Less than a decade ago, trade rumors and free agency rumblings happened by word of mouth. Phone calls were made, news spread on television and radio, and fans basically had to wait to hear via SportsCenter what moves their team was actually making.
That is not the case in today’s era of sports.
Nowadays, rumors spread like wildfire, and the only phrase a person has to use to be given some form of legitimacy is “sources say.” I’m not sure who “sources” is, but the line between fact and fiction is greyed by the ability of just about anyone to say just about anything on just about any social media platform that exists.
With that being said, Thunder fans need to be on their toes and realize that OKC is simply not going to acquire another star this summer. The Thunder’s offseason has already been filled with rumors and gossip, little of which has any credibility.
A few days ago, George Swartz from Bleacher Report wrote an article entitled 1 Trade to Help Get NBA’s Best Superstars Over the Top. In the article, Swartz laid out a few of the NBA’s best players who are in tough situations and could be put in a spot to win an NBA title if they were traded to a specific team. One of the players he wrote about was Bradley Beal, and the team he matched up with Beal was the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Swartz’s article was being cited as “rumors” that the Thunder was actively seeking to trade half the established roster for Beal and Dwight Howard. Not only is the trade idea incredibly misplaced, it’s also impossible because Swartz included the Thunder’s 2021 1st round draft pick, which OKC cannot trade because they have already given up their 2020 and 2022 1st round picks. An NBA team cannot go three consecutive years without a 1st round pick.
Another example of the crazed trade rumor mill was this weekend when Detroit Pistons star and former University of Oklahoma Sooner Blake Griffin made a visit to Oklahoma City to open up a basketball court with his older brother Taylor. In the midst of his visit, he tweeted the “👀” emoji, which has become synonymous with some type of move taking place.
NBA Twitter caught on fire with the notion that Griffin was to be involved in a trade soon, and because of his visit to OKC and his ties to Oklahoma, the idea that he could be in a Thunder uniform next season spread.
Come to find out, Blake Griffin was dared by the hosts of Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take (NSFW) to put out a cryptic tweet just to see how people would react, and sure enough, it worked.
This just goes to show that players and their agents can control the narrative, whether directly or indirectly, as much as they want to. Anybody who can write a blog post—myself included—can write whatever he/she wants, and if convincing enough, can get people to believe there is some truth behind the lies.
So as we draw closer to the NBA Draft on June 20th and as NBA free agency season begins on June 30th, let’s work to “stay woke,” as the kids these days like to say, and take every comment, rumor, and piece of gossip with a grain of salt.
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