Thunder 94, Timberwolves 92...
Thunder-Timberwolves, Box...
Wolves' Love, Thunder's Collis...
ROSTER REPORT 2010-01-20...
NOTES, QUOTES 2010-01-20...
Thunder-Timberwolves Preview 2...
Presented By: 2010-01-19...
ROSTER REPORT 2010-01-19...
NOTES, QUOTES 2010-01-19...
Thunder's blueprint to success...
Links to possible OKC team log...
Howard Schultz drops Sonics su...
OKC signs Kyle Weaver...
OKC team announces basketball ...
Web viewing of NBA games may s...
Steve
Steve
Steve
Steve
Brand has surgury
Brand has surgury
Brand has surgury
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
 
 
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live
News » Thunder isn't blowing it


Thunder isn't blowing it


Thunder isn't blowing it
Relax, Thunder fans, Oklahoma City is not playing its way out of the Blake Griffin sweepstakes.

The notion that Oklahoma City is suddenly winning too much to have a shot at the Oklahoma power forward is nonsense.

The most important thing to remember is that the team with the worst record in the NBA is not guaranteed the top pick in the draft. The worst record only gives you the best chance (25 percent) at winning the No. 1 overall selection through the NBA Draft Lottery's ping-pong ball system.

And that "advantage" historically hasn't been very helpful.

Only four times since the lottery began in 1985 has a team with the worst record come away with the top selection. It's happened only twice since the current weighted lottery system began in 1994, with Cleveland selecting LeBron James in 2003 and Orlando picking Dwight Howard in 2004.

The Thunder's 7-7 record in January was a step in the right direction for a young and rebuilding team, not a cause for panic. The goal for this team should be to win as much as possible and instill good habits and a winning culture.

But as encouraging as January was, in no way does it mean the Thunder is out of the woods in terms of losing. The Thunder showed as much with this weekend's pair of defeats to shorthanded and slumping squads in Utah and Sacramento.

Oklahoma City will be tested by even better teams over these final 34 games, and another rough stretch is certainly in store.

But wins and losses aside, remember the Thunder has three first-round picks in this year's draft and two first-round picks in next year's. If Oklahoma City doesn't land the No. 1 pick, it has enough assets to be an attractive partner for a team potentially looking to part with it.

The Thunder would have the third pick if the ping-pong balls fell according to current form. Either Washington or the Los Angeles Clippers, currently tied at 10-37, would have the No. 1 overall pick. But both of those teams have enough in the frontcourt to take a chance on passing up Griffin to move back two spots and select a player with similar upside while obtaining a later or future pick.

Ditto for Memphis and Sacramento, two 11-win teams also vying for the top selection.

The trade-down method also makes financial sense for several teams. Getting a player or two via the draft makes managing the salary cap easier for general managers because of players' locked in rookie contracts. The relatively cheap "scale" contracts, especially in the mid-first round, also allow teams more room to sign a higher paid veteran.

Oklahoma City has options, Thunder fans. Don't rule out Griffin playing in a Thunder uniform just yet.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 4, 2009

 

 
Copyright © Sonicshome.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2019.