Show Recap: July 12, 2019 (Ramona Shelburne hosts)

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Panels:

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Starting from the left: Ramona Shelburne, Dave McMenamin and Nick Friedell

First Half only:

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ESPN NBA Writer and OKC resident, Royce Young

Second Half Only:

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First Half

Monologue: The greatest dynasty never?

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The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to Houston for Chris Paul and future first round picks in 2024 and 2026 and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025
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This of course comes on the heels of the Thunder’s trade of MVP finalist, Paul George to the Clippers last week. This places the Thunder into a long rebuilding stage after a decade of winning nearly two-thirds of their games in Oklahoma City
The Thunder drafted three future MVPs in three consecutive years and got one Finals appearance out of it
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But it’s actually a place the Thunder have been before. It started in 2007 with Sam Presti trading away Ray Allen. He then drafted Durant, Westbrook and Harden in consecutive years and that obviously worked out. Although Harden and Durant eventually needed to go elsewhere in order to blossom
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At first glance, it might seem like an odd pairing. Harden thrives with shooters around him, Westbrook is a below average shooter coming off the worst shooting year of his career. But according to sources, Rockets GM, Daryl Morey believes that Westbrook’s shooting will improve because he’s never been around as many guys who can shoot and space the floor for him. But mostly, Morey believes that his pairing will work because it’s what Westbrook wanted
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Throughout the trade negotiations, Thunder GM, Sam Presti worked with Westbrook’s agent Thad Foucher to trade him to a team that he preferred. The Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat also had significant interest and in some ways, more compelling packages. But in the end, Russ preferred Houston

How are Thunder fans handling Westbrook trade news?
Click here to read about Royce Young’s piece on the end of an era in OKC

Young:

Surprised Thunder let Russ pick trade destination?

Young:

Thunder plan for CP3?

“They’ve got to get him outta there. It shows where he’s at in his career and his feeling around the league: this is not the Chris Paul that we all grew up with and the guy that everybody loved for so long. This is a completely different player with an awful contract” – Friedell

“This is not exactly the situation he wants to be in at this stage of his career” – Shelburne

“He is in a stage of his career where he went to Houston trying to get that ring. Thunder are so far away from a ring right now. They will do right by him” – McMenamin

“He can be traded before [12/15] because they didn’t take back any assets in this trade” – Shelburne

Can this version of Westbrook & Harden coexist?

“No. The talent is there. I don’t know about the fit. This is a Rockets team who loves to go up and down and loves to take threes. Russ is really struggling from that point of view. I don’t believe that Houston is that much better to a point where you feel like maybe they can win a title next season” – Friedell


Replay
July 12, 2010 – J.R. Smith doing a little dance with the ball and finishing with the scoop layup in summer league!

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Make or Miss League (Zion Williamson)

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Was D-Wade’s jersey swap a curse?

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“It just speaks to how crazy this summer has been for the league” – McMenamin

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Should Tacko adopt the granny shot?

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“He can do whatever the heck he wants because he’s the man and the star of summer league” – Friedell

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What’s Grayson Allen’s deal?
Got ejected in a SL game

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Excited for Carsen Edwards’ career?
Statline vs Grizzlies on Thursday: 15 points on 3-6 from three, 4-9 FG

Moving on…

Should Thunder keep CP3?

“You want to move on from him because you owe it to him in his standing of the game to go get a chance to compete and not be part of a rebuild” – McMenamin

“Move him out real quick. I’ll take Russ any day over Chris Paul. He put himself in this situation with his [max] deal. He is not close to the level of deal he’s at for the next few years and that’s the reality of where his game is in the moment” – Friedell

Trust Sam Presti with Thunder rebuild?

“Presti was very strategic in getting the picks in 2024 and 2026, which is a long time from now. Those actually might be valuable then” – Shelburne

“How many titles did they end up with? That’s the problem. You got a lot of picks, great. What happens next? The only way all their picks turn into a success is if Sam Presti can do what he is done before and taking all these assets and finding a star or finding a couple stars down the line” – Friedell

McMenamin:

Legacy of KD-Westbrook-Harden era in OKC?

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Shelburne and Friedell:

McMenamin and Friedell:


Second Half

Rob Pelinka: “For us, anything short of a championship is not success” | Title or bust for Lakers?

“To me, this is putting the cart in front of the horse. It’s setting up expectations for failure. I don’t understand the strategy behind [Rob’s quote] this” – McMenamin

“At least they’re back to a point where you can reasonably have a conversation where somebody brings up the Lakers in the Finals and you’re not laughing them off the street which is where we were at the end of last year” – Yates

“As far as PR strategy goes: No. The Lakers better win right now and win it all. The pieces are in place for them to make the run in the moment. If I’m a Lakers fan, this is what I want to hear” – Friedell

“I actually kind of like it. You traded for Anthony Davis and gave away your entire future. Don’t pretend that you didn’t go all in. You gave LeBron what he wanted” – Shelburne

Rob Pelinka on LeBron & AD: “Their input has been incredibly valuable”

“It’s the smart thing to do. He could also be a little bit more forthright” – McMenamin

“They got to figure out this chain of command at least from an outward facing standpoint because that’s the whole concern people have with the Lakers is that nobody knows who’s calling any shots” – Yates

“Pelinka is basically saying [from the quote] that he consulted with LeBron” – Shelburne

“He speaks like an agent [based on the quote]” – Friedell


Did CP3 & Harden’s relationship factor into trade?

Yates:

“Of course it’s a factor. Maybe the fit isn’t there, game-wise but if it’s more of a fit personality-wise, it poisons that locker room” – McMenamin

“Chris Paul is not good enough to warrant putting down any kind of layers to making him happy. There was a bad relationship. If you’re the Rockets, you can’t mess with James Harden. He is the franchise” – Friedell

McMenamin and Shelburne:

Has Houston done enough to contend?

“I think they are simply because the way the rest of the West has developed” – Yates

“If it does work out, there’s talent there, there’s playoff experience there, I believe in Mike D’Antoni as a coach even though some don’t. If a couple things break their way, you could be in the Western Conference Finals” – McMenamin

“The Rockets feel a lot to me this year like the Lakers. They better win right now because Westbrook’s contract is so awful moving forward. This is the time” – Friedell


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Let’s…

Run it Back

Westbrook's top thunder plays.JPG

2016: Shammgods the Suns35jmcl.gif

2014: Bam on Bazemore35jmgt.gif

2017: Buzzer beater vs Nuggets (MVP season)35jmlj.gif

2012: Catches the lob from KD35jmpm.gif

2015: Coast-to-coast on the Sixers35jmu9.gif

Best duo in the league right now?

McMenamin: LeBron James/Anthony Davis

Friedell: Kawhi Leonard/Paul George

Shelburne: James Harden/Russell Westbrook

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