Basketball Wiretap

Kevin Durant: My Actual Basketball Play Should Be Headlines, Not Future Decision

Apr 19, 2019 10:40 AM

Kevin Durant scored 38 points in a return to form performance in Game 3 as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Los Angeles Clippers.

“This was the first time this season that my actual basketball play, and not about what I’m going to do in the future, took over the headlines,” Durant told Yahoo Sports after Game 3. “Think about that now. That hasn’t happened in a long time. I like that. That’s the way it should be.”

Speculation on Durant's future has dominated headlines this season, particularly after he avoided the media for more than a week and then called out Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. The media, however, has mostly avoided asking Durant questions about his future.

“This game is what it’s all about, not about something that hasn’t even happened,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “Let’s enjoy basketball. I can take the criticism about the game. This is what we’re paid to do. That should be the focus. This is good.”

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Bobby Webster: Entire Season Will Play Role In Kawhi Leonard's Decision

Apr 19, 2019 9:16 AM

The Toronto Raptors took a gamble when they traded for Kawhi Leonard given how strongly he had been connected to an eventual move to either the Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent this offseason. 

The Lakers appear out of contention for Leonard at this point, leaving the Raptors and Clippers.

Bobby Webster was asked if Toronto's postseason result will correlate to Leonard's decision.

“Of course there is. There is,” said Webster. "It's not all about what happens at the end of the season. It's about what's gone on to this point. From the day we acquired him, it's the groundwork.”

Team officials are confident in the relationships Leonard has built with the Raptors’ medical staff, headed by former Lakers’ performance trainer Alex McKechnie.

Dan Woike/Los Angeles Times

Tags: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Jayson Tatum: Being Traded Is Part Of The Game, I'll Play For Whomever

Apr 17, 2019 6:03 PM

Jayson Tatum had a disappointing second regular season in the NBA in which shooting efficiency dropped. Tatum has also been mentioned in trade rumors involving Anthony Davis once the Boston Celtics can trade for him this offseason.

“Trade rumors don’t bother me,” Tatum said of trade rumors. “They’re talking about trading me for guys like Anthony Davis. So, I mean, I must be doing something pretty well.” When pressed on whether this bothered him, he didn’t budge: “I love the game of basketball. Being traded is part of the game. I’ll play for whomever. It’s something I can’t control.”

“Circumstances don’t affect him,” Brad Stevens said. “First game of the season, he’s unaffected by the jitters that everybody has. Seventh game of a playoff series? Unaffected. At least, he shows himself to be unaffected, and he can thrive in that environment.”

Tatum also revealed he has a poster of himself dunking on LeBron James in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

“I’ve got a big-ass picture of it in my house,” Tatum said.

The Celtics ultimately lost the game as the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to The Finals.

Sopan Deb/New York Times

Tags: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kevin Durant Not Expected By 'Most In NBA' To Re-Sign Regardless Of Playoff Result

Apr 17, 2019 9:33 AM

Tim Kawakami of The Athletic reports "most people in the NBA don't expect (Kevin) Durant to re-sign with the Warriors no matter what happens in the playoffs."

Durant has been strongly linked with the New York Knicks for months.

Kawakami suggests Durant's teammates with the Warriors are essentially attempting to overlook that issue to remain focused on trying to win the title this season.

"It’s the tacit bargain that I believe the Warriors’ headliners all made — hang together to give their shot for a three-peat and then if Durant leaves, he leaves with no apologies necessary. But there’s inherent tension in that, too, of course," writes Kawakami.

Kawakami also argues that Durant has been willing to accept that the Warriors' offense runs best through Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, but that he's their failsafe. Kawakami unofficially terms it as the 'Warriors' Grand Compromise'.

Tim Kawakami/The Athletic

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

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Bismack Biyombo Exercises $17M Player Option With Hornets For 19-20

Apr 16, 2019 12:59 PM

Bismack Biyombo has exercised his $17 million player option for the 19-20 season.

Biyombo has one season remaining on the four-year, $64 million deal he signed with the Orlando Magic in 2016 after a successful playoff run with the Toronto Raptors.

