No surprise: Green wants to stay in OKC

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Is there anyone in OKC who doesn’t want to stay with the Thunder? They’re the closest thing the NBA has to an “it” team: a young, talented core, a smart, upcoming coach, a new NBA city with an energized fan base, and what could, should, and likely will be the first playoff appearance in Thunder history.

So Jeff Green’s declaration that he’d like to stay with the team via a contract extension, however important in terms of the team’s success, isn’t exactly noteworthy for the shock factor. From Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman:

Jeff Green on Thursday expressed his desire to sign a contract extension this summer and continue his career with the Thunder. “I’d love to,” Green told The Oklahoman. “It’s a great thing going here.”

The Thunder can re-sign Green to an extension of up to five years…Green’s situation…in some ways will hold more significance to the Thunder’s long-term building. Durant’s deal is expected to be an open-and-shut maximum contract. How much money Green will command after this season could have a long-lasting impact on the team’s salary cap and the caliber of players the Thunder can sign this summer with the future financial state always in mind.

That final note that Mayberry makes is an important one. Durant will receive the maximum offer from the Thunder, and he’s worth every penny. But how much is Jeff Green worth? Supplementary players are always difficult to appraise, and Green’s unique talents and skill set make Sam Presti’s job that much more difficult.

So while Durant’s extension could conceivably be signed and official sooner rather than later, Green’s deal will likely take some more prolonged negotiations, despite the fact that neither party wants Green going anywhere.

Lou Williams hits halfcourt buzzer-beater (video)

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Yeah, the Lakers lost to the Rockets, 134-95, Wednesday. But consider how lopsided that margin would’ve been without Lou Williams‘ halfcourt buzzer-beater.

And if this headline looks familiar, it is.

LeBron James, Cavaliers do water-bottle challenge on bench during blowout win over Knicks (video)

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, and Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson entertain themselves by flipping a water bottle trying to get it to land on it's flat bottom during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 126-94, and most starters left the game for the bench at the end of the fourth quarter. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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LeBron James did his part – scoring 25 points (on just 10 shots!), dishing seven assists and grabbing six rebounds – to give the Cavaliers an insurmountable lead over the Knicks through three quarters. So, he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.

As Cleveland put the finishing touches on its 126-94 win, boredom set it. LeBron and a few of his teammates tried to flip a water bottle and have it land upright on the floor. LeBron even dove onto the court to pull the bottle back in after an errant flip!

No, Phil Jackson should not have used the word “posse” to describe LeBron’s business associates and friends. But this is the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen – and I love it.

DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) receives a blow to the head from Dallas Mavericks' Dwight Powell as Cousins works to get to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.

Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?

“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”

“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”

“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”

Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.

And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.

Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?

LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)

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LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.

It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.