Western Notes: Thunder, Mavs, Blazers

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Oklahoma City and what new Thunder coach Billy Donovan will bring to the team. He has already received rave reviews from the community. In a lengthy profile, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman discusses how Donovan’s up-tempo, fan-friendly style of play transformed Florida into a national power in college basketball.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • With Al-Farouq Aminu now with the Blazers, the Mavs find themselves needing to replace Aminu’s spark off the bench, with the hopes that one of their new additions can fill the void, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com writes. Aminu signed a four-year, $30MM deal with Portland. Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson believes coach Rick Carlisle‘s track record of developing players will help the growth of some of Dallas’ young players like rookie Justin Anderson, Sneed adds.
  • Maurice Harkless was listed by Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders as a player who is in a better situation after changing teams this summer. Portland acquired Harkless in a trade with the Magic. Harkless is better off now, Brigham writes, because he has a solid opportunity to leap from a relative unknown in the league to a significant contributor for a respected team since the Blazers are rebuilding.

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