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Garrett Temple On Kings, Free Agency, More

Garrett Temple discusses free agency, joining Sacramento, turning around the Kings’ culture and more.

Alex Kennedy



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Basketball Insiders talks to Jimmer Fredette at the Las Vegas Summer League.

Garrett Temple on the Sacramento Kings, Free Agency and More

After years of playing on minimum contracts, being waived and bouncing around from team to team, Garrett Temple finally has some job security and a lucrative NBA contract. The 30-year-old recently signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Sacramento Kings.

Temple’s contract will pay him $8,000,000 each season (with a player option for the final year), which is more than double what he earned over his first six years in the NBA combined.

When fans think of the NBA lifestyle, they typically imagine enormous mansions, ridiculous cars and full bank accounts. This is understandable, especially at a time like this when NBA teams are handing out some of the largest contracts in league history. While some players live a luxurious lifestyle and most are very comfortable (if they manage their money well), there are plenty of players who make significantly less than you would expect.

In the NBA D-League last season, salaries ranged from $13,000 to $25,000. And the $25,000 base salary is for the star players – many individuals earn significantly less.

Even if a player gets called up on a 10-day contract, their financial concerns don’t suddenly vanish. A 10-day contract pays 170th of a player’s designated minimum contract (based on their years of NBA experience). So, for example, an undrafted rookie on a 10-day contract will earn $31,969. While that’s obviously a lot of money for “10 days of work,” the player actually spent the entire year making sacrifices and working to get that opportunity.

This is why many players simply choose to go overseas and sign a seven-figure contract with an international team. Yes, they have to give up their NBA dream, but it’s much easier to support themselves (and their family) and comes with far more certainty.

Which brings us back to Temple, who is finally being rewarded after years of enduring the stress that comes with chasing an NBA dream. Temple had to grind extremely hard to get to where he is today.

After going undrafted in 2009, he started his professional basketball career in the D-League. Then, Temple proceeded to play for many different teams. Over the last six years, he had regular-season stints with six different NBA franchises (Houston, Sacramento, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Charlotte and Washington) and three different D-League teams (Rio Grande Valley, Erie and Reno). He also spent a season in Italy back in 2011. This doesn’t even include the teams he tried out for and didn’t make, like when he was the final training-camp cut by Miami in 2012.

He knows all too well that professional basketball is a business and has faced rejection many times, but he never gave up on making it in the league.

Finally, in recent years, Temple stuck with the Wizards and became a key player for them. In mid-December of last year, Temple became a starter when Bradley Beal was injured. He took full advantage of the opportunity, leading Washington to three straight victories over the Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies. He totaled 64 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and four steals in the three contests while shooting 53.5 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from three.

Temple averaged 7.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and one steal on the season, and got 43 starts under his belt. Still, he was on a minimum contract and his future was up in the air due to his looming unrestricted free agency.

However, this time around, not having a contract was great for Temple because NBA talent evaluators were noticing his production and how positive things typically happened when he was on the court. They saw that he hustled extremely hard, did the dirty work, made smart plays and defended the perimeter very well.

It’s no coincidence that the Wizards’ best plus-minus lineup from the 2015-16 season featured Temple, as did the two highest-scoring lineups they rolled out last year. Also, Temple led the Wizards in Defensive Rating (allowing 101 points per 100 possessions) and the team’s defense was noticeably worse when he was off the court (allowing 106.1 points per 100 possessions).

Temple ranked 11th among all shooting guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus, which estimates a player’s on-court defensive impact. The metric Real Plus-Minus Wins estimates how many victories a player contributed to their team’s win total, and Temple’s RPM Wins for last season was 3.54 (tying him with Andrew Wiggins and putting him ahead of All-Star Dwyane Wade among others).

Suddenly, Temple was highly coveted. After being passed over time and time again throughout his career, he received interest from nearly a third of the NBA after free agency got underway on July 1. In addition to the Kings and Wizards, the Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets also expressed some level of interest in Temple’s services.

And not only is he popular among executives these days, Temple is respected by his peers.

