By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
When and where will the Thunder open the 2016-17 NBA season? Will the team play again on Christmas Day? When will Kevin Durant make his return to Chesapeake Energy Arena?
Those are just a few of the questions Thunder fans will have answered this afternoon when the full NBA schedule is released.
NBA-TV will have a special on some of the highlights of the schedule beginning at 5 o’clock Oklahoma time. The Thunder are expected to post the team’s full schedule on their website at about the same time.
Some dates have already leaked but it’s still not certain if the leaks are from the final version of the schedule or previous versions that may have since been changed.
A couple of fairly sure bets should be a Christmas game for the seventh straight season. Despite the departure of Durant, the presence of Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo will still make the Thunder an attractive team for television.
An interesting opponent for that Christmas game could be the LA Clippers with some of the rumors floating around that the Thunder are interested in trying to bring Blake Griffin home to Oklahoma City either via trade or free agency. Sources have indicated the Thunder are planning to be home for that game.
Another sure bet is a home game for New Year’s Eve. That’s become a Thunder tradition to go along with the Opening Night celebration in downtown OKC.
The Oklahoman is reporting the Thunder will open the season on the road on Friday, October 28th, but at least one other report indicates OKC would actually be home that night and the season opener would be a couple nights earlier on the road.
ESPN’s Marc Stein has reported Durant’s return to The Peake will be February 11th and that the Thunder will meet KD and the Warriors for the first time on the road in Oakland on November 3rd.
Whatever the rumors and reports all the facts will be revealed beginning at 5 o’clock on NBA-TV.