Another day goes by and another team is talking about rebuilding their franchise using the model used by Sam Presti with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Wizards, who will host the Thunder on Monday, are the latest team to have that model bandied about. New owner Ted Lonsis often references the way Oklahoma City has built their team around Durant with other young talented players and hopes the Wizards do likewise with John Wall.
“When Ted came over, he gave the mandate to try to rebuild through the draft. I think we’ve achieved a lot in a year,” Ernie Grunfeld said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we do have some assets and we have to continue to work hard, have a good draft, add another piece or two in the draft and see what the new rules are with free agency and see what happens, but we have put ourselves in a flexible position from a financial standpoint.”
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Nate Robinson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee the team announced in a press release.
The 5-9 guard first experienced discomfort in the knee following the team’s practice on Monday. After deliberation, Robinson and the team made the decision to proactively address the situation.
“After consulting with our medical team, we have decided this is the best course of action to resolve the issue with certainty, and have Nate back on the court as we enter into the final stages of the season,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.
Robinson is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
The Oklahoma City Thunder signed center Kendrick Perkins to a multiyear contract extension Tuesday, the team announced.
Perkins will receive almost $36 million fully guaranteed over the course of the four-year contract, his agent, Bob Myers, told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher.
The Celtics had reportedly offered him a four-year, $22 million contract.
“We had a unique opportunity to enter into discussions with Kendrick to solidify his future with our organization,” general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “We are pleased to know that he will be a part of our core group now and in the future. Kendrick’s blue-collar, team-first approach aligns with the vision we hold for building a sustainable team in the Oklahoma City community.”
The Clippers on Sunday bought out veteran swingman Rasual Butler, who averaged five points in 18 minutes and was in the last year of a contract paying him $2.4 million.
The Bulls, who possess roughly $2.9 million of salary cap room, are confident they can sign him once he clears waivers.
However, a source said Butler also is drawing interest from the Celtics, Hawks and Thunder.
Just before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Boston Celtics agreed to ship center Kendrick Perkins and guard Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green and big man Nenad Krstic, two league sources said.
Neither team was done, though.
The Celtics also traded rookie center Semih Erden and forward Luke Harangody to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second-round draft pick.
While the Celtics were unloading big men, the Thunder acquired another one, sending Morris Peterson and D.J. White to Charlotte for center Nazr Mohammed.
The Thunder are considering a trade for Hasheem Thabeet, according to league executives.
Thabeet was the number two overall pick in 2009, but has been shopped aggressively by the Grizzlies.
Oklahoma City would only acquire Thabeet if Memphis has a modest asking price.
Kevin Durant was whistled for a rare technical foul for jawing with Chris Bosh in the first quarter of Oklahoma City’s loss to Miami on Sunday.
After the game, Durant continued to talk about Bosh.
“There’s a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he’s one of them,” Durant said when asked about the altercation.
Durant was upset because Bosh got involved in his conversation with a teammate. Bosh says Durant was telling James Harden that next time, he should dunk on Bosh. Bosh had fouled Harden on the previous play to prevent a fast-break layup.