“Garrett was a great teammate and a good friend in Washington,” said Houston Rockets big man Nene, who played with Temple in Washington. “He worked extremely hard every day and he was always a positive influence on all of us. I’m very happy to see how much he has accomplished. He deserves everything that is happening for him and he is the perfect example of hard work paying off.”

“Garrett is someone who has improved every year he has been in the league and is quietly one of the best perimeter defenders whom no one talks about,” Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said. “This could be a true breakout year for him.”

The Kings are hoping that’s the case, banking on the belief that Temple’s best basketball is still ahead of him and he just needs an opportunity to showcase his complete skill set.

Basketball Insiders recently caught up with Temple to discuss his free agency decision, why he decided to join the Kings, how Sacramento is trying to change their culture and much more.

Alex Kennedy: What was it like going through free agency? You received a lot of interest from teams. I know some players like free agency and some hate it. What did you think of the process?

Garrett Temple: “Well this was my first time going through the process and having more than one or two teams actually interested, so that was different. I had a new agent this time – this is my first year with [Mark] Bartelstein. All of those things made it a little… I don’t want to say nerve-wracking, but I was anxious. It’s not like I didn’t know if I would be in the NBA or not, it was just a matter of figuring out the numbers and what team. It was just a very anxious time for me, I had nerves, but I was very excited as well. I soaked it all in.”

Kennedy: What’s it like going from being a guy who has bounced around the NBA and faced a lot of rejection to having a ton of teams call you and being highly coveted? How nice is it knowing that you have some stability now?

Temple: “Yeah, it’s definitely nice to know that! Even in Washington, my first year was obviously a non-guaranteed deal until January. Then, I signed a one-year deal, so I was basically playing for a new contract again. Then, I signed a two-year deal, which was good. But I’ve been on 10-day contracts here and 10-day contracts there, not knowing where I’d be next. It was really fulfilling to have teams call me on the first night of free agency. And that was part of the reason why I chose Sacramento. One or two other teams actually called, but the Kings had all of the brass call that first night: Vlade [Divac], Ken Catanella, Coach [Dave] Joerger. I got the chance to talk to all of them on the first night and they explained to me how I’d fit with their team and what they saw me doing. It feels great to have some job security, and I’ve been playing for the minimum for my whole career so to get paid a little more is obviously a plus as well.”

Kennedy: What role did they describe to you? How do they envision you fitting in?

Temple: “First and foremost, Coach Joerger just told me how much he likes my versatility and how important that is in today’s NBA since [teams want] guys that can guard multiple positions. I feel like I can guard one through three, for sure, and I can even guard some fours with the way the league is these days. That’s valuable. He also said he enjoyed what I was able to do in terms of improving on the offensive end this year. It probably helped that I had 20 points against Memphis [and Coach Joerger] and 23 points against Sacramento this past year (laughs). They want me to play the one, two and three. They like my leadership abilities. He said, ‘I’ve seen you play and from what I’m hearing, you’re a great locker room guy too – one of the best in the league.’ Obviously the culture here is something that needs to be put back on the right track. You see the guys that we’ve signed: Arron Afflalo, good veteran guy; Matt Barnes, good veteran guy; Anthony Tolliver, good veteran guy. We’re guys who are going to try to come in here and help. We all approach the game a certain way and hopefully we can teach that to the young guys. They were adamant that they envision me being an integral part of the team and that was obviously great to hear, especially with my background. Being valued as a guy who can produce and will be relied on every night is something that I’ve been waiting for a long time.”

Kennedy: That was my next question for you. You’ve shown what you can do when given minutes and now it seems like your role is about to significantly expand. Do you expect this to be a breakout, career-year for you?

Temple: “I think so. I think the opportunity is there. Like I said, Coach Joerger believes in my abilities and that I can produce, so I’ll be on the court a good amount this year. I really plan on working on my game this summer, working on the aspects of my game that need to improve. I’ll be playing some point guard this year, and obviously playing the two and the three as well. But I’m working on my decision-making coming off of ball screens. People don’t realize that I’m a pretty good decision-maker and that I played point guard a lot growing up. I played point guard my whole high school career and a lot in college. The last couple of years I’ve been playing on the wing more, but I’m going to show people that I’m a versatile guy that can play the one, two and three.”

