Oklahoma City Thunder Player News: All Positions

News: The Thunder are having difficulty finding a trade partner for Paul, and the point guard may be preparing to begin the season in Oklahoma City, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: After the Thunder traded for Paul earlier in July, the prevailing belief was that he'd be moved to a more favorable destination. But Wojnarowski reports that OKC has been unable to put together a favorable deal. Part of the reason for that is the inability for a number of newly signed players around the league to be traded, in addition to the relative lack of cap space around the league in the wake of free agency. Given the circumstances, the 34-year-old Paul may have no choice but to play out the season in Oklahoma City, which could still be a playoff contender with Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as intriguing complementary pieces.
News: Bazley supplied 11 points (4-10 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 0-2 FT), six rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot across 27 minutes during Friday's 69-68 win over Croatia in the consolation bracket of the Las Vegas Summer League.
Impact: The 2019 first-round pick is showing some growing pains in Summer League play. At only 19, Bazley has already had an adventurous career where he decided to forego a college stint at Syracuse as well as a G-LEague offer. There's no doubt that the youngster has the goods to play at the next level, but he needs a lot of seasoning.and won't be ready to step in as a reasonable alternative for Paul George anytime soon.
News: Dort managed 12 points (4-6 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and one rebound across 15 minutes during the Thunder's 92-87 win over the Trail Blazers in a Las Vegas Summer League game Thursday.
Impact: Dort has seemingly taken to summer league play with a chip on his shoulder after going undrafted this past June. The Arizona State product is now averaging 9.3 points (on 50.0 percent shooting) and 1.8 rebounds across just 16.8 minutes during four games in Las Vegas, with his efficiency particularly standing out.
News: Diallo netted 14 points (5-10 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 4-6 FT), seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block across 26 minutes in the Thunder's 92-87 win over the Trail Blazers in a Las Vegas Summer League game Thursday.
Impact: Diallo drew even with Deonte Burton for second on the team in scoring during what was yet another strong summer league performance. Diallo is now averaging 14.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 assists across four games in the desert, with his scoring average putting him behind only Kevin Hervey on the Thunder during play in Las Vegas.
News: The Thunder acquired Paul on Thursday along with protected 2024 and 2026 first-round picks and first-round pick swaps in 2021 and 2025 from the Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: Though Houston general manager Daryl Morey previously dismissed rumors earlier in the summer suggesting Paul demanded a trade amid discord with backcourt mate James Harden, the Rockets ultimately decided to ship the nine-time All-Star elsewhere in order to bring aboard Harden's former teammate in Oklahoma City. While Paul would project to see a sizable bump in usage if he sticks with the Thunder, Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti is reportedly conferring with the point guard's agent, Leon Rose, to reroute Paul elsewhere, according to Wojnarowski. Since the 34-year-old is due $124 million over the next three seasons, the Thunder may not be able to procure a sizable return in any trade unless the team is willing to eat a decent portion of the money Paul is owed. With averages of 15.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 three-pointers and 2.0 steals in 32.0 minutes per game in 2018-19, Paul still remains productive at this stage of his career, though injuries have limited him to fewer than 65 games in each of the past three seasons.
News: Bazley was held scoreless (0-2 FG) over 17 minutes in the Thunder's 84-81 overtime win over the 76ers in a Las Vegas Summer League game Monday. He also recorded three assists, two rebounds, one steal and one block.
Impact: The 2019 first-round pick had been unavailable for the Thunder's first summer league contest due to the league still processing the draft night trade that conveyed his rights to OKC. Bazley's debut thus came Monday, but as his final line implies, the rookie struggled to make an impact while coming off the bench. Bazley is likely to see his minutes bump up significantly in coming Vegas games as the Thunder looks to have him gain some much-needed seasoning ahead of training camp.
News: Diallo delivered 14 points (6-12 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 1-4 FT), four rebounds, one assist, three steals and one block across 27 minutes during the Thunder's 84-81 overtime win over the 76ers in Las Vegas Summer League play Monday.
Impact: Diallo is potentially in line for an expanded role this coming season, and he's certainly making a solid case for it with his first pair of summer league performances. The 2018 second-round pick is now averaging 17.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block over the Thunder's first two Las Vegas contests, and he encouragingly shot 50.0 percent Monday after having drained just 36.0 percent of his attempts in OKC's summer league opener.
