Thunder Lightning Round
By Randy Renner
Several things to get to today so I thought I'd wrap them up in one post so let's get to it with a Thunder Lightning Round.
Schedule Coming Soon
Finally it looks like the NBA is about to release the 2014-15 regular season schedule, in fact some reports indicate it will be out either Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
Usually the NBA releases the upcoming season schedule in late July or the first couple of days of August. This time around it's taken longer than most because the NBA is working through an extended All-Star Break, a full week for teams, and because of some of the free agent movement over the summer.
Well, mostly just one free agent, LeBron James move back home to Cleveland has made the Cavs must see TV again. Rumors circulating around the internet have the Cavs on national TV on Opening Night against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs and hosting a Christmas Day game against the Miami Heat.
Rumors about the Thunder schedule and a possible opening night or Christmas game aren't out there right now but you'd have to guess OKC will be featured prominently during Opening Week and Christmas and that the Thunder will again have around 25 nationally televised games.
Hopefully we won't have to guess much longer.
Pleiss Signs New Deal
It's been four years now since the Thunder acquired young center Tibor Pleiss and fans began wondering if he would be the Thunder's center of the future.
Many figured the future would be now, by now, but Pleiss is still in Europe in fact he's just singed a new two year contract with a team in Barcelona, Spain.
Pleiss is 24 now and is 7-1, 270. Last season he averaged 12 points and 5.4 rebounds for a different Spanish team.
It's still believed the Thunder will bring Pleiss over to the NBA but exactly when continues to be the big question.
The continued development of Pleiss and now the development of both Thunder big men Steven Adams and Mitch McGary will figure into that decision and timetable.
Raptors Fined For Tampering With KD
This seems like a bit of a reach but ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting the NBA will fine the Toronto Raptors $25,000 for tampering because of remarks by a music star.
Yeah, during a concert in Toronto Drake made a pitch to Kevin Durant, who was in the audience, about choosing to play for the Raptors once he becomes a free agent.
Drake urged fans at the concert to show Durant what his reception would be like as a member of the Raptors and of course the crowd roared their raucous approval.
Normally that sort of thing wouldn't be much of a blip on the NBA's radar but the Raptors made the music star, who is a huge fan of the team and sits courtside at Raptors home games, their Global Ambassador and the team allowed him to make appearances representing them.
And that's the rub.
Even though he's not paid by the Raptors organization the fact that they gave him a title means NBA bylaws don't allow him to campaign for free agents.
Just another example of what the next couple of years are going to be like.