Biyombo had a 14.4 PER in 54 games during the 18-19 season.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Hornets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kevin Durant Hasn't Made Decision, Asks Fans To 'Focus On The Game'

Apr 15, 2019 12:03 PM

Kevin Durant is asking fans to watch the games instead of focusing on his pending free agency decision this July.

“Yo, just watch the game. Just focus on the game and stop nitpicking, because it is a beautiful game going on out there,” Durant told The Undefeated. “What can I do right now? I can’t sign a paper. I got to do the most important thing, and that is play. And that is what we should be focusing on.”

In February, Durant was critical of the media of how they constantly speculated about his free agency. Durant has been linked with the New York Knicks.

Durant insists he has yet to make his decision and won't until July 1.

“Let’s appreciate what is going on, on the basketball court. I know it’s the sexy part of the NBA: free agency, trades, transactions. But it’s a beautiful game that we’re out here playing. I feel like I play a different and unique way that may inspire some people,” Durant said.

“You never know where you can get [inspiration] from. It’s always been my fight with people to focus on the basketball. That other stuff will take care of itself when time comes.”

Durant said it would be disrespectful to his Golden State Warriors' teammates to make a decision during the playoffs.

“If I already made a decision, it would take away from the team, what we’re fighting for. Every play would be overshadowed by it,” Durant said. “It is not necessary for me to make a decision right now. It would be bad to do that. It would take the focus off of what is important. I would never want to put my teammates in a messed-up position. I want to forget about it.

“But it is still putting everybody in messed-up positions where everybody wants to know all the time, everybody is speculating and everybody is trying to get in my head and what I think about it.”

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kevin Durant On Joining Warriors: It Was Worth It

Apr 13, 2019 11:53 AM

Kevin Durant was recently asked if being a member of the Golden State Warriors has been all that he thought it would when he signed with the franchise in 2016.

“Of course,” Durant said.

Durant and the Warriors are attempting to win their third straight title this season.

“I came here knowing for a fact, that every media member, every fan was going to call me every name in the book for however long I was here and I was going to take the brunt of everything. I knew coming here,” Durant said. “But I wanted to be a part of this so bad, I didn’t give a f---. Same with LeBron (James). He took all of that heat, no matter what.”

Durant has been forced to improve as a player and a teammate within Golden State's system.

“I enjoy the way they played basketball. I never played with shooters like that. That moved. That were versatile players. I wanted to be a part of that,” Durant said. “My game was talking to me. Not that other s---. The spirit of the game was talking to me. Not the spotlight or the fame that comes from being the best player. Not the legacy. I swear on my life, that don’t mean nothing to me. How I build myself up in this NBA life, it doesn’t mean anything to me. I just want to play great basketball every second I’m on the court, and that was a perfect opportunity for me to do so.”

Durant has been strongly linked to signing with the New York Knicks this offseason.

“I’m from Washington, D.C. I went to Oklahoma City for eight years. Out of nowhere, I went to the Bay for three years,” Durant said. “I’ve been roaming my whole life. I never had no stable environment. Ever. Ever. Since I woke up. I sacrificed a lot of s--- to be here and to change my game up to be with these guys. And it was worth it.” 

Michael Lee/The Athletic

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kent Bazemore Exercises $19.2M Contract For 19-20 With Hawks

Apr 12, 2019 1:48 PM

Kent Bazemore will exercise his 19-20 contract with the Atlanta Hawks worth $19.2 million.

Bazemore signed a four-year, $70 million deal with the Hawks in 2016.

Bazemore has been mentioned in trade rumors over the past few months.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Jeff Teague Exercises $19M Player Option With Wolves For 19-20

Apr 12, 2019 1:32 PM

Jeff Teague has opted into his 19-20 player option with the Minnesota Timberwolves worth $19 million.

Teague underwent a successful debridement of his left ankle on Thursday.

Teague signed a three-year, $57 million deal with the Wolves in 2017.