News: Dort totaled 15 points (6-12 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT) and three rebounds across 18 minutes during the Thunder's 84-81 overtime win over the 76ers in a Las Vegas Summer League game Monday.
Impact: The undrafted rookie took a big step up from a modest effort in the Thunder's summer league opener, pacing the OKC bench in scoring in the process. Dort remains a relative long shot to garner a spot on the final roster, but the 20-year-old guard could potentially secure a training camp invite with an impressive enough string of performances in Las Vegas.
News: Following the Thunder's trade of Jerami Grant on Monday, Gallinari is expected to open the season as the team's starting power forward, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: Gallinari was part of the blockbuster trade that sent Paul George to the Clippers this weekend, and now, with the Thunder making a trade that saved them nearly $40 million in tax penalties, the team intends to use versatile Italian forward in the starting lineup. How long Gallinari will remain with the Thunder, however, is still up in the air, especially as rumors of a potential Russell Westbrook trade surface. However, for as long as Westbrook is on the team and Oklahoma City remains competitive, Gallinari will undoubtedly be the Thunder's No. 2 scoring option after a career-best season in 2018-19.
News: Evans totaled seven points (3-4 FG, 1-1 FT), four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks in 26 minutes during Saturday's 78-66 loss to the Jazz.
Impact: Evans pitched in across every category while providing an efficient offensive performance. He'll look to keep producing here in the summer league with hopes of earning a training camp invite.
News: Diallo (elbow) finished with 20 points (8-22 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 3-6 FT), five rebounds, one steal, and one block in 31 minutes during Saturday's 78-66 loss to the Jazz.
Impact: Diallo saw his first game action since undergoing elbow surgery back in mid-May, and he was aggressive offensively in the team's summer league opener. He'll look to continue honing his craft and could find himself earning a regular role next season if the front office remains active on the trade market.
News: Westbrook (finger/knee) and his agent are engaged with Thunder general manager Sam Presti on "next steps," including the possibility of trading Westbrook, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: With the Thunder dealing Paul George to the Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and a haul of draft picks, the possibility of OKC entering a rebuild is on the table. Considering Westbrook is turning 31 years old next season and likely has little interest in participating in a tear-down, the two sides may work together to find a new home. A barrier to moving Westbrook is his enormous contract, which includes a $46.7 million player option in 2022-23.
News: The Clippers agreed Saturday to acquire George from the Thunder in exchange for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Galllinari, four unprotected future first-round picks, one protected future first-round pick and two pick swaps, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: According to Wojnarowski, free agent Kawhi Leonard and George desired to play together in 2019-20, prompting George's agent, Aaron Mintz, to submit a trade request to Thunder general manager Sam Presti in recent days. With Leonard informing the Clippers that he would sign a four-year deal with the team if it could acquire George, the front office was able to bring the two superstars together by surrendering several assets to Oklahoma City. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, George could miss the first weeks of the regular season while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, but when healthy, he and Leonard make the Clippers a viable title contender. George shouldn't see much of a dip in his production after averaging a career-high 28.0 points to go with 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 3.8 three-pointers and 2.2 steals in 36.9 minutes per game in 2018-19.
News: Noel and the Thunder came to terms on a contract agreement Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: Noel backed out of the two sides' initial agreement Sunday night, but after sleeping on the decision he's ultimately decided to head back to Oklahoma City. The former top-10 pick was unable to emerge from a limited, reserve role last season, but he was once again among the league leaders in blocks and steals per minute.
News: Burks and the Thunder have agreed to a contract, Royce Young of ESPN reports.
Impact: The details have not yet been released, but Burks will likely arrive in Oklahoma City on a cheap deal after splitting last season between Utah, Cleveland and Sacramento. The journeyman struggled to find consistent minutes with the Kings and Jazz but averaged 11.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 34 games (24 starts) for the Cavs. Burks will add depth and three-point shooting in the backcourt behind Terrance Ferguson, Andre Roberson (knee) and Dennis Schroder.
News: Muscala and the Thunder came to terms Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: Muscala spent time with the Lakers and 76ers a season ago, averaging seven points along with 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists over 64 contests. He appears to be headed for a bench role with the Thunder and figures to compete with Patrick Patterson and Jerami Grant for playing time.
