Paul George has launched an electronic full-court press to try to convince Dwyane Wade to come to Oklahoma City, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Wade has become the hottest free agent on the market since agreeing to a buyout with the Bulls Sunday night. “I’m in his phone text, his DMs, Snapchat,” George said, “whatever it takes to get this dude here.”
Thunder GM Sam Presti is a little more reserved in his pursuit of Wade, but he would definitely like to have him as part of a Big Four with George, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony. OKC finalized its camp roster earlier today with the signing of Markel Brown, but a move would certainly be made to accommodate Wade. “He’ll go through the process and we’ll be in touch,” said Presti, who adds Wade may have already decided where he will sign next (Twitter link).
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The Cavaliers, Thunder and Heat were consider the early favorites to sign Wade, but the competition may be more intense than originally believed, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link), who adds that “many more teams” are pursuing him.
- Westbrook declined to give a direct answer to questions today about the five-year, $207MM extension the Thunder have offered him, posts Royce Young on ESPN Now. “Man, it’s been a long, long summer,” Westbrook responded. “Had a baby. Been working on a little fatherhood. But like I’ve said before, this is a place I want to be.” Westbrook has an October 16 deadline to accept the deal, and former Oklahoma City center Enes Kanter believes he is leaning toward taking it. “I feel like he’s going to sign (the extension)” Kanter told reporters today in New York (Twitter link).
- Jazz forward Derrick Favors has a chance to rebuild his reputation before heading into free agency next summer, relays the Associated Press. Favors says he has overcome the knee and back injuries that plagued him over the past two seasons and dropped 15 to 20 pounds during the summer. Utah needs to replace about 40 points per game with the loss of free agents Gordon Hayward and George Hill, and Favors is a prime candidate to increase his production. Favors will be an unrestricted free agent in July after making $12MM this season.
- Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey isn’t concerned that his team is headed into a difficult Western Conference playoff race with one of the youngest rosters in the league, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Recently signed free agent Anthony Morrow is Portland’s only player older than 30. “It’s a roster that still has some upside to it, because of its age,” Olshey said. “We’re expecting a lot of internal growth.”