Kennedy: You played in Sacramento earlier in your career. Fair or not, there’s this perception that the Kings are dysfunctional and that players don’t want to be there. You chose to go back there and, like you said, they are trying to bring in veterans to change the culture. But what do you make of that perception? Is it overstated that players don’t want to be in Sacramento?

Temple: “Actually, my first year here was my rookie year and I was on a 10-day contract. I had come here from Houston. They offered me a contract so instead of going back to the D-League, I would go to Sacramento. Of course [I said yes]. Then, I had a choice between Sacramento and San Antonio, and I decided to leave to go to San Antonio. Because, obviously, San Antonio was San Antonio. It was 2010. But honestly, the [Kings] franchise wasn’t in a great place. The new ownership, the new front office and obviously Coach Joerger are understanding what it’s going to take to build a team and they know it starts with the culture of the team first. You have to have the right culture, from the equipment manager all the way up to the owner. From the things they’ve told me, they’re on board and willing to make this a culture where people want to come play and want to come win. And I’m very happy to be a part of the start of that.”

Kennedy: Let’s talk about the expectations for this team. DeMarcus Cousins is one of the best centers in the NBA, if not the best, and…

Temple: “He’s the best center in the NBA.”

Kennedy: Alright, well let’s start there. How excited are you to play with DeMarcus?

Temple: “I’m excited. I’m excited, man. I’m excited for him to be on my side instead of having to game-plan against him. He’s a guy who is just so talented and he’s been able to add the three-point shot to his arsenal as well.

“As far as expectations, I envision us playing a more up-tempo game with the pieces that we have, and I see us being able to win a lot more games than people think. Our division has obviously gotten competitive with a certain move (laughs, referring to the Warriors signing Kevin Durant to Golden State), but I envision us being able to win games with the veterans we’ve brought in plus the guys already on the team like DeMarcus, Rudy [Gay], D.C. [Darren Collison] and Kosta Koufos, who is a great post player who can score and do a lot of things. I think we have a chance to push for a playoff spot, man. That’s definitely going to be the goal.”

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.


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NBA Daily: Tyus Jones Thriving in Bigger Role

Minnesota’s Tyus Jones speaks to David Yapkowitz about his growing role with the Wolves.

David Yapkowitz



It was the last game of the 2016-17 NBA season. The Minnesota Timberwolves had been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention for quite some time. Their opponent that night, the Houston Rockets, had an impressive year and were on their way to the postseason.

Although the Wolves would go on to lose that game, 123-118, Tyus Jones came off the bench to have to his best game of the year. He would finish with 17 points on 66.7 percent shooting from the field, 75 percent from the three-point line, seven assists, four rebounds, two steals, and a blocked shot.

Jones had just finished up his second year in the NBA, which had gone a little bit just like his first; a few games played here and there followed by some DNP-CD’s. Rookie Kris Dunn was ahead of him on the depth chart at backup point guard for the majority of the year. That stat line he put up on the last night of the season, however, should have been a sign of things to come.

Now in his third year, and second playing under Tom Thibodeau, Jones has firmly seized the backup point guard spot. Thibodeau is notorious for playing short rotations, and along with Jamal Crawford and Gorgui Dieng, Jones has solidified himself as one of Minnesota’s most dependable reserves.

“It’s been good, I’m just trying to contribute to the team as much as possible,” Jones told Basketball Insiders. “I want to do whatever I need to do to help this team win more games.”

The Timberwolves have done just that so far. They won 31 games all of last season. This year, they already have 16 wins. They didn’t break that mark last season until mid-January. Jones’ impact on the Wolves this year has been a big reason for that.

His stats may not jump off the page; he’s averaging 3.9 points per game on 42.5 percent shooting, and 2.8 assists in about 17 minutes of play. But he’s become a reliable floor leader who is able to anchor the Wolves second unit. He’s also one of their best floor spacers at 38.2 percent from the three-point line, and he’s an improved defensive player.

“For me, having a little bit bigger role this year, it’s what I wanted,” Jones told Basketball Insiders. “I’m just trying to make the most of it and take advantage of it.”

