Thunderous Thoughts is a weekly look at the state of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The main story ranges from absurd to maybe serious. The real thoughts are below.
I really didn’t want to write about Kevin Durant or the Golden State Warriors latest destruction of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
So, I’m not going to.
Writers Note: Everything written below was submitted prior to Rudy Gay getting hurt. The injury looked serious, and early reports say that it’s a torn Achilles. If that’s the case, there’s 0% chance he gets traded and 100% chance this entire column is relatively pointless.
Editor’s note: I beg to differ that this column was pointless. Rather, it points to the poignancy of it’s timing, Jeremy’s instincts and astute observations.
Every day, my friend, Sami Kader, texts me that Oklahoma City Thunder should get Rudy Gay. Every day might be an exaggeration, but he’s constantly bringing up Oklahoma City Thunder needing Rudy Gay.
Here’s the thing about my friend, he armchair GMs the team, like he’s playing franchise mode in NBA 2K. If you play franchise mode in NBA 2K, you know what I’m talking about. You don’t think about the future when you’re trying to improve your team. You’re signing Greg Oden because he’s still rated like 78 overall and you can easily trade him for someone you actually want. You’re trading those 2019 draft picks because you’re not making it to 2019 in your game, so who the hell cares about the 2019 NBA draft? You’re not worried about fit or need; you just want the best offensive players because you can play defense with anyone.
I armchair GM a bit differently. I’m more like Sam Presti. I’m always looking at age, potential, and contracts. I’m always looking towards the future because the past has sucked and the present isn’t all that good either.
With Rudy Gay, Oklahoma City Thunder maybe advances past the first round of the playoffs, but still loses in the second round. Then, in the offseason, you’re either paying Gay $20 million after he declines his player option and immediately trading Enes Kanter, or you’re watching someone else pay Gay $20 million and losing him for nothing.
Despite constantly dealing in mystery, Sam Presti doesn’t like dealing in mystery. He’s either shopping for a veteran on a cheap contract, or he’s plucking a young guy with high potential on a rookie contract. Gay doesn’t check those requirements.
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Presti’s Future Focus:
That’s why I have a hard time believing the “Gay to OKC” rumors. Those rumors don’t fit Presti’s M.O. (modus operandi). He’s not looking at this season. He knows that this season was decided in July. He’s looking at next season, and the season after that. He doesn’t get to trade future draft picks at no risk. He doesn’t get to save his progress, try a trade out, and then quit if he’s unhappy with the trade after a game or two.
If Presti can convince Sacramento to take Anthony Morrow, Kyle Singler, and Semaj Christon for Gay, then sure, he’s pulling that trigger. But he’s not trading a talented point guard with high potential for potentially half a season of a guy who may not get you any further than where you would have gone in the first place.
In fairness to my friend, I believe he’s seen the light once I broke it down for him. The “they have to trade Kanter” line really broke him because only Steven Adams loves Kanter, more than my friend. And hey, we’ve all made stupid trade suggestions out of frustration before. I knew a guy who wanted to trade Russell Westbrook for Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried a few years ago.
*Cam Payne certainly doesn’t seem 100% quite yet, which is unfortunate. He’s still a better option than Semaj Christon, but he needs his shot to start falling if he wants to stay on the court for longer stretches of time.
*It was so nice when Westbrook wasn’t turning the ball over ten times a game. Bring back thatRussell Westbrook.