News: Noel and the Thunder agreed to a contract Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: Noel didn't offer up much scoring production for Oklahoma City last season (4.9 points per game), though he was a key cog on the defensive end of the court, averaging 1.2 blocks over 77 contests. He'll slot in as the top backup at center to Steven Adams but likely won't be in store for an appreciable uptick in playing time.
News: George announced that both of his shoulders are healthy, via his personal Twitter account.
Impact: While it's still possible George misses some preseason action, this news seems to indicate that his recovery has gone well. Some more time may pass before we get an official team confirmation regarding his availability for training camp, however.
News: Noel declined his $1.9 million player option for the 2019-20 season, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Impact: While Noel averaged only 13.7 minutes off the bench for the Thunder last season, he once again ranked among the top big men in the league in per-minute blocks and steals. There's a chance he could return to the Thunder on a new contract, but Noel is expected to have a number of suitors in free agency, so he'll likely be able to do better than the $1.9 million his option would have paid him.
News: George (shoulder) could be sidelined for the start of the Thunder's preseason schedule while recovering from the right rotator cuff and left labrum surgeries he required in May, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman reports.
Impact: General manager Sam Presti said Friday that George is "doing well" in his recovery, but the Thunder won't have a better feel for his status until training camp commences in September. Even if George is withheld from action early in the preseason, the Thunder don't appear to be fearing his availability for the start of the 2019-20 campaign. So long as George is good to go for the season opener, he should remain a viable building block in fantasy drafts.
News: Dort signed a two-way contract with the Thunder on Friday, Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Dort going undrafted was one of the surprises Thursday night after he had a stellar freshman season at Arizona State. While Dort's shooting numbers weren't great, hitting just 30.7 percent of his threes and 40.5 percent of his shots from the floor overall, he has supreme athleticism and slashing ability, which fits the mold of the type of players the Thunder have acquired during the draft in recent years.
News: Bazley was selected by the Thunder with the 23rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Impact: Bazley's journey to the NBA was an unconventional one. He originally committed to play at Syracuse as a five-star recruit out of high school before electing to bypass college and play in the G League. He then elected to bypass the G League and interned at New Balance to go along with his endorsement deal. Even though he spent a year away from competitive basketball, Bazley physical tools are enough for him to remain an intriguing prospect. At 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot wingspan, Bazley boasts the frame of a prototypical versatile forward in today's NBA, but he has a long way to go as a fairly raw prospect. Given the number of versatile athletes Oklahoma City already has on its roster, it may be a year or two before Bazley becomes a reliable contributor at the next level.
News: George underwent surgery Tuesday on his left shoulder to repair a tear in his labrum, Royce Young of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: In early May, George underwent surgery on his right shoulder to address a partially torn rotator cuff. This most recent surgery on his other shoulder won't affect his overall timetable, however. George will be reassessed around the start of training camp with the hopes of being cleared for preseason action.
News: Westbrook underwent a procedure Tuesday to address a torn ligament in a finger on his left hand, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. He also had a minor, "proactive maintenance" procedure on his right knee.
Impact: While the Thunder also announced Tuesday that Paul George will face a lengthy recovery after shoulder surgery, the outlook is more encouraging for Westbrook, who is still planning a summer of "aggressive preparation," despite the pair of relatively minor surgeries. Westbrook was dealing with the finger injury to his non-shooting hand for the final six weeks of the season, and while he underwent treatment and taped the finger, the ligament issue was never publicly revealed. AS for the knee procedure, it looks to be simply a precautionary measure, and Westbrook's availability for training camp in the fall is not in any jeopardy.
News: George underwent a procedure to repair a partially torn tendon in his right rotator cuff Tuesday and is expected to remain sidelined through at least the start of training camp, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
Impact: George and the Thunder played it coy with details over the second half of the season, but he was clearly impacted after initially suffering the injury against the Nuggets on Feb. 26. At that point, George was enjoying the best statistical season of his career and had forced his way into the MVP debate, but his numbers -- and the Thunder's record -- tailed off over the final month-and-a-half of the regular season, as George shot just 39.7 percent from the field -- including 34 percent from three -- over the final 23 games. George also battled a smaller tear in his left labrum, and he's expected to undergo another procedure to address that issue in the near future. The All-Star will face a multi-month recovery period, but the hope is he'll be cleared for full contact at some point during training camp or preseason in the fall.