Jones has definitely taken advantage of his new role. Starting point guard Jeff Teague missed four games last month due to a sore right Achilles tendon. Aaron Brooks started in place of Teague for the first game he missed, but Jones was the starter for the next three.

In his first ever career start on Nov. 26 in a win over the Phoenix Suns, Jones had nine points on 50 percent shooting, four rebounds, seven assists, seven steals, and two blocks. The following game, albeit in a loss to the Washington Wizards, he finished with 12 points, four rebounds, and seven assists. In his final start before Teague returned, a win over the New Orleans Pelicans, he had his best game of the season with 16 points on 66.7 percent shooting, four rebounds, six assists, and four steals.

“It was a dream, I’m just trying to make the most of it,” Jones told Basketball Insiders about being a starter. “Once again, take advantage of the opportunity and just do my role.”

Although Jones only spent one season playing college basketball before entering the NBA draft, it was the program he attended that’s allowed him to make a seamless transition. He played at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski during the 2014-15 season, winning a national championship alongside fellow NBA players Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, and Quinn Cook.

“It’s the best program in the country. Coach K is the best coach, arguably ever, to coach the game,” Jones told Basketball Insiders. “There’s nothing comparable on the college level, playing at Duke. They’re the brightest lights, so that helps prepare you for the next level.”

The Wolves are a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in over a decade. It was the 2003-04 season, to be exact. This year, however, they are hoping to change that. They currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, fighting for the right to host a playoff series in the first round.

“We’re trying to make the playoffs, that’s our goal right now,” Jones told Basketball Insiders. “Each year, we’re trying to get better. We’re still trying to take that next step. This organization hasn’t been to the playoffs in a number of years.”

With Jones playing a pivotal role, the Wolves’ playoff drought looks like it will be coming to an end very shortly.

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NBA Most Valuable Player Watch — 12/12/17

Dennis Chambers updates the latest MVP watch rankings.

Dennis Chambers



The NBA season is coming in hot on Christmas Day games, and before we know it the new year will arrive as well. As the second half of the season starts to come into sight, more stability among the league’s MVP candidates will prevail.

By now, most of the frontrunners for the award have staked their claim of consistent dominance over the last eight weeks of the NBA season.

For our list here at Basketball Insiders, the same names make up our ladder from the last MVP race installment. A slight juggling of the order is the only new wrinkle. Thus far, these individuals have put themselves ahead of the pack.

A full season in the NBA is a long race, but through the first few laps, these are the MVP leaders.

stockdown456. Steph Curry (Last Week: 3)

Coming in at No. 3 on the last list, Steph Curry sees a bit of a tumble in the standings. Unfortunately for Curry, he’s suffering from a sprained ankle that is going to cause him to miss some time. Fortunately for the Golden State Warriors, they’ve won three straight games without their star point guard.

This doesn’t discredit the type of season Curry is having, or his brilliance on the court when he’s healthy, but the fact that the Warriors have enough firepower to sustain his absence damages his claim to the most “valuable” player throne.

Nevertheless, for the Warriors to truly fulfill their championship potential, Curry needs to be healthy and playing. Otherwise, the Warriors aren’t as lethal as they could be.

Barring a complete meltdown from his ball club, Curry’s spot will likely continue to drop slightly as he sits on the bench watching his team win games without him.

stockup455. Joel Embiid (Last Week: 6)

Almost the exact opposite of Curry, the Philadelphia 76ers don’t seem to have a prayer at winning basketball games that Joel Embiid sits out of. Luckily for the city of Philadelphia, though, that hasn’t been nearly frequent of an occurrence as past seasons.

The on/off numbers for Embiid are staggering. On both ends of the court, no less. Without their big man, the Sixers’ offensive rating drops off by more than five points and their defensive rating sees a 10-point spike in favor of their opponents.

In short, it’s worse for the Sixers when Embiid is tweeting rather than playing.

After missing back-to-back games over the weekend, Embiid’s value became more apparent to the Sixers. Among a myriad of injuries, Embiid’s was felt the heaviest as his team posted a defensive rating of 111.6 to the Cleveland Cavaliers and then a 130.2 the next night to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Both figures are a far cry from the 102.9 rating the team records with Embiid on the floor.

