Tag:D.J. White
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:10 pm

Report: Bobcats won't extend Augustin, White

Posted by Ben Golliver d-j-augustin

The Charlotte Bobcats will keep their option open.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the Bobcats will not offer contract extensions to point guard D.J. Augustin or shooting guard D.J. prior to the upcoming January 25th deadline.

Augustin, 24, was a 2008 lottery pick and has been the team's starting point guard since the beginning of the 2010-2011 season. This year, he's putting up 15.3 points and 7.2 assists per game, a career-year.

White, 25, was also a 2008 first round pick, taken No. 29 overall by the Detroit Pistons. He too is in the midst of putting up career-best numbers, averaging 10.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

This decision has far less to do with the play of Augustin and White and far more to do with the direction of the Bobcats. Following the trades of Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson, plus the addition of new GM Rich Cho, it was clear the Bobcats were undergoing a massive rebuilding effort.

Early extensions are generally handed out to players who performed spectacularly on their rookie deals or those who are deemed indispensable. When the Bobcats drafted Kemba Walker with a 2011 lottery pick, Augustin no longer qualified as indispensable and he's been solid, but never close to spectacular, in his four seasons in Charlotte. He currently grades out as the No. 22 point guard in the NBA when it comes to player efficiency. White is a nice piece but far from a building block.

Letting both players hit restricted free agency next summer comes relatively risk-free. The Bobcats have Walker waiting to take over if necessary and plenty of youth and talent in their front line. They can choose to retain Augustin and/or White with their matching rights next summer. Or, if the price is too high, they can simply move on in their plans to build around Walker, Bismack Biyombo and their 2012 draft picks. Either way, there simply is no impetus for making an immediate financial commitment to either player for a team that is currently 3-12 and destined for a high lottery pick.
Posted on: October 24, 2010 2:38 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2010 2:39 pm

Nick Collison will miss start of season for OKC

Posted by Royce Young

Last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder famously skirted by without any real injury issues. Though already without even playing a game yet, the Thunder's frontcourt depth has taken a hit.

Veteran forward Nick Collison will likely miss the first three weeks of the season reports John Rohde of The Oklahoman. Collison is fighting some lingering effects from a lower left leg stress reaction. It's really just a pain issue and Collison said he could probably play through it, but with the season just starting, he's playing it smart so that maybe he doesn't feel any effects later on in the year.

"It’s a tough injury because I feel pretty good walking around," Collison told the paper. "It’s not a question of if I can play right now. I play through pain all the time. Guys always do it. I could play through the pain right now, but if I start to grind on it when it’s not healed yet, there’s going to come a point where it starts to go back downhill, and that means I would have to sit out long term. I’m just trying to wait until the bone heals.”

Collison has yet to practice and basically all he's done so far is some aquatic training other than the usual ball-handling and shooting stuff. He said he's in decent shape already but upon his return, he'll likely have to be worked in.

As for the Thunder, Scott Brooks really prefers a nine-man rotation and Collison was a major part of that. With his absence, rookie Cole Aldrich will likely get an early opportunity to showcase his ability. Explosive big man Serge Ibaka will see more time than usual and potentially even a player like D.J. White could see time if Aldrich isn't ready.

It's by no means a major blow to the Thunder and last season, OKC dealt with some players like Collison, Krstic and James Harden missing a few games. But having a key rotation guy battling an injury that could nag him for the season isn't what you're looking for before you even play a real game.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 4:04 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 5:50 pm

Brooks thinks the Thunder are coming along nicely

Thunder coach expects difficulty in managing frontcourt versatility, praises Westbrook's leadership growth.
Posted by Matt Moore

Scott Brooks simultaneously has an extremely difficult and conveniently easy gig right now. He's got a top club in the NBA's Western Conference, but operating with a young roster in a small market, expectations aren't through the roof. He's got a high volume of frontcourt depth, but he's got to figure out how to manage all the rotations and minutes. And he's got guys that love to play together. There's really no downside to that.

At practice Friday morning before OKC's preseason game versus the Heat, Brooks talked about that frontcourt depth. Cole Aldrich, the eleventh overall pick (acquired in a trade with the Hornets that also netted Mo Peterson) will get the start tonight in KC, less than an hour from KU where he made his bones in college. The Thunder this year have worlds of depth down low, with Aldrich joining Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison (another KU alum), and Nenad Krstic with Byron Mullens mopping up the excess. Brooks says the depth is a good thing to have, but a challenge for the staff.
"I like the depth we've got at all five spots. It makes it challenging for the coach, but it's better. You'd rather have that than have to bleed every minute of the starting five. I feel very confident that our guys off the bench whoever they may be will come in and do well. I like the frontcourt. We've have a lot of different style of players. Serge brings his game, and then on down the line: Cole, Nenad, and Jeff, with Byron and D.J. It's my job to figure out how to mesh it all together."
Brooks also spoke about Russell Westbrook and the leadership skills he took from his work this summer with Team USA:
"Any time you're around a great group of athletes like he was with Team USA, it's going to help your game and your leadership. Coach K's a terrific coach, and you learn something from every coach you have. Russell's leadership skills have improved every year. I think as a point guard you want that. It's hard to lead a team as a rookie. The only one I can remember is Magic. But Russell's done a great job in developing his leadership skills."
Westbrook will get his chances to show the offensive leadership tonight against a Heat team that will start Mario Chalmers (another former Jayhawk) and Mike Miller, filling in for an injured Dywane Wade.
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