Jon Krawczynski/The Athletic

Tags: Jeff Teague, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kemba Walker Unsure About Future With Hornets

Apr 11, 2019 9:22 PM

Kemba Walker will be a free agent this offseason as he's on the verge of turning 29. Walker has spent his entire career with the Charlotte Hornets, but the team has missed the playoffs each of the past three seasons.

"I have no feeling right now, I don't know," Walker said of his impending decision in free agency this summer. "Honestly, I don't know what to expect. I guess it's a lot of different emotions bottled up into one. I'm not sure. I don't know."

If Walker were to re-sign with the Hornets for max or near-max money, they may not be able to build a competitive team around him.

"I mean, obviously I do want to be competitive because I want to be able to play in the playoffs," Walker said. "So I want to think that would have some influence" on my decision.

ESPN

Tags: Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kings Fire Dave Joerger As Head Coach
Dave Joerger had clashed with the front office of the Kings.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Heat Sign Kendrick Nunn
Kendrick Nunn averaged 19.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.45 steals and 29.0 minutes for the Santa Cruz Warriors.

RealGM Staff Report

Nets Convert Theo Pinson From Two-Way To Standard Contract
Theo Pinson went undrafted out of North Carolina in 2018.

Michael Scotto/The Athletic

Heat Sign Duncan Robinson
Duncan Robinson was originally signed to a two-way contract by the Heat on July 10.

RealGM Staff Report

Clippers Claim Rodney McGruder Off Waivers
Rodney McGruder will not be playoff eligible.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Wizards Sign Tarik Phillip
Tarik Phillip averaged 14.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 47 games for the Memphis Hustle of the NBA G League this season.

RealGM Staff Report

Wizards Sign Jordan McRae To Standard NBA Contract
Jordan McRae was named to the 2018-19 All-NBA G League First Team for his play with the Capital City Go-Go.

RealGM Staff Report

Wolves Sign Mitch Creek
Mitch Creek averaged 15.3 points, on 55.4% shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.5 minutes per game in the G League.

RealGM Staff Report

Raptors Sign Eric Moreland
Eric Moreland signed a 10-day contract Mar. 14 with the Raptors.

RealGM Staff Report

Celtics Sign Jonathan Gibson
Jonathan Gibson averaged 33.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in China.

RealGM Staff Report

Joe Lacob: It's Our Job To Convince Kevin Durant The Right Decision Is To Be A Warrior For Life
Joe Lacob said he won't be mad at Kevin Durant if he leaves the Warriors.

Tim Kawakami/The Athletic

Hawks Sign Deyonta Davis To Multiyear Deal
Deyonta Davis was previously on a pair of 10-day contracts.

Michael Scotto/The Athletic

Joakim Noah More Proud Of Comeback With Grizzlies Than All-Star Seasons
Joakim Noah believes his play with the Grizzlies will earn him a roster spot somewhere next season.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Bradley Beal On Supermax: Money Is Not The Problem
Bradley Beal appears to want some piece of mind on the direction of the Wizards.

Fred Katz/The Athletic

Heat Sign Yante Maten For Remainder Of Season
Yante Maten earned All-NBA G League Second Team and NBA G League All-Rookie Team honors.

RealGM Staff Report

Rockets Sign Michael Frazier For Remainder Of Season
Michael Frazier was recently named the 2018-19 NBA G League Most Improved Player after averaging 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals.

RealGM Staff Report

Wizards Waive Wesley Johnson
Wesley Johnson appeared in 12 games for the Wizards and averaged 2.8 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.

RealGM Staff Report

Grizzlies Agree To Sign Tyler Zeller For Remainder Of Season, Waive Dusty Hannahs
Tyler Zeller appeared in two games with the Hawks in March.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Magic Sign Michael Carter-Williams For Remainder Of Season, Waive Isaiah Briscoe
Michael Carter-Williams has appeared in nine games with the Magic, averaging 5.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

RealGM Staff Report

Donatas Motiejunas Signing With Spurs On Thursday
Donatas Motiejunas averaged 27.3 points, 14.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 34.3 minutes per game in China in 18-19.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN