- Well, one of our main competitors for a playoff spot in the Western Conference made a move yesterday.
Full details still materializing but OKC poised to acquire Dion Waiters in three-team deal with NYK and Cavs without surrendering key pieces— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 6, 2015
Considering, the depth among their guards, Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Anthony Morrow, Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb, the move was a little surprising. However, I think Kevin Durant's quote shed some light.
"I'm not saying he's James' replacement, we're far past that. But, yeah, he can play, can come off the bench for us and score and make plays. He's a really good player, man. A lot of people take him for granted, I think."
In comparing him to James Harden, Waiters is essentially being deemed the Thunder's 6th man. With Jackson's comments at the start of the year asking for a larger role and the knowledge their team would have to splurge at the end of this season to keep him, it's seems fairly obvious now that Jackson isn't a part of their long-term plans. I expect he'll get moved at some point before the deadline and perhaps bring back another important piece or two.
In the long run, I think OKC moving away from Jackson and towards Waiters will be a good thing for their organization. Jackson has never showed an ability to stretch the defense consistently, and his presence crowded the paint for Kevin Durant and Westbrook when they shared the floor together. In addition, the team won't be forced to give up something defensively anymore as Westbrook and Jackson make for an undersized tandem.
- The Head of Operations for the Pelicans, Mickey Loomis, has made news the last several days.
On Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media suggested that Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis could soon be reducing his duties with the team and taking on more duties with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, owned by Saints owner Tom Benson. PFT reported that this is not accurate.
On Tuesday, Loomis said so himself at his end-of-season press conference. Via Nick Underhill of the Baton Rouge Advocate, Loomis also took a shot at the NFL employee who first said Loomis was destined for more NBA work, saying that the report "has about a 30-percent accuracy rate."
Loomis: "My involvement with the Pelicans is overblown .. If I felt my role with Pelicans interfered with the Saints I'd step away from Pels— Nick Underhill (@UnderhillAdv) January 6, 2015
Really, this seems to be much ado about nothing. Since Tom Benson purchased the Pelicans, there has been the feeling that Dell Demps has had a lot of freedom. Loomis' recent comments only seem to confirm what we already perceived.