Author: Brett Pollakoff

Kevin Durant

Report: Mavericks believe they are ‘legitimate contenders’ to land Kevin Durant in free agency next summer


By the time Kevin Durant becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer, he will have played eight of his nine NBA seasons in Oklahoma City.

While Durant claims to love the community and consistently says all the right things, the reality is that there are plenty of bigger cities available to play in that can provide a far more interesting lifestyle.

Washington, Los Angeles and New York were always viewed as realistic alternatives, should Durant in fact be interested in making a change. And now we have a new team to add to what is likely going to become an increasingly long list.

Chris Mannix of

A byproduct of Dallas’s off-season haul: I’m told the Mavs now believe they are legitimate contenders in next summer’s Kevin Durant sweepstakes. Quite the turnaround in Big D.

That “haul” is in question at the moment, with DeAndre Jordan waffling on his decision to join the Mavericks, and taking a final meeting with the Clippers as he considers his options.

But setting all of that aside, it’s way too early to try to figure out which teams may or may not be a desirable destination for Durant. He may simply remain in Oklahoma City, especially if the Thunder were to win a title next season.

If we’re making a list now, Washington seems like the only place Durant would realistically consider. It would allow him to leave the Thunder without taking a hit to his image, because he could spin the same “going home” narrative that LeBron James was successful in pulling off during his return to Cleveland last summer.

But again, it’s far too soon to go down this road, despite this recent declaration that’s coming out of Dallas.

Report: Clippers set meeting with DeAndre Jordan, want him to reverse his decision to join Mavericks

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five

DeAndre Jordan agreed to a free agent deal with the Mavericks, but due to the NBA’s moratorium period which doesn’t end until July 9, new contracts can’t yet be signed, and teams can get into trouble for discussing the agreements before they become official.

There’s also nothing binding, here — technically, Jordan could choose to back out of his verbal commitment, and the Mavericks would have no recourse.

Evidently, it’s something that’s now being considered.

Marc Stein of

The Los Angeles Clippers are trying to convince DeAndre Jordan to reconsider his decision to sign with the Mavericks after Jordan verbally committed to join Dallas last week, according to league sources.

Free agents are traditionally considered off limits once they strike a verbal agreement with a team during the NBA’s annual moratorium period, but sources said that the Clippers have pushed to secure a meeting Wednesday in Houston for coach/team president Doc Rivers and possibly owner Steve Ballmer to make one last face-to-face pitch to Jordan in an attempt to convince him to walk away from the four-year, $80-plus million max deal he committed to with the Mavericks and instead stay with L.A. …

Sources told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that Jordan has told people close to him since picking Dallas that he’s still “torn” and “unsure” about his choice.

Jordan can make more money on a max deal with the Clippers than he can anywhere else, but his initial decision to bolt for Dallas was motivated by other factors. He reportedly wanted a bigger role in the offense and more recognition for his contributions — things that would never happen playing alongside Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in Los Angeles. And, the reported tensions between Jordan and Paul were real enough to be a factor, as well.

There are other components in play behind the scenes. The agents who represent the athletes are more heavily involved in personnel moves than fans would like to believe, and there would be a significant amount of trust lost in Relativity Sports should Jordan’s deal to Dallas end up falling apart.

It wouldn’t be unprecedented for a player to renege on this type of commitment, but it almost never happens. The fact that the Clippers are getting an unusual final shot at convincing Jordan to do so, however, does make it a real possibility.

Report: Kevin Garnett will move to management role if he can’t play second year of contract with Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett

It had been expected for some time now that Kevin Garnett would re-up to play with the Timberwolves next season.

But when the news became official and it turned out that the deal was for two years, it raised at least a few eyebrows.

Garnett only appeared in five games after being traded to Minnesota last year, and sat out his team’s final 21 contests, reportedly due to injury.

As he enters what will be a record 21st NBA season, it’s worth wondering whether Garnett will hold up physically in order to play a 22nd. But whether he does or he doesn’t, he’ll remain employed by the Timberwolves.

Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune:

Kevin Garnett will return for a 21st NBA season on a two-year contract, according to a league source with knowledge of an agreement that’s been considered mostly a formality for weeks.

Like the three-year deal the Wolves and Nemanja Bjelica agreed to, Garnett’s deal can be signed according to NBA rules starting on Thursday.

The agreement likely has a provision that Garnett will move into a managerial role with the team if he is not healthy enough to play the 2016-17 season.

Garnett eventually landing in the Timberwolves front office has always made some sense. He began his NBA career in Minnesota, and was considered the face of the franchise for 12 seasons. Even in merely an ambassador role, Garnett would be a welcome addition to the team’s operation once his playing days are done.