Thunder reserve Ronnie Brewer tells Shams Charania of RealGM he thinks that "it was unfortunate" that the Bulls announced Derrick Rose was cleared to play, elaborating that being 110% mentally ready is just as important as being physically ready: "I don’t think anybody really knows...I don’t think the doctors know. I don’t think any of the players know. Whatever it is, I don’t think he should rush back and not be confident to play, because if you’re not playing with confidence, then everything goes out the window.”
Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
The Thunder didn't participate in any major deals at the trade deadline, but the club did make a couple minor moves, sending Eric Maynor to Portland for cap relief and a trade exception, and acquiring Ronnie Brewer from the Knicks for a future second-round pick. General manager Sam Presti spoke to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman about those moves and the team's plans for its empty roster spot. Here are the highlights:
On the decision to trade for Brewer:
"I think the opportunity to add a player like Ronnie without dipping into our immediate player rotation was something we feel like we needed to pursue. He brings a defensive mind-set, versatility as a perimeter defender, and he comes in with over 300 games started. But more impressive to us is the fact that he’s played for some organizations that we really have a lot of respect for. In addition to that, he’s a high-character, hard-working individual that we feel like is going to fit well with our current group."
On whether the Brewer acquisition was made with LeBron James and the Heat in mind:
"Well, I think just in today’s NBA one of the things that is certainly valued is versatility. And for our team, a team that wants to continually improve defensively and establish a standard of play on both ends of the floor, we want to try to be as flexible and versatile in styles of play as possible. But we certainly aren’t looking at one particular team because what’s served us well as an organization and as a team is to always focus on the next day. And if we’re starting to look at things down the line, I think that would be inconsistent and probably inappropriate for us."
On the Maynor trade:
"Obviously Eric is someone that we think very highly of, and I think he’s going to be a very productive player in the NBA for years to come. But we also recognize that he was going to have opportunities at the end of the season as a free agent, and we had to figure out the best way to maximize that situation given that he wasn’t playing on a consistent basis with us. The [$2.34MM] trade exception essentially gives us flexibility in terms of roster building, again, to try to make additions to our core group without infringing on that group. It’s going to give us flexibilities during the draft and also as we head into free agency. We’ll try to be as creative as possible, but we’re also going to be very disciplined with it."
On the Thunder's open 15th roster spot:
"I’m going to sit down with [assistant GM] Troy [Weaver] and [head coach] Scott [Brooks] and spend some time working through that and figuring out what direction we want to go. But it’s something that we want to evaluate, and I think we will look to do something in the future."
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld posted a new column examining the reasoning why many teams opted to stand pat at the trade deadline rather than make any major deals. He also wrote that, although the trade deadline was relatively uneventful, it could set up an exciting summer of trades and free-agent signings.
Kennedy also ran down the teams he thought improved with deadline deals:
A complete recap of trades that were completed before Thursday's trade deadline:
2:37pm: The second-round pick heading to New York in the deal will be the Thunder's own 2014 selection, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.
2:24pm: The Thunder and Knicks have agreed to a deal that will see Oklahoma City acquire Ronnie Brewer in exchange for a second-round pick, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman (via Twitter). It was Mayberry who first reported that the Thunder were expected to land Brewer (Twitter link).
The Knicks had been shopping Brewer this week in an attempt to clear a roster spot, as Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com noted today. Now just carrying 14 players on their roster, the Knicks could take a flier on a free agent - perhaps Kenyon Martin, or Jermaine O'Neal if he receives a buyout - without having to release a player on a guaranteed contract.
For the Thunder, it was a small price to pay to add a solid defensive guard who had fallen out of the Knicks' rotation in recent weeks. Brewer, 27, had started 34 games for New York, but didn't seem to fit with the team nearly as well as he did with the Bulls' "Bench Mob" over the last couple seasons. So far this year, Brewer has recorded a career-low 10.2 PER.
A few last-minute rumors as the 2:00pm deadline approaches....
With less than six hours until today's trade deadline, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld explores a few of the latest rumors in his NBA AM piece. Here are the highlights:
While Knicks coach Mike Woodson has said he doesn't expect his team to make any moves before tomorrow's trade deadline, New York is shopping Ronnie Brewer, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter).
It's not clear who exactly the Knicks are targeting, but they've been linked to various guards and bigs within the last week or two, including Luke Ridnour, Jared Dudley, and Jermaine O'Neal, along with free agents like Kenyon Martin and Louis Amundson.
Since averaging nearly 23 minutes per game in November, Brewer has been nearly entirely removed from the Knicks' rotation, so he likely won't have much value on the trade market. Still, he's on a minimum-salary one-year deal, so if the team is determined to move him, it probably wouldn't be too hard to find a taker.
11:18am: Woodson has spoken with Shumpert, but he can't assure him he won't be traded, Newsday's Al Iannazzone tweets.
"Sure, we talk to him and we show him love and we tell him he's a big part of what we're doing. Those are just trade rumors," Woodson said.
SUNDAY, 9:04am: Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com hears the Knicks are unlikely to bite on a Shumpert-for-Dudley deal.
SATURDAY, 7:53pm: Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld adds on to Wojnarowski's report, saying that the Knicks would rather move Ronnie Brewer than Shumpert, but the Suns are intent on acquiring the second-year guard.
6:55pm: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Phoenix Suns are pursuing a trade for Knicks guard Iman Shumpert. The Suns would offer a package including guard Jared Dudley and could possibly include a first-round pick as well.
Shumpert has been linked to the Suns since this summer, when they attempted to acquire him in a sign-and-trade with the Knicks for Steve Nash before Nash ultimately went to the Lakers. Saturday morning, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reported the Knicks' interest in Dudley, although Wojnarowski writes that New York is hesitant to do this trade.
Despite the Knicks' early season success, one important question revolves around how Amare Stoudemire will integrate himself within the team's current chemistry once he is finally ready to return from injury. With that in mind, the answer to that question will have to be put on hold a little bit longer, as Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes that Stoudemire isn't quite ready to participate in games just yet. Coach Mike Woodson, who met with his forward earlier today, said that he'd like to see Amare go through more practice time and gave the impression that a return during the team's three-game road trip was unlikely. Here's the rest of what we've heard out of the Atlantic Division tonight: