Durant: "I Trust Sam 100 Percent"
By Randy Renner
The NBA’s trade deadline is just a few hours away now coming up at 2 o’clock this afternoon Oklahoma time.
And so far there’s not much chatter around the league involving OKC, especially when it comes to any major deals.
D.J. Augustin’s name came up this week in a Detroit News story about possibly coming back to the Pistons to backup Reggie Jackson after Detroit shipped previous backup point guard Brandon Jennings out.
That talk has quieted and the chatter among fans of a possible Serge Ibaka and Dion Waiters to Atlanta for Al Horford and Kyle Korver trade seems to be ONLY chatter among fans.
The Thunder are believed to be focusing their talks on a wing player who is a threat both offensively and defensively. The problem for general manager Sam Presti is those kinda guys don’t come cheap and the Thunder would almost surely have to give up someone they’d much rather keep in order to gain that new player coming in.
Both Thunder superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook spoke to the issue after Wednesday’s practice and both seemed at ease with whatever might happen.
“I trust Sam 100 percent, I know that whatever he does it’s for the betterment of the organization and the team,” Durant told reporters. “So whatever he chooses to do I’m happy with it.”
“I’ve been confident since the season started that we have what it takes to win a championship,” Westbrook said. “I like our team and I like where we are.”
Dion Waiters name has popped up a lot in rumors. He’s eligible to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season because he and the Thunder weren’t able to agree on an extension to his rookie contract, much like the position there Thunder were in with Reggie Jackson last season.
Waiters has said he likes it in OKC and would prefer not to be dealt away. After yesterday’s practice he said he’s just focusing on basketball and not the trade deadline.
“I ain’t worrying about that. It is what it is,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders. “I’m just trying to come back here and get my feet back under me and get my focus back. Like I’ve said I’d love to stay, I love playing here but at the end of the day it’s a business and I can’t control that so I’m just trying to focus on basketball.”
Realistically you have to think the Thunder may decide doing nothing at the trade deadline is the best thing they can do. Oklahoma City is after all 40-14 and if both the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs weren’t having historically great seasons everyone would be talking about the Thunder.
It’s doubtful the Thunder can catch either the Warriors (9 games ahead of OKC) or the Spurs (5 and a half games ahead) by making a fringe deal and if the Thunder make a blockbuster move, like say the Ibaka-Waiters for Horford-Korver deal mentioned up above, it would be at least a couple of weeks before the new players would begin to feel comfortable in the system and who knows what could happen to team chemistry.
Nope at this point, the best move the Thunder can make is probably no move at all unless someone comes at Presti with a “Godfather” offer, you know the one that he “can’t refuse.”
We’ll keep you updated here on the site with the latest rumors involving the Thunder and be sure to check our Twitter feed page for updates from around the NBA.