Author: Brett Pollakoff

Steve Kerr

Report: Warriors trying to trade up in NBA Draft


Fresh off of an historically great season where the Warriors won the NBA championship, they aren’t a team that exactly has a lot of pressing needs.

It made sense, then, to attempt to avoid paying a guaranteed salary next season to someone who wouldn’t be all that likely to contribute after being selected with the 30th overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, by dangling that pick in trade to help shed David Lee’s contract from the books.

But a newer report has Golden State potentially looking to trade up now, which must mean the team has its eyes on a particular prospect.

Scott Howard-Cooper of

Interesting development heading toward Thursday night: I’m hearing the Warriors are exploring the possibility of trading UP. Target unknown.

I would have thought GSWs would try to trade out of the 1st to save money or use a 1st-rounder to get someone to take David Lee.

The Warriors need to dump Lee; he’ll cost the team nearly $50 million in salary and luxury tax if he remains on the roster next season. And since his salary alone is right around $15.5 million, it would appear as though Golden State would need to add something favorable to a deal (like, you know, a late first round pick) in order to get another team to take Lee off of its hands.

It’s also unclear what the Warriors would be willing to offer in trade to move up the draft board. Is there a team that would potentially favor Lee over a draft pick, say, in the late teens? The likelihood seems slim, but then again, Golden State surprised us all by winning a title this year, so I suppose anything is possible.

Nike unveils latest signature shoe for Kevin Durant, the KD8 (PHOTOS)


We got a glimpse of what Kevin Durant’s latest sneaker model would look like a little over a month ago, when Durant himself began to leak images via his social media channels.

On Tuesday, the KD8 got its proper unveiling, as Nike Basketball formally announced Durant’s eighth signature shoe.

As is always the case with Durant and his personal line of sneakers, the designs vary drastically from one iteration to the next. Gone is the strap we saw on the KD7, and introduced on the KD8 are two new forms of technological innovations that are a first for a basketball sneaker.

From the official release:

Born from the design principals of woven textiles engineered for spacesuits, Flyweave technology was just over two years in development when Leo Chang and fellow Nike designer Thomas Bell singled it out for the KD8 upper.

The KD8 is the first Nike Basketball shoe to bring high-strength woven textile that can be designed in high resolution, down to the pixel, for the rigors of basketball footwork. The introduction of Flyweave along with the Flyknit upper that debuted in the KOBE 9 in 2013, continues Nike Basketball’s leadership in engineered textiles. …

The articulated, full-length Nike Zoom Air unit specifically designed for the KD8 provides responsive cushioning that moves naturally with Durant’s foot.  Thousands of high-strength fibers connect the top and bottom of this Zoom Air unit, which runs the foot’s entire length.  For the first time in basketball, this Zoom Air unit is designed with strategically placed notches in the forefoot and heel to intuitively flex with the foot’s movement.

Check out the photos for a complete look at the all-new design. The KD8 debuts June 23 on NIKEiD for personalized customization, the July 4th colorway is available on June 27 in limited quantities, and the all-red V8 colorway drops on July 11.





Report: Buzz around NBA is that D’Angelo Russell doesn’t want to play for Sixers

NBA Draft Prospects Workout 2015

Early on in the pre-draft evaluation process, it was reported that the Sixers would be selecting D’Angelo Russell with the third overall pick.

The thinking, of course, was that Philadelphia needed a point guard who could shoot a solid percentage from three-point distance, after dealing a reigning Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams in part because he could not.

But most mock drafts now have Kristaps Porzingis slotted to go to the Sixers at three, and it’s worth wondering if Russell’s reported preference to play elsewhere may be partially responsible for the change in perception.

From Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

After trading point guard Michael Carter-Williams, the 2014 rookie of the year, to Milwaukee this past season, it would appear that the 76ers need a point guard.

But the buzz around the NBA is that D’Angelo Russell, a 6-5 point guard from Ohio State whom many see as a lesser Stephen Curry-type, doesn’t want to play for the unpredictable 76ers. Russell did work out for the 76ers last week.

Let’s start with the obvious, which is that it doesn’t matter one bit if Russell would indeed prefer to play somewhere else. That will change immediately if Philadelphia decides to select him, and players entering the league at the top of the draft no longer have the power to force their way to a particular landing spot.

If you’re Russell, however, there are reasons to be concerned.

The way Philadelphia bailed on Carter-Williams midway through his second season was alarming from a player perspective, even if the Sixers had more than one legitimate reason for doing so. Add in the fact that the team has brought in injured players the last two years who were forced to sit out (at least) their first full NBA season, along with the way the team has continued its prolonged rebuild by fielding what has essentially amounted to a D-League roster, and it’s easy to understand why, at least at this point, the Sixers are a less-than-desirable destination.

Karl-Anthony Towns works out for Timberwolves; only team he has worked out for during pre-draft process

NBA Draft Prospects Workout 2015

The Timberwolves hold the No. 1 overall pick in the June 25 NBA Draft, and are largely expected to take Karl-Anthony Towns with that selection.

Towns and those who surround him are well aware of just how high his stock happens to be, and that has prevented him from scheduling workouts with any teams sitting below one on the league-wide board.

He acquiesced on Saturday, and worked out in Minnesota. But that’s the only team that’s expected to have the privilege of getting a private look at Towns before the draft is upon us.

From Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press:

Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns worked out for the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, less than a week before the Wolves pick first in the NBA draft.

Towns arrived in the Twin Cities on Friday night. He took a tour of the Wolves’ new $25 million practice facility and dined with owner Glen Taylor, President Flip Saunders and several other team officials.

Towns is considered the heavy favorite to be chosen No. 1 overall on Thursday night, and the Wolves are the only team he has worked out for during the pre-draft process.

Minnesota also worked out the rest of the prospects who are slated to go near the top of the draft in Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay.

But Towns seems to be the clear-cut favorite at this point, and because of their ability to make the first overall pick next Thursday, only the Timberwolves were fortunate enough to get a look at Towns up close and in person.

LeBron says ‘it hurt to lose’ to Warriors in NBA Finals

LeBron James

When LeBron James played more than 50 minutes in leading his Cavaliers to a win in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the physical and emotional toll it took was evident in his walk-off interview immediately following the contest.

Simply put, James invested everything he had in this series, and after coming up short when facing a Warriors team that simply proved itself to be better, not surprisingly, the loss still stings days after the fact.

From a video with Bleacher Report (as transcribed by

“It hurt to lose, and I’m still in a little funk right now, but I’m trying to work my way out of it,” James said.

“You know, for a team that’s first getting together, in our first year to be able to reach the Finals — not saying I’m happy with the results, but I’m proud of our guys,” James said. “Just the growth that they had from the first day we walked in the gym to the other day, us losing, I’m proud of the guys and what they was able to accomplish.”

“Being back home is everything that I dreamed of, everything that I thought about,” he said. “Being back with these fans, being back with this community, just being back here and trying to bring joy to this city, which deserves it. Bringing a sense of pride to this city, which deserves it. Giving this city something to talk about, which they deserve.”

LeBron repeated the part about being not satisfied with the results about three separate times, and it was clear that he slipped this particular media obligation in while he was doing other things; LeBron was receiving a haircut from his guy the entire time he was speaking.

But the words were honest nonetheless, and it’s one of many reasons why the city of Cleveland couldn’t be happier to have the best basketball player in the game on its side.