By Randy Renner
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks isn't ready to say yet who will start, or even play, in Wednesday night's preseason opener in Denver but he is saying who won't be out on the court.
Both forwards Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison will sit out because of their sprained ankles. Kendrick Perkins won't play either as he continues to rehab his strained quad.
Brooks said he and his players are ready for the first test of the preseason.
"Absolutely, we had another good day of practice, maybe one of our better ones. The energy was high and the guys were competing. But, we're ready to play against an opponent and we're looking forward to it."
Brooks will hold a team meeting tonight in Denver and will make final decisions on who will be in the starting lineup. With Perkins out it's safe to say Steven Adams gets the nod at center but who knows about shooting guard.
At this point Brooks is just looking forward to using some different combinations and getting guys who haven't seen a lot of court time some big minutes.
"The game will have a lot of good opportunities for guys to play, that maybe haven't played a lot in the past."
Don't expect to see heavy minutes from Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook so it will likely be a much different Thunder lineup than folks are used to.
One player who probably will see significant court time is rookie forward Mitch McGary. He might even start for Ibaka, but that nod will likely go to Perry Jones, McGary though is ready for whatever happens.
"This team is something special, I think Kevin really likes what he's seeing so far and it's just great to be out on the floor."
The Thunder will fly to Dallas after Wednesday night's game to prepare for Friday's contest against the Mavericks.
Durant Agrees With LeBron On New TV Deal
The NBA’s current MVP is on board with league’s former MVP, Cleveland’s LeBron James, when it comes to the huge new TV deal announced by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Monday.
After the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice on Tuesday he said of the new $24 billion agreement, “That’s a lot of money, a lot of money. I don’t see how the owners can say they’re losing money now.”
Durant admits he wasn’t watching when Silver made announcement the league’s new mega-billion dollar deal with its TV partners on Monday morning. He was preparing for practice with the Thunder and “I was so locked in on my Redskins game I didn’t have a chance to look at anything else.”
Durant, native of Maryland, is a huge fan of both the Washington Redskins and Nationals and each team had a big game on Monday.
But after seeing some of the details of the new contracts Durant agreed with James who said things would be different when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated. “It should be. Last year the fans didn’t really get to know what was going on with the revenue and stuff like that, but now that this (new deal) is out there, it feels like we have a little bit of leverage I guess as players.”
Durant and his Thunder teammates will play their preseason opener Wednesday night in Denver. He believes the new deal, which takes effect in the 2016-17 season “shows how much our game is growing. The league is in a great place and we’ve gotta try to keep it there.”
Durant of course will be a free agent in the summer of 2016 and as far as the new agreement’s possible impact on his own negotiations he wasn’t sure, “I don’t know, I don’t know,” he told reporters.