Basketball Wiretap

Kevin Durant: I Made The 100 Percent Correct Decision Signing With Warriors

May 22, 2017 10:08 AM

Kevin Durant is one win away from reaching The Finals for the second time in his career and the first time since 2012.

Durant made the controversial decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors last summer and he feels great about the results of that move even if they don't win The Finals.

“I made the 100 percent correct decision, win or lose,” Durant told The Undefeated.  “I feel like this is the place I was supposed to be. I appreciate everything I’ve done before this. But I’m here now, and I feel like it’s a great spot for me to be.

“This is where I am supposed to be at this point of my life. I’m taking it on and conquering every part of it. I’m enjoying every single step.”

Durant will be a free agent again this offseason and was asked if he'll re-sign with the Warriors.

"Yeah. I love it here. I love my teammates. I love the city [of Oakland]. I love the organization. I love it here. I don’t plan on going anywhere else."

Durant was also asked what's the best thing about playing for the Warriors.

"It’s just basketball," said Durant. "You have people here who realize that the most important thing is it’s a game. You have fun. But you also should be passionate and dedicated. That is what everybody’s vision is. We know how important it is to everybody else. It’s not that serious.

"There is fine line between being passionate, taking it serious and being too serious. We kind of tiptoe that line a little bit more so on the not-so-serious side. I think that’s what makes it fun and makes you have a good time."

Marc J. Spears/The Vertical

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Paul Millsap Opts Out Of $21.4M Contract With Hawks

May 22, 2017 12:34 PM

Paul Millsap has opted out of his $21.4 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks for the 17-18 season as expected.

As a free agent in 2015, Millsap and his agent, DeAngelo Simmons, structured a three-year, $60.2 million deal with a third-year player option.

Millsap initially joined the Hawks in 2013 from the Utah Jazz.

Millsap is expected to command a max or near max contract.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Tags: Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Chauncey Billups To Interview For Hawks' GM Job

May 22, 2017 12:45 PM

Chauncey Billups will interview with the Atlanta Hawks for their current general manager vacancy.

The interview will likely occur on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Billups is currently an analyst with ESPN.

Although he has no prior executive experience, Billups has long been a student of the game in understanding how to navigate within the collective bargaining agreement.

Mike Budenholzer was stripped of his responsibilities as president of basketball operations this offseason.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Tags: Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Knicks Decide Against Renew Contract Of Josh Longstaff

May 22, 2017 9:58 AM

The New York Knicks have decided not to renew the contract of assistant coach Josh Longstaff. 

Longstaff initially joined the Knicks with Derek Fisher and was one of the few remaining holdovers. 

Longstaff had formed a strong connection with multiple current players, most notably Kristaps Porzingis. The bond between Porzingis and Longstaff was so strong that he was requested to serve as an assistant on the Latvian national team this summer.

One member called Longstaff the hardest working member of the staff.

Longstaff was a player development coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Stefan Bondy/New York Daily News

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Pablo Prigioni Receiving Interest From Knicks For Assistant Coach Job

May 22, 2017 10:01 AM

The New York Knicks have interest in hiring Pablo Prigioni as an assistant coach.

Prigioni played professionally last season in Spain.

Prigioni was working out prospects at the NBA combine this month.

Stefan Bondy/New York Daily News

Tags: New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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LeBron James Wins 16-17 Citizenship Award

May 21, 2017 10:45 PM

LeBron James has won the 2016-17 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award as selected by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA). The honor, named after the NBA’s second commissioner, is presented annually by the PBWA to a player, coach or athletic trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.

James was one of five finalists for the award, along with New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. The finalists were chosen by a committee of PBWA members from a list of 26 nominees submitted by NBA teams. The winner was determined by a vote of the entire PBWA, which is composed of approximately 200 writers and editors who cover the NBA on a regular basis for newspapers, online outlets and magazines.

James is being honored for improving the educational opportunities of disadvantaged youth in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and creating long-term change in his community.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA Award

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Dunc'd On: BOS/CLE Game 3, Josh Jackson Scouting Report

May 22, 2017 2:32 AM

Boston stuns Cleveland in Game 3 as LeBron James struggles and Marcus Smart goes off. How did Boston erase a 21-point deficit? Then, we look at Kansas wing Josh Jackson's strengths and weaknesses.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) and Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux).

Click to subscribe via RSS feed or iTunes.  And if you like this pod, please donate to support Nate and Danny at Patreon.com/DuncanLeroux

 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: NBA, Dunc'd On

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Emmanuel Akot Reclassifies To Join Arizona One Year Early

May 22, 2017 4:57 PM

Emmanuel Akot will graduate from high school early and enroll at Arizona next season.

Akot previously committed to Arizona as a 2018 incoming freshman.

"After much thought, my family and I have decided to join the 2017 class and become a member of the Arizona Basketball family next season," Akot wrote in a tweet.

Akot is versatile wing who was ranked No. 21 in the class of 2018.

Akot will join DeAndre Ayton, Brandon Randolph, Ira Lee and Alex Barcello as top 100 prospects for Arizona.

