Although the Thunder have put together a reasonably strong supporting cast around Russell Westbrook, there’s no simple way for the team to add a second star to complement the standout point guard, writes Chris Mannix of The Vertical. According to Mannix, Oklahoma City has received zero indications that Blake Griffin is interested in coming home in free agency next summer, and the team would be hard-pressed to create the cap room for another max player anyway.
Still, with players like Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams, and Domantas Sabonis locked up on long-term deals, it makes plenty of sense for Westbrook to stick with the Thunder, particularly if the team takes advantage of the designated veteran extension to offer him a five-year pact next summer, Mannix writes.
Here’s more from around the NBA:
- In an informative piece for The Vertical, former NBA front office executive Bobby Marks takes an in-depth look at how the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement will affect salary and cap situations for teams around the league next summer.
- Damion Lee, who was one of the Celtics‘ training camp invitees and D-League affiliate players this fall, has torn his ACL and will miss the rest of the season, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. After going undrafted out of Louisville this year, Lee had been averaging 17.8 PPG and 6.3 RPG in 16 games with the Maine Red Claws.
- Speaking of training camp invitees, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who was in camp with the Bulls this fall, has a new home. As Scott Agness of VigilantSports.com details, Smith-Rivera was acquired from the D-League player pool by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers‘ NBADL affiliate.