Northwest Notes: Thunder, Nuggets, Wolves

The Thunder may be under pressure to win now because of Kevin Durant‘s impending free agency in the summer of 2016, but coach Scott Brooks doesn’t think about the possibility of losing his star forward, as he tells Jared Zwelling of Bleacher Report. “That’s so many days away. I understand it, but it’s not something I’m even focused on. All coaches focus on day to day, and we worry about what we can do today and keep chopping away,” Brooks said. Oklahoma City sits at 22-20 after a rough start to the season and the team recently acquired Dion Waiters with the purpose of strengthening its bench unit. It’s uncertain whether the Thunder are done dealing this season but Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors looks at how the team could benefit from trading Reggie Jackson in his trade candidate piece.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Timofey Mozgov trade will definitely help the Nuggets in the long run, argues Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post. Although Dempsey understands that those acquired draft picks will most likely not be lottery selections, he is hopeful that the Nuggets can use the picks in the future as part of a bigger deal that nets them a game changer.
  • Erick Green is a very capable player but with Ty Lawson and new addition Jameer Nelson on the Nuggets, playing time will be hard to come by for the Virginia Tech product, writes Dempsey in the same piece. Green is currently on D-League assignment, playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
  • The Wolves are concerned about Ricky Rubio‘s ankle sprain but the team believes the point guard is doing everything he can to return to the court, writes Jon Krawczynski of Associated Press. ”It’s a very unique ankle sprain,” coach Flip Saunders said. ”They said at the time it’s going to be worse than a high ankle sprain, and everyone knows those go eight to 12 weeks. So it has nothing to do with him not wanting to play.” 
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