News: Roberson (kneecap) noted that he's on track to return for next season's training camp, Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman reports.
Impact: Roberson missed all of this season due to surgery on his left kneecap, plus multiple setbacks. It's tough to gauge what his role will be next season, as it's possible OKC attempts to shake things up following another first-round playoff exit. Either way, it seems unlikely he'll be fantasy relevant, as he's solely a low-usage defensive talent.
News: Schroder compiled 17 points (7-10 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 1-2 FT), three assists and two rebounds across 33 minutes during the Thunder's 118-15 loss to the Trail Blazers in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series Tuesday.
Impact: Schroder was productive off the bench once again, a trend that persisted throughout the series. The 25-year-old rattled off three consecutive 17-point efforts in Games 3-5, and he also hit double digits with 11 points back in Game 1. Schroder enjoyed a solid first season in OKC, averaging 15.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds across 29.3 minutes in 79 games (14 starts). Under contract for the next two seasons, he'll look to fill a high-usage second-unit backcourt role once again in the 2019-20 campaign.
News: Grant registered 16 points (7-8 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 0-1 FT), eight rebounds, one assist and three blocks across 44 minutes during the Thunder's 118-115 loss to the Trail Blazers in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series Tuesday.
Impact: Grant played the second-most minutes on the Thunder behind Russell Westbrook and parlayed them into another strong performance. The fifth-year big generated three straight double-digit scoring efforts to close out the series and averaged a solid 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds overall across the five games. Those figures came in the wake of a regular season in which he posted career bests in multiple categories, and he'll look to build on those numbers during the 2019-20 campaign.
News: George furnished 36 points (14-20 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 5-8 FT), nine rebounds and three assists across 42 minutes during the Thunder's 118-115 loss to the Trail Blazers in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series Tuesday.
Impact: George's scoring total paced the Thunder in their series-ending loss, capping off a sensational string of games for the All-Star forward. It clearly seemed George was struggling with his troublesome shoulder to some degree throughout the series, but he still managed to average 28.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals across 40.8 minutes over the five games. George also put together an MVP-caliber season with career bests across the stat sheet, and he'll strive to top himself against next season as the Thunder look to rebound from a third straight first-round playoff exit.
News: Westbrook delivered 29 points (11-31 FG, 4-11 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 14 assists, 11 rebounds, four steals and two blocks across 45 minutes during the Thunder's 118-115 loss to the Trail Blazers in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series Tuesday.
Impact: Westbrook's spectacular exploits weren't enough in the series-ending loss, as the Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard broke the Thunder's heart with a buzzer-beating three-pointer to send OKC home. Westbrook did manage to bounce back to an extent from an atrocious shooting night in Game 4, one in which he'd drained just five of 21 shots. The triple-double was the second of the series for the perennial All-Star, and it marked the 10th time in the postseason that he's accomplished the feat. With another first-round playoff exit, Westbrook and the Thunder will look to regroup this offseason.
News: George tallied 32 points (8-21 FG, 4-10 3Pt, 12-14 FT), 10 rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block in 37 minutes Sunday in the Thunder's 111-98 loss to the Trail Blazers in Game 4 of the series.
Impact: George's counting stats were nice, but the Thunder needed a more efficient outing from the wing with Russell Westbrook enduring a miserable 5-for-21 night from the field and none of the team's supporting players rising to the occasion. Though he remains a two-way force, George hasn't been as effective as a scorer since returning from a three-game absence due to a shoulder injury in early March. In his 22 outings since, George has knocked down 39.8 percent of his attempts from the field and 34.1 percent of his attempts from distance.
News: Westbrook finished with 14 points (5-21 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 2-4 FT), nine rebounds and seven assists in 40 minutes Sunday in the Thunder's 111-98 loss to the Trail Blazers in Game 4.
Impact: Westbrook endured his second brutal shooting game of the series, with the Thunder suffering double-digit losses in both of those contests. The Thunder were regularly able to overcome Westbrook's wayward shooting during the regular season, but his inefficiency has loomed larger through the first four games of the playoffs with co-star Paul George converting at only a 36.3 percent clip from the field so far this series. Westbrook, George and the Thunder will need to steal a win on the road in Game 5 on Tuesday to keep their playoff hopes alive.