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Odds & Ends: Thunder, Rondo, Ajinca, Sixers

TNT's David Aldridge ranks each team's offseason for, and not surprisingly, the Rockets and Dwight Howard come out on top. There are still plenty of surprises among his picks, including the Bobcats at No. 8 — I'm not nearly as sold on Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller as Aldridge is. The Pelicans, for all their re-shuffling, check in down at No. 15. Here's more from the rest of the league:

  • The Thunder's choice to cut corners and avoid the luxury tax stems from GM Sam Presti and his staff, not well-heeled owner Clay Bennett, writes Ken Berger of Curiously, Berger says the Thunder are getting $15MM from the league for the change to Kevin Durant's contract, conflicting with the $8MM figure Grantland's Zach Lowe reported last week.  
  • Rajon Rondo's name continues to wind up in rumors, so HoopsWorld's Joel Brigham looks at some possible trade scenarios involving the Celtics All-Star point guard.
  • Alexis Ajinca spent the past two seasons playing for Strasbourg in France after three years in the NBA, and he's set to re-sign with the French club, HoopsHype's Jorge Sierra tweets. The deal will include an out in case Ajinca finds an NBA deal by September 30th.
  • The Sixers coaching search has dragged on for months, but Dei Lynam of bets the job winds up going to Michael Curry, who's an assistant with the team and has been able to give GM Sam Hinkie and company a first-hand look at his abilities.
  • Former CBA commissioner Gary Hunter tells Gino Pilato of Ridiculous Upside that the D-League has become what he wanted his league to be. He also examines the effect that "hybrid" partnerships with NBA teams are having on the D-League.
  • Amid reports that Kobe Bryant's torn Achilles tendon could be healed in time for him to play in the preseason, Arash Markazi and Mark Willard of debate whether he should take a hefty paycut next summer to help the Lakers (video link).

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