Much like Curry, the Sixers will need Embiid on the court moving forward to live their best life. So long as he is resting on back-to-backs, or sitting with back soreness, the Sixers won’t be as fortunate as the Warriors to pull out wins.

stockup454. Kyrie Irving (Last Week: 5)

Masked Kyrie joined Untucked Kyrie this season as another alter ego capable of taking the NBA and Twitter by storm on a nightly basis.

Irving, despite suffering an injury to his face that forced him to wear a protective mask a la Rip Hamilton, still has the Boston Celtics atop the league standings with his MVP campaign so far this season. Over Irving’s last 10 games, he’s averaging 25.8 points on 53 percent shooting from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc. Over the course of that same span, the Celtics are 7-3.

Just to strengthen his already solid MVP claim, the Celtics went into Chicago Monday night to play the Bulls without Irving, as he sat out of the game with a quad contusion. All the league’s best team preceded to do was lose 108-85 to the league’s worst team.

At this point in the season, MVP candidates have their statistics in place. As viewers and fans, we really get to see the difference they make on their teams during the games that they aren’t playing, and Monday night for the Celtics was a microcosm of Irving’s season-long importance to the success of their team.

stockup453. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Last Week: 4)

The Greek Freak is still putting up absurd numbers, keeping him right in the conversation for Most Valuable Player. On top of his gaudy production, the Milwaukee Bucks are starting to pile up some wins as well.

Winning six of their last seven games — the only loss coming to the Celtics where Antetokounmpo put up 40 points, nine rebounds, and four assists — the Bucks currently hold a 15-10 record and the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

It’s been well-documented up to this point how effective Antetokounmpo is for Milwaukee from a numbers standpoint. If he can really start translating those performances into wins over good teams, the narrative of him winning the award may begin to revert back the dominance it held over the first few weeks of the season.

As it currently stands, though, Antetokounmpo is ahead of the rest of the pack before a pretty sizeable gap at the two spots above him.

stocknochanges452. LeBron James (Last Week: 2)

After having his Cavaliers’ 13-game win streak snapped by an unconscious Victor Oladipo, LeBron James returned to business as usual by defeating the shorthanded Sixers without Kevin Love by his side. He did so in typical Year 15 fashion, posting 30 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists, and three steals.

No big deal.

That’s the mantra for James’ 15th year in the NBA: Do it all, and do it well. He doesn’t have the supporting cast that many projected coming into this season, and Irving is out doing his thing in Boston. But for the King of the NBA, after a month of rough basketball, he seems to be figuring it all out for his club and putting them in the positions they need to be in to be successful.

Since the start of Cleveland’s winning streak up until the game against Philadelphia, James is averaging 27.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.1 blocks, 55 percent shooting from the field and 44 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

His team is 14-1, Irving is in Boston, and Isaiah Thomas is on the bench.

Year 15 may very well end with James getting MVP number five.

stocknochanges451. James Harden (Last Week: 1)

The only man standing between James and his fifth MVP is the man who’s setting the league on fire trying to get his first.

James Harden is recreating his stellar season from a year ag but improving it, somehow. Harden’s averages are incredible: 32 points, 9.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds, 40 percent from downtown, and a 31.6 player efficiency rating.

Not to mention he’s led the Houston Rockets to a 21-4 record, and looks to be a real threat at knocking off the Golden State Warriors.

What Harden is doing on the defensive end is what is brining his game, and his MVP case, to the next level. Harden is posting his lowest defensive rating is four years and coming up big on D in crunch time situations.

On Monday night against the Pelicans, Harden came up with a clutch steal with under a minute to go (his sixth of the night) to extinguish a New Orleans rally and put the icing on his 26-point, 17-assist performance.

LeBron may be having an MVP season, even by his standards, but Harden’s performance this year thus far is keeping the King at arms length of the MVP crown.

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NBA DAILY: What Is Really Wrong With The Thunder?

The Thunder continue to struggle to string together wins. What’s the problem in OKC?

