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News » Thunder actively discussing Mason's future

Thunder actively discussing Mason's future

Thunder actively discussing Mason's future
General manager Sam Presti has had ongoing discussions with Desmond Mason's agent regarding the possibility of re-signing the unrestricted free-agent forward and fan favorite. A deal, however, is not imminent and a potential agreement could take until the end of the summer to crystallize.

The Thunder and Mason and his agent, Roger Montgomery, have mutual respect for one another and both sides have interest in finding a common ground.

But potentially complicating Mason's return is Oklahoma City's logjam on the wing positions. The Thunder already has Kevin Durant starting at small forward, No. 3 overall pick James Harden as a quality shooting guard and Thabo Sefolosha, who was acquired in mid-February from Chicago and can play either wing position.

Kyle Weaver is in the fold as well, although the second-year guard is expected to spend some time in the D-League. But Jeff Green, despite serving as the team's starting power forward, is a natural small forward and likely will play there in certain situations next season.

The Thunder is also keeping its options open in the event that a better long-term alternative arises. Oklahoma City is more than $11 million under the salary cap and is proceeding cautiously to ensure it can take the most advantage of that asset.


The Thunder still is in the process of making additions to its coaching staff, with as many as two assistants possibly joining the organization.

Oklahoma City has had talks with Maurice Cheeks, as Yahoo! Sports first reported Tuesday, but the former Philadelphia head coach is among several candidates the Thunder is interested in. Former Sacramento assistant Rex Kalamian and former Minnesota assistant J.B. Bickerstaff have also been contacted about the positions.

Assistant coach Ralph Lewis is not expected to return next season. Lewis spent four seasons with the organization.


Like the vast majority of the fringe players at this week's NBA Summer League, former Oklahoma State forward Marcus Dove is hoping to catch just one general manager's eye in hopes of earning a contract.

Dove, playing with the Thunder's summer league team, played in Belgium last season.

"I'm just working hard, working out every day trying to get on somebody's training camp roster and maybe make somebody's team," Dove said.

Dove doesn't figure to have much of a chance of latching on with the Thunder , considering Oklahoma City's roster is nearing the 15-player maximum. But the Thunder will always be interested in defensive-minded players like Dove, and the former Cowboy is hopeful his skills on that end lead to an opportunity.

"That's kind of what I'm known for, so I kind of try to hang my hat on that," Dove said. "Hopefully a team sees how hard I work on defense, and hopefully the Thunder or any team see that and wants to pick me up for that reason."


Harden has played in a variety of roles in the Orlando Pro Summer League and the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. But the Thunder has put Harden at point guard a good amount of time, allowing the rookie to learn the intricacies of the pick-and-roll.

"The more I do it, the more I get comfortable with it and the better decisions I make out of it," Harden said. "I think the coaches have faith in me just to make a decision out of the pick-and-roll. A variety is what I bring to the table."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: July 18, 2009


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