Northwest Notes: O’Neale, Thibodeau, Collison, Murray

After two years of trying to earn an NBA job, Royce O’Neale broke through in a big way with the Jazz last season, writes Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune. After unexpectedly making the roster in training camp, O’Neale played in 69 games and was part of the rotation right through the playoffs. As he prepares for his second NBA season, O’Neale hasn’t changed his mindset of fighting to prove he belongs on the team.

“I can’t rest,” O’Neale said. “I still have to come out here and play with a chip on my shoulder.”

O’Neale has dedicated the summer to working on ball-handling and 3-point shooting, as well as spending time in the weight room. He heads into this year’s camp with a contract in hand, even though both seasons are non-guaranteed. O’Neale will receive $1,378,242 this season and $1,618,520 in 2019/20 if he remains on the roster.

There’s more tonight from the Northwest Division:

  • Coming off a difficult season with the Timberwolves, coach/executive Tom Thibodeau feels refreshed after a summer away from the team, relays Jim Souhan of The Star-Tribune. Minnesota entered the season with high expectations after trading for Jimmy Butler and signing Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson, but the pieces didn’t always fit together well and the Wolves had to win on the final night of the regular season to reach the playoffs. “I know I have to recharge,” said Thibodeau, who spent much of the summer traveling. “Now that I’m back here, I walk around the lake quite a bit. It’s beautiful here in the summer.”
  • The Thunder should honor Nick Collison‘s years of service to the organization by retiring his number, contends an article in The Oklahoman (subscription only.) Collison was the 12th pick in the 2003 draft by the SuperSonics and remained with the team for a full decade after its move to Okahoma City. He announced his retirement in May.
  • Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray has proven he can excel on offense, but he still needs to improve at the other end of the court, contends Joel Rush of Forbes. Rush runs the numbers and shows that Murray’s ineffectiveness on defense negates much of what he contributes on offense.
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16 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: O’Neale, Thibodeau, Collison, Murray

  1. afsooner02

    Disagree on collision. I respect his years of service to Seattle/okc but his stats are nowhere close to # retiring worthy. He was never the guy in okc nor even the next best one. People might have differing opinions and that’s fine, but to me….nah….doesn’t deserve to have his number retired.

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    • Jeff Zanghi

      I agree with you… like yeah it’s great he spent so many years with the team. But retired numbers should be reserved for the best of the best… something Collison was not.

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      • Z-A

        Miami guys will hate me, but this would be like retiring Haslams number. Nice role player, but that’s it. Compare it to baseball and the longevity and being an average player, even actually accumulating stats still doesnt mean Jamie Moyer should be in the HoF or have his number retired.

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  2. hiflew

    I am not a fan of retiring numbers in general. I think the best way to honor someone is to wear a number because of them. But if Boston can retire like 20 numbers, I don’t really see a problem with OKC retiring Collison’s number. What does it really hurt?

    That being said, I doubt it ever happens.

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  3. x%sure

    Retiring numbers is ridiculous. Hanging big pics around for atmosphere and remembering is all that’s necessary.

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  4. paladin

    Collison would be cool with a participation award and a Timex watch. No need to go overboard for a journeyman.

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      • paladin

        I looked up journeyman in the dictionary and there is a picture of Nick Collison. I suppose you consider him a star player!!! NOT ….Please support your claim….What is the opposite of journeyman?…Please define…Nice try

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        • Dude, a journeyman is someone who is on different teams every year. Get it together. The title is pretty obvious.

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          • paladin

            An experienced reliable worker, athlete, or performer especially as distinguished from one who is brilliant or colorful…Websters dictionary…It has nothing to do with being on different teams every year Mr. Wise guy. It has to do with experience….I was a journeyman for 20 year, then I became a Master Craftsman for 20 years. Look it up in the dictionary and ”Get it together” Dude…Title is not definition…Is Nick Collison Colorful or brilliant ? Your opinion is not fact, sorry to tell you.

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  5. Nice to know Thibs is refreshed, I just hope that his players are too, after playing their skin off last season.

    Totally agree with afsooner02.

    Murray is got a lot to improve, yes is a great shooter, but doesn’t do any defence, also is a PG that gives 3APG, that is not good enough, that is why I think IT can be a very good addition, he is a great shooter that can’t defend, all the same, but at least he is a good passer, which is the main job of a PG, run the offence not shoot. I do know that the running of the offence usually is done by Jokic, but some help from the PG for him would be nice.

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  6. I’m not a fan of retiring numbers either. I mean, look at the Yankees, do they have a single digit number still available for a player to wear? Only number in all of sports I think is warranted to be retired is 42 in baseball.

    Wall of fames without number retirements is the way to go.

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  7. Retiring numbers in general is a statement that there will never be another so-and-so. These days they’ve diluted it by retiring everybody’s jersey if they were just OK for 9 years with one team.

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  8. paladin

    Websters Definition of Journeyman: an experienced reliable worker, athlete, or performer especially as distinguished from one who is brilliant or colorful.

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    • x%sure

      I agree, a journeyman is a status rank in the trades. It means a specialist who can go anywhere and get the job done without someone looking over his shoulder.

      But a journeyman does not have to move around to be that. It should not mean, he moved around a lot. It’s a level of expertise.

      I don’t think most people know this though. It’s almost archaic knowledge.

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      • paladin

        Had to shake the tree of knowledge a little bit but now they know and it wasn’t too painful.

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