayberry 11:53 a.m. Cleveland.
Dale 11:53 a.m. I read the Washington Post article where it speculates that KD might wanna go home in 2 years. I can't say it won't happen, but I didn't even know KD was a Wizards fan growing up. He sure didn't stay close to home when he went to college. Are people trying to fit his decision into the Lebron box. Seems like there are other places I'd be more worried about losing him to.
Darnell Mayberry 11:55 a.m. People are trying to fit him into the LeBron box, if you will. First it was "LeBron left Cleveland for a bigger market so KD has to leave OKC for a a bigger market." Now it's "Bron went home, so KD has to go home." I want to scream "They're different people...with two TOTALLY DIFFERENT situations!!!" With that being said, if Durant ever wanted a change of scenery the Wizards would be who I'd be most worried about. They've got a great young core coming up, and he's from the area.
Guest 11:56 a.m. Is this a make or break year for Scott Brooks?
Darnell Mayberry 11:57 a.m. I would recommend winning it all.
Darnell Mayberry 11:57 a.m. Thanks for joining us today. Have a great week.
by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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