Steve Kyler



At Some Point It Just Doesn’t Work

The Oklahoma City Thunder continue to be middling, despite having the star level talent it takes in the NBA to be exceptional. With the clock ticking in the wrong direction, is it more likely that this combination of players won’t work, or is there something bigger at play worth considering?

Before we dive too far into this, keep in mind the Thunder have played their 26th game, and are just a half a game out of the eighth spot in the West. Equally, they are also three and a half games behind the fourth-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves, so the sky is far from falling. In fact, they have won four of their last six games, including wins over the Spurs and Timberwolves, which only makes the Jekyll and Hyde of all of this even more frustrating.

All of that said, what’s really wrong with the Thunder? Here are some thoughts:

Not Enough Touches

The Oklahoma City Thunder are dead last in the NBA in touches per game as a team at 384. To contrast that number, the Philadelphia 76ers lead the league in touches at 480.9 touches per game.

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook accounts for 94.4 touches per game, while forward Carmelo Anthony accounts for 61.3 touches with swingman Paul George bringing in 56.0 touched per game. Those three players account for 211.7 of the Thunders 384 touches per game.

That’s not as bad as you would think watching the Thunder play, but what it does illustrate is that neither Anthony or Paul are getting the volume of touches both are used to getting before joining the Thunder. It’s also why neither seems to be able to get into a rhythm on a game to game bases. They have had their moments individually, but it been far from consistent.

It’s more than fair to say that the Thunder offense isn’t generating enough touches to maximize what George and Anthony bring to the table. When the Miami HEAT brought their “Big Three” together, one of the biggest challenges they faced was how to generate the touches to get all their guys in a rhythm and rolling.

That seems to be the biggest part of the problem with the Thunder.

Russ Has To Be Russ

When you look at the Thunder’s “convincing wins” those wins in which they look like an elite team in the NBA, Russell Westbrook plays like last year’s MVP.

The problem for the Thunder is it seems Russell is trying to get other players, specifically Anthony, often to the detriment of his team and his own game. When Westbrook puts his head down and plays his game, the Thunder tend to come out on top.

Westbrook never seemed to have this problem playing with Kevin Durant, and maybe that’s why Durant opted to leave, but Westbrook seems to be trying too hard to get others going.

Where’d Offense Go?

The Thunder continue to talk about how good they are defensively, and that’s a real thing. They are currently the ranked second in the NBA’s defensive rating category. They rank second in point allowed per 100 possessions at 103, just behind league leader Boston at 101.6 points per 100 possessions.

There is no doubt their defense is keeping them in games, but what’s killing them is the long stretches of sub-par offense, many times in the fourth quarter where their offense comes to a grinding halt.

Some have suggested that head coach Billy Donovan simply isn’t creative enough for the construct of this roster. Looking at the stats this far into the season, there may be something to the idea that the Thunder, offensively, just are not creative enough to maximize the potential of their star players.

It’s Not A Selfish Problem

The easy answer on the Thunder is to say they are simply selfish players. There is enough historical evidence on Anthony and Westbrook to support the idea, however, if you really look at the Thunders’ games, it’s actually the opposite. Westbrook likely isn’t selfish enough; it’s likely why he’s struggling from the field on the season.

Part of the offensive problem may be Westbrook’s shooting. His averages this season is markedly down from a year ago—39.6 percent this season from the field versus 42.5 percent last season. Westbrook is also 31.1 percent from three this year versus 34.3 percent from three last season.

But Westbrook is not alone, George is tying his second worst season from the field at 41.8 percent shooting. Anthony is having his worst year as a pro from the field at 40.4 percent.

All three are producing some of their lowest efficiency ratings of their careers, so it’s not just one guy doing so much more than the other. None of them are playing particularly well together.

It’s easy to look at the Thunder and label them one thing or the other; there are enough polarizing personalities on the roster to draw the labels. The truth of the matter is the Thunder just are not very good or efficient offensively, and until they find a way to make that part work, they will likely continue to be middling.

That’s going to make things fairly tough on the Thunder front office, because come the February 9th NBA Trade Deadline, the Thunder may have to cut bait on some players before they potentially lose them in free agency for nothing. The trade deadline is only about 60 days away, believe it or not.

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