Northwest Notes: Thunder, Morris, Thomas, Layman

Scotty Hopson and Richard Solomon are both back on the free agent market after their 10-day contracts with the Thunder expired, according to the Real GM transactions page. Oklahoma City signed both players shortly before the All-Star break to reach the NBA’s roster limit. The team is back down to 13 players and will have two weeks to fill at least one opening.

Neither player saw any court time in OKC. Solomon has yet to appear in an NBA game, while Hopson played two games with the Cavaliers during the 2013/14 season and one with the Mavericks last year.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Markieff Morris has found a perfect opportunity with the Thunder, his twin brother said in a comment tweeted by Jay King of The Athletic. Markieff signed with Oklahoma City after reaching a buyout with the Pelicans, who acquired him from the Wizards at the trade deadline. “I think that’s a great fit for him,” Marcus Morris said. “… I don’t think they have a guy like him over there. … I think he could be that piece that helps them battle it out with Golden State.”
  • Isaiah Thomas‘ return to action adds one more player to an already deep Nuggets backcourt and could present Michael Malone with his greatest coaching challenge of the season, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. In two games since returning from his latest hip surgery, Thomas has scored 24 points in 29 minutes and could be a valuable weapon off the bench for the rest of the season. Malone, who already had five guards that were getting regular playing time, unveiled a three-guard lineup Friday that had Thomas, Monte Morris and Gary Harris on the court together. “If we have to adjust, we will,” Malone said, “but playing small, you got three playmakers out there that can all generate shots for their teammates and get their own shot in Monte, in Isaiah, in Gary Harris. That’s a pretty good bench unit, if you ask me.”
  • Jake Layman has become a “secret weapon” for the Trail Blazers, notes Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. A second-round pick in 2016, Layman saw little action during his first two NBA seasons, but has made a breakthrough this year through a combination of shooting and athleticism.
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3 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Thunder, Morris, Thomas, Layman

  1. yoyo137

    Layman has been great this year and has grown into one of my favorite players in Portland. I still think he should be starting over Maurice Harkless, but Mo had a great game yesterday and the starting lineup has enough options on offense that Layman’s scoring may be more valuable off the bench. He certainly brings a lot of energy and can be a problem for other teams’ second units. At the very least, he’s pushing Harkless to play his best, since he’s right there to take his starting role if he doesn’t play well. It’s going to be tough to keep him around with the cap situation in Portland though. I can see a team that needs a 3 and D type player offering him much more than the Blazers can match.

    • D$!LLKU$H-og

      Stotts does a very good job developing 2nd round guys I’m starting to notice. Layman looks great and he did a great job developing Connaughton as well. I bet next year Gary Trent Jr has a breakout year.

      • yoyo137

        Definitely, and it’s so necessary for a team with so little wiggle room when it comes to adding talent. I think it has something to do with how long they are usually there before they start receiving minutes. They have a couple years to learn the system. I agree but I think it won’t be till two years from now that Gary Trent Jr. breaks out. He was killing it in the G-league but hasn’t shot well when he gets in NBA games in garbage time. I could be wrong and he could improve a lot during the summer. It would definitely be welcome as Seth Curry will most likely be too expensive to re-sign.

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