Jeff Borzello/ESPN

Tags: Emmanuel Akot, Arizona Wildcats, NCAA

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David Lee Diagnosed With Partially Torn Patellar Tendon In Left Knee

May 21, 2017 3:34 AM

David Lee has been diagnosed with a partially torn patellar tendon in his left knee.

Lee will undergo an MRI to confirm the injury.

Lee injured the knee with 2:57 remaining in the first quarter, after he scored on a layup contested by Draymond Green.

Lee winced in pain immediately upon landing, and he was down on the floor near the tunnel leading out toward the locker rooms.

The San Antonio Spurs are already without Tony Parker for the remainder of the playoffs, while Kawhi Leonard has sat out Games 2 and 3.

Michael C. Wright, Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: David Lee, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Injury

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Dunc'd On: Conference Finals, All-NBA Team Implications, Jonathan Isaac Scouting Report

May 21, 2017 2:14 AM

 

We review the weekend's conference finals action, plus hit some news items including the injury to Isaiah Thomas.  Then a look at the All-NBA teams, who was unfairly excluded and what are the implications for the players who did and didn't make it contractually.  We wrap with a scouting report on Florida State's Jonathan Isaac.

With host Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) and Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux).

Click to subscribe via RSS feed or iTunes.  And if you like this pod, please donate to support Nate and Danny at Patreon.com/DuncanLeroux

 

Tags: NBA, Dunc'd On

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Celtics Lose Isaiah Thomas For Rest Of Playoffs
Isaiah Thomas aggravated a right hip injury during Friday's loss to the Cavaliers.

ESPN

Travis Schlenk Emerges As Candidate For Hawks' GM Job
Travis Schlenk has been assistant general manager of the Warriors for the past five seasons.

Connor Letourneau/San Francisco Chronicle

Kawhi Leonard Won't Play In Game 3
Kawhi Leonard aggravated his ankle injury in the second half of Game 1.

RealGM Staff Report

Adam Silver Unconcerned With Playoff Dominance Of Warriors, Cavaliers
Adam Silver's time with the NBA has largely been marked by his pursuit of competitive balance.

RealGM Staff Report

Hawks Interview Tommy Sheppard For GM Job
Tommy Sheppard is a longtime executive of the Wizards working under Ernie Grunfeld.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Isaiah Thomas Misses 2nd Half Of Game 2 With Right Hip Strain
Isaiah Thomas has been dealing with a right hip strain since Game 6 of the second round.

Lang Whitaker/NBA.com

NBA Announces Finalists For Six Major Regular Season Awards
Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard are the three finalists for MVP with LeBron James presumably finishing fourth in voting.

RealGM Staff Report

Blazers Deny Request From Hawks To Interview Neil Olshey
Neil Olshey became general manager of the Blazers in 2012.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Pelicans Close To Hiring Chris Finch As Assistant Coach
Chris Finch had a large impact on the Nuggets' improvement on offense.

Marc Stein/ESPN

RealGM Radio: Sam Vecenie On The Draft Lottery
Host Danny Leroux and NBA Draft expert Sam Vecenie of the Sporting News break down the impact of the draft lottery.

RealGM Staff Report

Kawhi Leonard Doesn't Practice, Remains Questionable For Game 3
Kawhi Leonard was at the Spurs' practice facility on Thursday but did not participate in the workout.

Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Utah May Be Unwilling To Match Rival Offers For George Hill
Dennis Lindsey is adamant in wanting to re-sign George Hill, but he acknowledged the Jazz won't be able to match all offers he might receive.

Mike Sorensen/Deseret News

Jazz Will Do Everything Possible To Re-Sign Gordon Hayward
The Jazz have several advantages in what they can offer Gordon Hayward.

Mike Sorensen/Deseret News

Hawks Offered Four Future First Round Picks To Pacers For Paul George
In addition to their own picks, the Hawks own future first rounders from the Wolves in 2018 and the Cavaliers in 2019.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Isaiah Thomas Talks To Markelle Fultz About Playing Together With Celtics
While Markelle Fultz will likely be the top pick of the 2017 draft, Isaiah Thomas was the last pick in 2011.

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Westbrook, Harden, Wall Join Curry In Eligibility For DPVE In 2017
Russell Westbrook, James Harden, John Wall and Stephen Curry will be eligible for the Designated Player Veteran Extension in July.

Bobby Marks/The Vertical

Harden, LeBron, Westbrook, Davis, Leonard Named To All-NBA First Team
James Harden, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis have been named to the 16-17 All-NBA First Team.

RealGM Staff Report

Lakers Confident Of Signing Paul George In 2018
The Lakers have been advised not to give up assets to trade for Paul George ahead of his free agency.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Celtics Will Only Trade Top Pick For 'Second Coming'
Wyc Grousbeck indicated the Celtics are unlikely to trade away the top pick in June's draft.

CSN New England (via ProBasketballTalk)

Steve Kerr To Travel To San Antonio For Games 3, 4
Steve Kerr is not necessarily expected to coach in either game.

Connor Letourneau/San Francisco Chronicle