Terrence Ferguson

Thunder Notes: Roberson, Brewer, Abrines, Ferguson

Andre Roberson has been a consistent rock for the Thunder on defense and once he went down with a season-ending injury in January, his value to Oklahoma City was accentuated, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes.

“I know a lot of people across the world, even you guys doubted Andre many, many times about his shooting and all that stuff,” Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said. “But to me, man, the type of guy he is, the things he brings to the game is a huge, huge impact on our team and what he brings to the table. I never take anything he does for granted because of the way he lays it out on the line.”

As Horne points out, Oklahoma City’s defensive rating was fifth in the NBA at 103.1 with a healthy Roberson and dropped all the way to 15th (107) in 33 games without him.

Check out more notes on the Thunder below:

  • In a separate story, Horne writes about veteran Corey Brewer, who came over to the Thunder from the Lakers and contributed on both ends of the floor. The Thunder will have other things to take care of this offseason, namely Paul George‘s free agency, but Brewer’s short stint at the least warranted a second look. “It was good for me to have a chance to play, to get to show everybody I can still play, just coming in here to try to help the team as best I could,” Brewer said
  • While improving his game is a priority, Alex Abrines most important goal this offseason is marrying his fiance, Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman details. Then, his focus will turn to improving his defense and maintaining his offense, which was strong but did slip numbers wise. “I think I can do a better job with that,” Abrines said. “I think it’s just because I couldn’t find my rhythm during the regular season. I had some really good games scoring five threes, and then I’d have stretches not scoring a three in five, six games. So I think I’ve got to work on that and just be more conscious.”
  • Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman also writes about Terrance Ferguson, the Thunder’s 20-year-old guard who had an up-and-down rookie season. He appeared in 61 games while averaging 3.1 PPG and he hopes to improve on that as a sophomore. “I just want to come back a totally different player,” Ferguson said.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/28/17

Here are the noteworthy G-League transactions around the NBA today:

  • The Hornets assigned rookie Dwayne Bacon to the organization’s G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, the team announced in a press release. In 28 games for Charlotte, Bacon has averaged 3.6 PPG and 3.1 RPG. He was acquired along with cash considerations from the Pelicans for draft rights to Frank Jackson during the 2017 NBA Draft.
  • The Thunder assigned guard Terrance Ferguson to the organization’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, the team announced in a press release. OKC’s first-round pick from this year’s NBA Draft has appeared in 21 games this season and averaged 1.3 PPG in 6.7 minutes per game.
  • The Suns have assigned Davon Reed to the organization’s G League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns, the team announced in a press release. Danuel House was also assigned to the G League affiliate, tweets Scott Bordow of Arizona Republic. Reed was the 32nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and is nearing an on-court return after undergoing a meniscus repair in his left knee in August. House has appeared in seven games for Phoenix and averaged 4.4 PPG.
  • The Grizzlies assigned forward Ivan Rabb to their affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, the team announced in a press release. The early second-round pick has appeared in 15 games for the Hustle, averaging 15.8 PPG and 9.9 RPG.

Northwest Notes: Carmelo, Ferguson, Fredette

Bill Simmons of The Ringer noted on Monday that the Thunder are “circling” Carmelo Anthony as the Knicks look for a suitable trade. Anthony’s camp has made it clear he does not want to remain in New York. His preferred destination being the Rockets, which would partner Anthony with Chris Paul and James Harden. However, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman examines the likelihood and outcome of Melo possibly ending up in Oklahoma City.

Since Anthony wields the power of a no-trade clause, it’s ultimately up to him whether or not a trade occurs. The Thunder have already acquired Paul George, teaming the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player with one of the league’s best players. One thing that could help facilitate a move is Anthony’s relationship Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver — who recruited Melo to Syracuse.

Even if Anthony warms up to the idea, a lot hinges on all sides finding the right trade. Also, due to their respective contractual situations, Anthony, George, and Westbrook could all hit free agency after next season, which could put the Thunder in the bad situation. However, if the three players can be teamed together and enjoy success, it could change a lot of things; Melo’s former coach at Syracuse, Jim Boeheim, remains an Anthony supporter.

“It’s a myth that he can’t play with good players,” Boeheim said to Horne. “And Russell will get along with anybody that will help him win.”

Below are additional notes surrounding the Northwest Division:

  • Terrance Ferguson is the final first round pick not to have signed a contract. The Thunder selected Ferguson with the 21st overall pick but Horne notes that one potential holdup could be his contract with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia, Ferguson’s previous team. Horne also delves into the salary cap ramifications of Ferguson signing his deal later than expected.
  • Jimmer Fredette has signed a two-year deal to return to China as he resumes his professional career. Before he made the decision, however, the Timberwolves considered signing the former 10th overall pick, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.
  • The Trail Blazers have moved their deadline to guarantee Pat Connaughton‘s 2017/18 contract from July 25 to August 31, per Joe Freeman of The Oregonian (via Twitter).

Northwest Notes: Westbrook, Crawford, Singler, OKC

Russell Westbrook can sign a supermax Designated Veteran Player Exception deal with the Thunder worth over $235MM over six years, which would make him the highest paid player in NBA history. However, money is not the determining factor over Westbrook’s future, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes.

For starters, uncertainty surrounding the Thunder’s roster in future seasons makes Westbrook signing a longterm contract uncertain — despite the Thunder being optimistic it will get done. As Horne explains, Westbrook does not have the option to sign another shorter-term pact like he did last year, signing a three-year, $85.7MM extension. As Horne mentions, under the new collective bargaining agreement, Westbrook cannot extend his current deal unless it’s a five-year max: meaning it’s max or nothing.

The reigning Most Valuable Player has set himself up to be paid handsomely — whether it is this offseason or next, when he can hit free agency and pursue other options. Westbrook will earn $28.5MM in 2017/18 but that could prove to be chump change if and when he signs a longterm max deal.

Below are additional notes surrounding the Northwest Division:

  • In separate piece for The Oklahoman, Horne suggests that Kyle Singler may be an optimal candidate for the stretch provision. The 29-year-old has averaged less than four points per game in Oklahoma City in two seasons and is owed $9.66MM over the next two seasons. To save cap space, the stretch provision could stretch out Singler’s salary over seven seasons and open up a roster spot for the Thunder, Horne notes.
  • Once again for the Oklahoman, Horne answers four key questions surrounding the Thunder. Among the burning questions include when 2017 draft pick Terrance Ferguson will sign, if and when the Thunder hires a new assistant coach, if any additional moves will be made, and Westbrook’s aforementioned contract dilemma.
  • Newest member of the Timberwolves, Jamal Crawford, pursued a deal with an up-and-coming contender rather than a perennial championship contender. The 37-year-old briefly spoke to the Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda about his decision to sign with Minnesota, stating that it “made sense on every level.”
  • Michael Rand of the Star Tribune looks at five potential free agent signings for Minnesota. On the list are three players who have connections to head coach Tom Thibodeau (C.J. Watson, Mike Dunleavy, and Tony Allen) and two productive veterans (Anthony Morrow and Andrew Bogut).
  • Justin Zanik and David Morway are joining the Jazz as high-ranking front office executives, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Ryan McDonald of Deseret News breaks down the move and provides information on both men and their ties to Utah.

East Notes: Hornets, Fultz, Jones, Celtics

The Hornets will audition a pair of potential lottery picks on Monday, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports, bringing Donovan Mitchell and Terrence Ferguson in for workouts with a batch of four other players.

Mitchell, a Louisville product pegged at No. 16 in NBADraft.net‘s latest mock draft, is a particularly intriguing combo guard with a 6’10” wingspan. Ferguson, a more traditional swingman, played professionally in Australia last season in lieu of a stint in the NCAA.

Joining Mitchell and Ferguson will be Bryce Alford, Cameron Oliver, Devin Robinson and Tai Webster. The Hornets pick 11th in this month’s draft.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference this evening:

  • Don’t expect the Celtics to hold Markelle Fultz‘s lack of team success at Washington against him ahead of the 2017 NBA Draft, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald writes. “We had determined who they were long before they got to their college situations,” general manager Danny Ainge said of Fultz [and also Jaylen Brown].
  • Having nearly equaled his annual income in technical foul fines this postseason, Dahntay Jones is the unlikely benefactor of some generosity from fans. Per Alysha Tsuji of USA Today, a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help the Cavaliers veteran cover his costly habit.
  • The Celtics just aren’t a good fit for Lonzo Ball, LaVar Ball tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England. The eldest Ball envisions his son stepping up as a leader for the Lakers while the Celtics are already more established.